Eliminated 'Idol' Burnell Taylor on What's Next: 'The Gym -- I Gained Ten Pounds on the Show'
The New Orleans native looks back on his season 12 journey and sets the record straight on his relationship with fellow finalist, Amber Holcomb.
For the fifth week in a row, another male vocalist was sent home on American Idol. Favored by judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, Burnell Taylor bid farewell to the Fox show on Thursday night, leaving Lazaro Arbos as the last man standing. On exiting the competition, Taylor told reporters Friday, "There was a possibility it could happen, it wasn't perfect."
Looking back on his journey in season 12, Taylor embraced the judges' critiques and celebrity feedback. When working alongside Jimmy Iovine, he said, "I have a tough skin but I was terrified. He's like another Nicki [Minaj]. I appreciate his honesty because he knows what he's talking about."
The best advice Burnell received was during Hollywood week, he revealed, when he was encouraged to hire a vocal coach. He did his "homework and used all the money [he] had on a coach."
Burnell added that the experience of being on the show allowed him to grow mentally -- and shrink physically. The Louisiana native had made a concerted effort to lose weight before appearing on the show. Now, he wants to drop a few more pounds. "I want to get home and go to the gym," he said. "I gained ten pounds on the show."
And while the judges didn't opt to save him, they did have some words of encouragement. Mariah Carey told him, "This is not the end." According to Burnell, the female judges also told him, "Don't cry, don't cry. I never knew how much they cared about me, it was extra genuine."
As for the week's burning question: is there a budding romance on the show? When asked about kissing fellow Idol finalist Amber Holcomb on the cheek, Burnell quickly cleared up rumors of their relationship. "She didn't know [the kiss] was coming," he said. "We're both young and really like each other and are learning more about each other." Still, if there's one thing he'll miss being on the show, Amber Holcomb would be it.
So what's next for Burnell? "I want to make an album that is captivating," said the Idol castoff. "I want to be a storyteller and be personal and honest -- I think that's what the industry is missing." Taylor also told reporters how excited he is for the upcoming summer tour and seeing the cities he's never seen before. "L.A is the farthest I ever went. There is extra validation in doing something for the fan base."
Indeed, the singer from New Orleans wants fans to know: "They're not my fans, they're my family. Thanks to everyone for supporting. I'm not going anywhere. ... In the future I'm going to work with all y'all so get prepared."
Former Idol finalist and sometimes THR correspondent Didi Benami spoke with Burnell shortly after his elimination. Hear what he had to say in the video below: