Eliminated 'American Idol' Finalist Paul Jolley: 'All These Fans Means I'm Not Alone Anymore'
The Tennessee native talks to THR about his "save song" choice, season 12's genre battle and his future plans, which include a clothing line.
And then there were eight. Less than an hour after he learned that the city of Dresden, Tenn., had declared a day in his honor, 23-year-old Paul Jolley was voted off American Idol. Just 24 hours prior to that, Jolley told The Hollywood Reporter that he would title his first album Alone, so it was natural to ask if that was why he chose to perform Heart’s “Alone” as his "save song."
“Everyone has felt that feeling of being alone, but they get by,” Jolley said following his elimination. “Now that I’ve been on Idol, I’m moving forward in my journey through life. And having all these fans means I’m not alone anymore. They're going to be there for me 100 percent.”
So what’s the first thing Jolley is going to do post-Idol? “I’m going to love getting more sleep,” he laughed. As for what he'll miss, says Jolley: “The excitement and not knowing what’s happening next, because it’s constant change. You never know when you’re going to be singing, when you’re going to record or when you’re going to choreography.”
When THR asked Jolley which other contestant he would miss the most, his reply was diplomatic. “There isn’t one person,” he said. “I grew close to all of them on different levels. I love each and every one of them. They’re family.”
Jolley might be done with song selection and rehearsing, but he does have the future mapped out. “I want to be a country-pop artist,” he declared. “I’m not going to stop doing what I believe and know I can accomplish. I’m going to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry -- that has been a lifetime goal of mine ever since I was a little kid. It was the first place I ever went to see a show.”
But music isn’t the only thing on Jolley’s mind. “I want to own my own clothing line," he added. "Last night, I had a custom shirt on. It’s very hard to find clothes that fit me and fit my style. I have visions of outfits and I want to wear my own shirts. I want to design the pants and the shoes. I want to design the jewelry. I have ideas that are constantly flowing through my head that I have to let out.”
Jolley is the second male contestant to be voted off Idol this season. The five women in the top 10 are still in the competition, so what does Jolley think of the buzz that this is a girl’s year to win? “Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. We’ll just have to wait and find out,” he replied. “I think everyone here is amazing. I think all the guys are good, and I think all the girls are good. At this point, everyone is competing with each other’s genre, because we’re all so different.”