On Michael Jackson Night this past American Idol season, Scott MacIntyre's self-described "artistic" decision to perform the relatively obscure song "Keep The Faith" (as opposed to a more popular, obvious tune) prompted Simon Cowell to utter the immortal, dreaded words: "It's fine being artistic...JUST NOT ON THIS SHOW."
I'm pretty sure Scott--a classically trained pianist since the age of 6, and the holder of multiple musical degrees and scholarships--didn't appreciate that comment much. And it certainly didn't stop him from trying to make artistic statements on subsequent episodes. But no matter what was lobbied at him during his tenure on AmIdol--be it Cowell criticism, Ryan Seacrest forgetting Scott was legally blind and foolishly attempting to high-five him, or the indignity of having to wear "flesh-colored" pink pants--Scott always took everything in stride and with a great sense of humor. And it was clear he was happy to be there, now that American Idol had evolved into not just a singing competition but a show that allowed contestants to play instruments and actually be (yes) artistic.
When I sat down with Scott at the Idols Live Tour rehearsals amid all sorts of Idol chaos (look for Kris Allen, Matt Giraud, and Anoop Desai all milling about in the background, and listen to the cast's laughter emanating from the nearby luncheon room), he seemed in his usual good spirits. And why shouldn't he have been? Although he slyly avoided mentioning it on camera, I found out later, while watching the rehearsals, the reason for his excitement: On the tour he gets two dueling-piano moments, both with Matt Giraud, doing a bit of the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love" and the intro to the big finale number "Don't Stop Believin'."
So in our interview, Scott and I discussed how Idol has evolved musically (he admitted he would have never auditioned if he hadn't been allowed to play piano) and his very ambitious career plans (which include not only touring and recording but also writing and producing for other artists and even writing a book). How's THAT for "artistic," huh?
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The Idols Live Tour starts July 5, buy your tickets HERE!
- Simon Cowell
- American Idol
- Scott MacIntyre