Last night, Jacob Lusk was voted off "American Idol," and this morning he spoke to reporters about his rollercoaster run on the show. And he finally had the opportunity to discuss the controversial statement he made on Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Night--an alienating comment that many pundits, myself included, believe was the beginning of his decline.
On that fateful top 9 evening, Jacob said in a pretaped interview segment: "If I end up in the bottom three, it won't be because I sang the song bad. It won't be because I sang the song wrong. It'll be because everybody in America wasn't ready to look at themselves in the mirror." The 23-year-old from Compton singer, who previously came across as jolly and affable, suddenly seemed cocky and arrogant, or at least like he was polarizingly using "Idol" as some sort of political soapbox. And he never quite recovered. (It was his first week in the bottom three.)
But today Jacob--who humbly said, "I'm not the greatest singer in the world; at least I don't feel that I am"--insisted that was never his intention, and that his comment was taken out of context. "It had nothing to do with me and my vocal performance," he said, explaining that his humanitarian-leaning song choice that night, Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror," was inspired by the recent Japanese earthquake.
"For me, it was about us all taking an internal glance....That was really more about my song selection and it was more about what's going on in the world at that time. The Japan disaster had just happened a couple days before and it really for me, was about us all taking kind of an internal voyage, and that was it was about. It had nothing to do with people voting for me. It wasn't about that. It was about me wanting people to really look at ourselves and look at what we could do to really change the world, because the world is in a natural disaster state right now with disasters happening all over.
"It's up to us to make a change, and especially, it starts with me, " Jacob continued, loosely quoting Jackson's "Mirror" lyrics. "It's up to me. It all started with me that night, and I was saying that I was going to make a change to help change the world. That was just about it. It had nothing to do with my vocal performance or being voted in or voted out. That wasn't what it was about. It was kind of sensationalized a little bit--a whole lot."
Of course, this wouldn't be the first time a person's comment was edited or manipulated on reality television, and it surely will not be the last. And of course, Jacob's downward slide on "Idol" can't be contributed to just this remark; he gave a series of inconsistent performances, notably his ill-advised "No Air" one-man duet this week, and that's what ultimately did him in.
But I have to say, I kind of feel bad for the guy (especially in light of TMZ's report that he was allegedly forced by Jimmy Iovine to sing "No Air"). Maybe those "Idol" producers ought to take a good long look at themselves in the mirror, too.