Friday, April 17, 2009

LA Times Idol Tracker Interviews Michael Johns

Here's the latest news buzzing the forums on Michael Johns new single "Heart On My Sleeve" from his debut album Hold Back My Heart. Idol Tracker asks Michael's opinion on American Idol's new changes and this seasons contestants.

My thanks to Ainn for posting this in Michael Johns section at
Idol Tracker chats with Season 7 heartthrob Michael Johns. Jealous?
05:20 PM PT, Apr 16 2009
Johns For the first time in "American Idol" history, a contestant was saved from elimination by the judges Wednesday night after a popular vote chose to send him home. That contestant was Matt Giraud. And, as luck would have it, the contestant whose premature ouster last season helped inspire the judge-save rule, Michael Johns, was there to witness the historic event.

In a chat with Idol Tracker today, Michael sounded happy for Matt, but, believe it or not, expressed reservations about the new rule he helped inspire. "I personally don't necessarily, like, love the rule," he said. And when pressed about the reasons why, Michael was impressively honest, saying of his own elimination, "The amount of press I got with everyone crying foul was phenomenal."

In other words, maybe it's not so bad to get the boot before your time. Michael also pointed out how humiliating it would be to get eliminated, saved and then eliminated again the next week. Still, he's flattered that he — along with Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry — was part of the reason for creating the rule.

But there is one change this season that Michael supports wholeheartedly: the addition of fourth judge Kara DioGuardi. "She's one of the most talented songwriters in the business. Period," he said. Plus, he said, "She's pretty easy on the eyes." Collaboration, anyone?

For the moment, Michael is working with his own stable of songwriting heavies. His new album, which drops June 23, features songs by prolific lyricists John Shanks and Diane Warren, and also James Morrison, Dave Cobb and Michael himself.

The recently released single, "Heart on My Sleeve," provides a glimpse of what fans can expect from the album; a far more intimate, soulful Michael Johns than the one they knew on "Idol."

"I love this kind of music," he said of his new single. "The soulful, rock kind of thing. Whether it's 7:30 in the morning or 12 o'clock at night, I can sing that stuff, 'cause it just comes so naturally to me."

One thing that does not come naturally to Michael, however, is going back to the "American Idol" set. "It's always weird," he said after visiting the Idoldome on Wednesday night. "I'm never comfortable there."

In fact, he confessed, he doesn't even watch the show much. "It's so gut-wrenching every time you watch," he said. "It's so fresh your stomach turns."

In the bits he has seen, however, Michael developed a soft-spot for 16-year old Allison Iraheta. "I really think that Allison has got a great voice," he said. "I love her raspy kind of thing." And although he acknowledges the Adam Lambert phenomenon, Michael doesn't think the show is over just yet. "Someone else might come out of the woodwork," he said.

When and if somebody does come out of the woodwork, however, Michael probably will be too busy to see it. With the album coming out June 23, he says, "it's nonstop press." But he's hardly complaining. "I love it," he said. "I've done the whole couch potato thing ... I'll sleep when I'm 40."

—Stephanie Lysaght

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