Just when I thought awesome American Idol runner-up Megan Joy couldn't get any awesome-er, she showed up recently backstage at L.A.'s Staples Center for the Idols' pre-concert OFFICIAL PRESS JUNKET wearing curlers in her hair. Curlers! On camera! Of course, most women don't look as lovely with a headful of wire coils as Megan did that day, so it's understandable that she wouldn't be too neurotic about letting a fleet of reporters see her in her preshow-prep state. But I still found her could-give-a-damn attitude so very refreshing...and so very Megan Joyful.
And Megan maintained a good attitude that night onstage, even after she contracted food poisoning (which caused her to skip out on the final group number at Staples, but not her own set) and gave herself a fat lip when she banged herself in the face with her microphone. (She laughed off the latter incident between songs, giggling, "That was awesome!") And my conversation with her was blast, from the moment she goofily mock-vogue-posed for my camera (she thought I was taking a photo, not a video, at first).
Check out our chat below (along with a full transcript), in which we discussed her girly-glam look on the Idols Live Tour, her tour song choices, her post-tour plans (including a hip-hop album!), and the upcoming Emmy Awards, for which American Idol is up for eight nominations. Caw caw!
REALITY ROCKS: You are looking fantastic!
MEGAN: [posing] Oh, this is a video?
REALITY ROCKS: Yes.
MEGAN: Oh, I thought this was a picture! I'm all [poses]. So stupid! [laughs]
REALITY ROCKS: No, I'm not allowed to take pictures! They told us not to, to save time.
MEGAN: Oh! Okay.
REALITY ROCKS: So you're looking very Marilyn Monroe-esque tonight.
MEGAN: You know, my hair's curly for the show. I knew that everyone was going to be panicking [that her hair would not be done in time for the concert], especially the hairstylist, so I said, "I don't care, just get it going!"
REALITY ROCKS: I would imagine--as a girl myself, obviously!--that that would be one of the most fun things about being on the tour...the costumes, getting to dress up. Are you enjoying all that?
MEGAN: Definitely, it's really fun. It's new for me. It's not exactly my true style; when I do things after the show, it won't look anything like this. But it's definitely really, really fun.
REALITY ROCKS: So do you sort of have a dual personality, like "Casual Megan" and "Dressy Megan"?
MEGAN: Yeah, you could say that! Laid-back Megan and then super-glamorous Megan! Sure!
REALITY ROCKS: So a lot of fans want me to ask you...you just played your home state [Utah]. How was that? That must have been a blast!
MEGAN: That was one of the best nights of my life. I had almost 200 friends and family members there that even came back to the meet-and-greet afterwards. And tons of fans there, besides them. It was "my night."
REALITY ROCKS: Was there sort of a vibe of like, "local girl makes good"? Like, are you the hero of your town now?
MEGAN: Exactly! Yeah! They're really supportive, they said really super-nice things about me...it was great!
REALITY ROCKS: So when I last interviewed you, you weren't able to reveal the songs you were doing on the tour. But now we know what you're doing. Tell me why you chose those songs, which I think are perfectly suited for you.
MEGAN: Thank you! I chose [Corinne Bailey Rae's] "Put Your Records On" and [Amy Winehouse's] "Tears Dry On Their Own." I had to pick uptempo songs since I am a "starter." I really wanted to sing something slow to show off my voice more, but I've still gotta wait, I guess. But Amy, she's just jazzy, she's in-your-face, she's sexy and hip, and I was all about it, so that was fine. And then the other one, I just truly enjoyed doing it on the show, it pushed me along in the competition, so I've got serious love for it.
REALITY ROCKS: It's kind of ironic, because when you were on the show, weren't the judges saying you should do an Amy Winehouse song?
MEGAN: Well, I got both! Like, they told me to sing it--they said Amy Winehouse or Adele. And then when I sang it for them on a time when they didn't air it, they said, "You shouldn't do that. You should sway from the artists that you sound like." So I got mixed signals, and it was just stupid!
REALITY ROCKS: Well, yeah, the judges tend to do that in general.
REALITY ROCKS: Probably for good TV. But you know, American Idol is up for eight Emmys.
REALITY ROCKS: I think this cast has a lot to do with that.
MEGAN: Yeah, yeah.
REALITY ROCKS: The Amazing Race has won [Best Reality Show] six times...
MEGAN: Six times?
REALITY ROCKS: This time, I want American Idol to win. I think you all should go and perform at the Emmys.
MEGAN: I think that would be incredible, and I know that we would all love to!
REALITY ROCKS: Yeah, I think that should happen! So, obviously this tour is going through till September?
REALITY ROCKS: What are your plans afterwards?
MEGAN: Um, I want to make a few albums...
REALITY ROCKS: A few?
MEGAN: I want to make alternative jazz, I want to do children's music, and I want to do hip-hop and some bluegrass.
REALITY ROCKS: Hip-hop? The other things I knew about, but I didn't know about the hip-hop.
MEGAN: I love hip-hop so much!
REALITY ROCKS: That's a side of you that didn't really come out on the show.
MEGAN: No. But you know, the show didn't show, I'd say, good 80 percent of me. [19 Entertainment person tells me to wrap it up...boo!]
REALITY ROCKS: It's interesting because you say that you're sort of a "starter" for the tour. Is there any pressure in that, in way you're kind of kicking off the show? You're setting the tone--you and Michael [Sarver]. How do you do that? You're sort of...not the "warmup" act, but you're setting the tone.
MEGAN: Yeah, I'm a warm-upper!
REALITY ROCKS: What I mean is, you're the ones [you and Michael] that need to get the crowd going [because you perform first].
MEGAN: Yeah, well, fortunately, the American Idol crowd is pumped up enough as it is. They're coming and they're excited the whole entire night. But I mean, my songs are "up," I'm trying to get the fans up, I'm happy and excited, and I hope I can spread that vibe out to the audience. But for the most part, they already have that vibe!
REALITY ROCKS: But I'm sure you keep it going!
MEGAN: I try to keep it up!
REALITY ROCKS: That's great. Well, I'm going to let you go, but I will be in the audience, all pumped up tonight!
MEGAN: Okay, cool, cool!
- American Idol