First Person – Blake Lewis: Life After ‘American Idol’

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks (New)

Blake Lewis was the runner-up on "American Idol" Season 6, and much has changed in the six years since. Pretty much everyone (besides Ryan Seacrest) that Blake worked with on the life-changing, ground-breaking series is gone, and fans are wondering if the show can get a fresh start and continue. In Blake's special blog entry, he reflects on the show's past and future, whether he'd ever be an "Idol" judge, and his own new start thanks to a new (third) record deal with Republic and a new hit single. — LP

How can "American Idol" keep going without the people who built it from the ground up? I was on one of the last seasons of "AI" that had the original cast of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson.

I couldn't believe the universe had put me on a television show. Lucky for me, it did…and it was live! I could be myself, and America could love or loathe me at an instant. Since then, every judge has left. Randy held out for 12 seasons and continued to help mold modern competitive TV. With producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick and all of the judges departing, it was like breaking up a family of friends.

I've heard rumors that they are planning to bring back previous Idols to be judges on the show. I think Adam Lambert, Casey Abrams, Kimberley Caldwell, and various other past contestants would give a great new view to the show and process of "American Idol." I personally think the more "out of the box" characters have a lot more to offer for television.

I also like to think I would make a great judge and I would love to be sitting in that chair, seeing the show from a very different light. I've always been constructive with my criticism and have had experience as an artist, writer, producer, and composer. Making it to the finale on that show was a journey in every way imaginable. I will forever keep "AI" in my heart and talk about my experience till I grow old. It was so amazing to be a part of something so exciting.

Just like "Idol" starting a new era, I am doing the same. The road I've traveled the last four years have been filled with challenges since my last album, Heartbreak on Vinyl. I finally moved to L.A. for "the business" to become a better me. Funny to think that Los Angeles would be the place over Washington, but it happened. Nothing quite like conquering the fear of the unknown. I started from mind, body, and soul, to getting my voice and my business tight. You have to! This industry is fickle and filled with sharks, and you have to fight when swimming in such shallow waters. It's all about the risks you take, and RIGHT NOW it's paying off.

Artists like me sometimes don't get second chances, let alone a third, and I'm very lucky to have Universal Republic who believes in my talent and tenacity to give me this chance. So blessed! I have amazing fans who appreciate my craft and have supported me through out my career, especially these last couple years where I have been working behind closed doors to emerge anew. I will always continue to stretch the boundaries of the human voice and create the music that colors my life.

Last summer, I pushed the button on my third album, Portrait of a Chameleon, and I started my own label, Audio Day Dream Records, which was named after my first LP. This album represents a new beginning for me in more ways than ever. For years now, I've wanted to make a sample library of all the sounds I create with my mouth. Beatboxing, sound FX, vocal scratching...the works. I finally made it, and it's the foundation for my album and the first step in which the production begins.

My single, "Your Touch," got placed in the Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 commercial along with me in it. So stoked!!! It's playing on over 19,000 theater screens across the U.S. in front of Iron Man, Man of Steel, and many other movies. This commercial opened some doors and has allowed me to share my music with new audiences around the globe. The reaction to my song has been amazing and I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to keep creating. I think this album is my finest work to date, soaring with new sounds, melodies, and a message of positivity. I always want my music to be true to myself and fun. As a chameleon, I'm always doing so much and with this project, the music has finally found a cohesive place to be free.

In the last two months, I've been traveling everywhere to promote "Your Touch," visiting so many amazing radio stations and meeting all the personalities that rule the airwaves. I love getting out on the road and linking up with my fans and the people who support me. It's the complete opposite of me being locked away in the studio and it's so refreshing. It's really nice to actually see the response and reaction to my music face-to-face with someone.

I still have to pinch myself when I'm on the road, getting to promote what I love. It's a real honor to be in these radio station studios with people I admire. I was that kid that wanted to be a radio jock and be a morning show DJ. It's really cyclical the way a music career goes, and doing this radio promotion is the icing on the cake: You have an idea, you create it, package it, tour…and do it all over again. For something that sounds so simple, it takes more work that you could ever think of, but I feel blessed.

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