Last week's double elimination on American Idol saw two more ladies voted off of the Idol stage. Thia Megia and Naima Adedapo failed to win over the voters, which is unsurprising, given the general pattern of voting from previous seasons (not to mention their bland and out-there styles, respectively), and the pair each gave their two cents on the show's massive voting block of teenage girls. Read on to learn more about African dance, Idol's one-room schoolhouse and how old people are technologically whack.
First up is Naima Adedapo...
Last season, four of the six girls were cut early on and this season, obviously, four girls have gone early on. Was that something you and the other girls had been concerned about?
Naima: We weren't really concerned. We weren't discussing it because I think we all had faith in ourselves. When it comes down to it, the reality is that more than 50% of the audience is, like, little teenage girls, and once they get a crush, we're done. You know what I mean? It's just like they dominate, and that's alright. We didn't really have too many conversations about it because we were all pretty confident in our work.
So you guys figured that was just the reality of the situation?
Naima: It is. It is the reality of the situation. The teeny boppers, once they fall in love it's like -- and then we're in that generation fiesta. My audience was more kind of the older crowd, who are not necessarily as technology-savvy sometimes. So I would get people saying, "Yes, I voted for you three times!" and it's like, "Well, you could've voted for, like, 500 if you just texted," or whatnot.
Can you tell us a little bit about your dance background? I understand you were part of a dance troupe?
Naima: That's correct. I've been part of many dance troops, actually. I used to do hip hop, but for most of my life I've done African dance. Any African dance company, probably, that you name in Milwaukee, I've been a part of. I got a B.F.A. in dance, and so I know all different forms of dance. I could have tapped, or done some ballet if I wanted to, but it's not necessarily my realm. You would probably look a little weird doing pirouettes in a reggae song, but dancing is something I am truly connected to.
Were you always planning to incorporate dance into your Idol performances?
Naima: I had a reggae band back home with my husband, and we always move on stage. It's unnatural not to, for us. You have to dance, you have to move, you have to physically be engaged to be able to connect to the audience.
You talk about being yourself on the show. Do you think that that was maybe a little off- putting, as well, like people just weren't used to somebody bringing so much of their own artistry to the show?
Naima: I think, yes, that was a big thing. I think sometimes people didn't know where to place me or -- I don't know, I felt like maybe they didn't understand me sometimes. But honestly, the reactions that I've gotten from people have still been positive. It was like, "I don't know about you, but I kind of like you." I think that because it was kind of hard to place me in a certain category, that did have an effect on how people voted or how they perceived me.
And now for Thia Megia...
So last season, four girls were cut in the first five eliminations. Was that something that you or other girls had been concerned about?
Thia: Well, we sort of figured that since there are more females watching the show, the votes were going to be more for the guys. It's not only that, because the guys are all so incredible, but we were a bit worried about that. We were a bit intimidated by all the girls watching the show and knowing that their votes are going to be going to the guys.
When you are a younger contestant, you have to deal with school in addition to everything else. How did that affect what was going on?
Thia: We usually do about three or four hours of school every day, so I thought that we didn't really get enough rehearsal time. But I guess it was sort of an advantage for us because, being minors, it was like an escape for all of us. Escape from all the stress and just being in that one little room and just focusing on schoolwork. So there were some disadvantages and some advantages to that. I guess it was cool to actually have that time to bond with the other minors, especially me and Lauren Alaina.
Moving forward here with your career, are there any other artists out there that you would want to work with over anyone else?
Thia: Well, my most favorite musical inspirations would have to be Adele and Jason Mraz, because their lyrics are just so beautiful and complex, and I really admire them for that. I also love listening to older music, such as Billie Holiday and a bunch of old artists, but right now, I guess Adele and Jason Mraz would have to be my favorites.
If there was one song that you wish you could have sung, what would it have been?
Thia: For "Idol Week," I couldn't decide between Michael Jackson or Adele, but the reason why I chose "Smile" was just because it's a beautiful song and it's from my idol, Michael Jackson. But I also wanted to sing "Chasing Pavements" from Adele. I know that I already sang it during my audition but I didn't actually get to sing a 90-second version of it, so would have loved, loved, loved to have actually been able to sing it on the show.
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