DeAndre Brackensick went home in eighth place on "American Idol" this week, but if it had been up to Jennifer Lopez, he would have stayed. J.Lo freely admitted on Thursday's results show that she'd wanted to use the Judges' Save on DeAndre, one of her favorite contestants, but unfortunately for DeAndre, she was outvoted by Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson. However, when speaking to Reality Rocks backstage after his elimination, DeAndre kept his curly head held high, and he made it clear that he harbored no hard feelings.
"I feel really, really honored that she still wanted to use the Save on me, being that I'd already been saved," he said, referring to the fact that he had been a Wild Card pick in the first place and almost hadn't made the top 13 at all. "But the fact that I had been saved already, I understood why. A second chance is good enough, you know? You can only be saved so many times, so I understood where Randy and Steven were coming from. Much love to them for just supporting me the first time."
Though he spoke so quietly he could barely be heard above the din of "Idol's" backstage chaos, DeAndre revealed that Jennifer had actually advised him to be a little bolder in the future. "She just told me to stay me, and let my defenses down. You don't always have to be cool about everything. You can let go of your emotions at times," he said, reflecting on their post-results private chat. "But [when I was eliminated], I tried to keep as mellow as possible and let everybody else cry. I tried to go on a happy note. As sad as I am, I'm still happy that I made it this far....I did cry, I'm not going to lie--behind doors. But I'm just so grateful for the place I'm in right now."
DeAndre had been in the bottom three before, and he admitted, "My style of music and singing is you either love it or you hate it." But undeterred, the 17-year-old, a huge fan of music from way before his time, explained that he is still on a mission to bring back the old-school R&B sound he loves. "Music is just lacking R&B now. Back in the day, everybody was a falsetto singer! Now it's just so unappreciated....Even if it's [me] not being a star, I still want to fight for that to come back. My first CD was James Brown. Something about singers back then--they SANG. Everything was one take, and you could feel the emotions of the vocals. Nothing was computerized, nothing was Auto-Tuned. Everything was music music, everything was pure. And I just want to bring that back so much."
DeAndre wrapped up his interview by revealing that if he'd continued on "Idol," his dream theme would have been Motown Night, mentored by either his own idol Eric Benet (who surprised DeAndre on the "Idol" set last week after DeAndre sang Eric's "Sometimes I Cry") or Patti LaBelle. That clearly was not meant to be, but DeAndre did say Eric has expressed interest in working with him, and it seems feasible that DeAndre will do some Motown on the Idols Live Tour this summer. So this kid's noble goal of bringing back old-school soul still seems very much within his reach.