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American Idol devotees tweeting along with the show on Tuesday night may have noticed one potentially harsh comment by an ex-finalist during Colton Dixon’s performance.
The 20-year-old Tennessee native chose Paramore’s “Decode” as his top 24 song, going up against the likes of Phillip Phillips, who delivered an acoustic rendering of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” and Jermaine Jones, whose “Dance With My Father” got him a spot in the Top 10. Dixon started off seated at the piano but by song’s end, he was dancing on top of it, prompting season 10’s James Durbin to tweet, “Havnt I seen a lot of that performance somewhere before? Looked kinda familiar…”
Season 10 fans may remember that Durbin also had his way with a piano last year, climbing on a red baby grand then setting its insides on fire.
So what gives? We went straight to the source and asked Durbin to elaborate on the tweet heard across the Idol world. At a benefit for the Rock School Scholarship Fund held Friday at Center Staging in Burbank, Calif., he had lots to say about the subject. So much, in fact, that we thought it best to print his comments in full (edited for clarity and length) and let the Idol Worship readers decide whether or not the tweet was warranted. Read on…
James Durbin: “I was definitely implying something. I mean, I’m not starting any fan war here, but I remember Colton from last season. He was in the top 40 and sang that same song in the sing-for-your-life round. He did it his style, which is very singer-songwriter, kind of indie rock, like The Fray. He said, ‘I’m going to surprise people.’ So he’s sitting down at the piano, and it’s kind of like, ‘Ok, this is not surprising.’ But then he jumped up on the piano. And as all my fans know and anyone who watched last season would know, I jumped up on a piano. I did the whole piano bit and set it on fire and did my homage to Jimi Hendrix during Elton John Week. By the way, the outfit that I wore for that performance is now on display at Graceland…”
“I just wanted Colton to stay true to who he is and he knows who he is, but that stage can change people. I’ve seen it happen. Like on the results night, me and my family were watching and they pan over to him in a black V-neck, brown hair with a blonde streak in a faux hawk — that was my haircut, like, the entire season. And I’m not ragging on anyone, it’s just kind of funny. Originality is key especially on American Idol because they’ve seen it all before. You’ve got to be something different. All these kids, it doesn’t matter if it’s Colton or if it’s Josh Ledet or Phillip, they’ve got to step it up. That’s what it’s about, people want to see originality…”
“That’s another thing: I didn’t believe it. The only person out of the guys that I believed was Josh Ledet: his was a beautiful, moving performance with powerhouse vocals. I love hearing the music Colton sings but his originals are nothing like Paramore…”
“I get it, especially for the top 24, when it’s your first time on that stage, you need to wow people. This is what’s going to set the tone for your whole tenure on Idol. When I went out there, I was like, ‘I’m serious, this is my dream, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life, I’m going to do something different that no one’s seen before — I’m going to sing Judas f—ing Priest. And it was a big deal. It was something different and it made people look up Judas Priest to see who they were.”
Watch both performances below and let us know: what do you think of Dixon’s performance as compared to Durbin’s?
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