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Lisa Tucker interview for ‘American Idol Rewind,’ my new Twitter account

Lisa Tucker

Please start following me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ajcidol! I just created the account.

TV Guide Channel’s “American Idol Rewind” offered up a bunch of season five “Idols” for me to talk to. I already caught up with Paris Bennett and posted that interview earlier this month. I really wanted to gab with Katharine McPhee but her publicist never bothered to reach out to me. (If you happen to read this, Kat McPhee’s publicist, my email is rho@ajc.com!)

I only chose Lisa Tucker, who finished tenth, because she is working with Atlanta’s own Ne-Yo. Bottom line: she’s sweet and young and still trying to finish an album more than three years after her spotlight had dimmed. Unfortunately, Lisa’s the only person in the top 10 of her season to not release an album.

She has been traveling from her home base in Orange County to New York and Atlanta to work on said album. “Ne Yo’s been writing for the album. It’s been going great,” she said. “He’s amazing. It’s such an honor to be working with one of the best writers out there.”

Lisa is now 20 years old. She felt like as a 16 year old on the show, she had a hard time picking songs that were age appropriate yet would show off her voice. “It was a Catch 22,” she said. “Now it’s easier to find songs that you can relate to.”

Seeing her old clips, though, “was somewhat painful. It was like reliving the nerves. I got nervous when I was watching.” But overall, “I’m really proud of the way I handled myself. On the show, it’s pretty funny to watch.” She is still in touch with Kevin Covais (who did a movie and went to college) and just spoke with Paris. “We always try to hook up when we can but everybody is so busy! I still talk to Mandisa and Elliott. Everyone’s doing good.”

Lisa at the time lacked an identity or a definable personality and was simply overshadowed by Paris, who finished fifth. She had a “Disney” feel to her and had some acting chops. She got bit parts in “The Game” on the CW, “Zoey 101″ on Disney and did a movie called “The Hustle” with David Alan Grier. I recall meeting her three years ago at a Macy’s and she had gotten a part on a TV show pilot that never got picked up.

After graduating high school, Lisa considered college but said she signed with Compound, Ne-Yo’s label. “I have to strike while the iron’s hot,” she said, with no apparent sense of irony. I asked if three years was too much time. “I think it’s a perfect amount of time,” she said. “I didn’t want to be that girl from ‘Idol.’ I’m older. Yes, I did ‘Idol.’ It was great exposure but I’m not taking it to a different level. I don’t think the association is as strong. That’s a positive thing.”

Why is it taking so long? “I wanted to make sure the music is right,” she said. “I think my patience will pay off.”

She said if she had rushed an album out, it would have been pop R&B ballads. “I’m glad I didn’t do that because a lot of time it’s hard to relate to a 16 year old girl. What’s necessary in music is believing that the person is feeling that way.”

How about Taylor Swift? “I love Taylor Swift. I bump her music in the car. It’s a perfect blend. She’s 17. She’s found the formula.”

The trick now for Lisa is to carve out a fresh identity amid the Rihannas and Lady GaGas of the world. I asked for her influences and she said she loves rock music without anything specific.

Her favorite season 5 moment was her audition. “I had been watching the show forever so to actually be there, it was so surreal for me. It was before you get into the swing of the show and get stressed out every day.” The worst was getting voted off. She said she sang “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson because none of her songs would clear. “I was stressed out so much that night. I was the last one in the studio that night trying to pick a song. I didn’t want to sing that song in the first place.”

ON TV
“American Idol Rewind”
Denver auditions featuring the debut performances of Chris Daughtry, Ace Young, Melissa McGhee, Lisa Tucker
5 p.m. October 23
midnight October 24
1 p.m. October 24
9 p.m. October 25

The show is also syndicated but I have not been able to find any stations in Atlanta that air it.

14 comments Add your comment

Rickster

October 23rd, 2009
11:03 am

Being relatively new to the blog… I like the Idol Rewinds, ’cause it gives me a chance to become familiar with some of the names I see bandied about here (good lord, did I just say “bandied about?”) that have meant absolutely nothing to me.

Cases in point… Melissa McGhee and Lisa Tucker.

JTesla

October 23rd, 2009
11:04 am

Great interview Rodney. I always liked Lisa, I’m glad you asked her some tough questions regarding her career and the three year wait. However the best part is the information on who she keeps in contact with.

Twitter check.

Heather MacDonald

October 23rd, 2009
11:12 am

I always liked Lisa and thought she got a bum rap. They’d ask her to sing more “age appropriate” songs and then smack her down when she did. The same thing has happened to other contestants as well, but she handled it with such grace that I enjoyed her.
Having a REALLY horse-poopie day at work, so I’ll catch you guys when I can. See ya!

Deirdre

October 23rd, 2009
11:26 am

Thanks for the Lisa Tucker interview. She always seemed like a nice girl and I liked her voice. In other seasons she may have done better but season 5 was so full of talent and personality that she got lost in the shuffle.

Do I have to have a twitter account to read your twitters, Rodney? Cuz I’m just not going there.

Harriett

October 23rd, 2009
11:29 am

LOL D! I have a Twitter account and NEVER use it. It was a novelty at first, but I like Facebook better.

Lisa did have a nice voice. Too bad she was on Season 5.

JTesla

October 23rd, 2009
11:36 am

Deirdre, I created an account just to follow others. For the most part Twitter is dumb, but if you follow the right people it can be a good source of information for specific subjects.

Doesn’t McPhee have new stuff being launched (song, album)? Rodney = free publicity why is that so hard to figure out?

kelly&carriefan

October 23rd, 2009
11:48 am

Thanks for the interview. Nothing against her, but she was pretty forgettable for me. Though, I do recall the, um, subpar Because of You cover. I find it sort of interesting that she comes out saying she didn’t want to sing that. Unfortunate, yes, but such is Idol. Good luck to her, hopefully, working with Ne-Yo will be what she needs.

Sidenote: As much as I don’t defend the girl, Taylor Swift is actually 19 now. She did relase her first album at 16.

PS. I loooooved Melissa McGhee and her raspy, smoky vocals. Her version of “What About Love?” was great. Would definitely enjoy finding out what happened with her. I was quite disappointed she was the first one of the Top 12 to go.

Rickster

October 23rd, 2009
12:39 pm

I have no desire nor interest in becoming a Twitterer. (There are some folks out there that think I’m a big enough twit already, thank you very much.)

:-)

JTesla

October 23rd, 2009
12:54 pm

K&Cfan, I liked the Smoking Gun link you posted on the last blog about Kelly’s demands. The girl needs to realize that she is a big star now and can ask for a little more.

kelly&carriefan

October 23rd, 2009
1:36 pm

JT, I know! Seriously, she could’ve moved up to S*m*a*r*t*w*a*t*e*r or Fiji…but she asks for D*a*s*a*n*i*? Hmm, funny. They’re a Co*k*e* brand. Conspiracy? ;)

(If this works, then I’m guessing pacman doesn’t “approve” of product references….)

Mercedes S.

October 23rd, 2009
3:14 pm

At the airport this am (in D.C. right now, overcast and threatening rain here too) I picked up a newspaper and… ahem… a copy of Details. On the plane, I carefully peeked at pages 112-119 and made sure no one else saw what I saw. Phew. Rock Hudson had it easy – all the powers that were did was make him marry somebody’s secretary.

flbravesgirl

October 24th, 2009
12:50 am

Hey y’all, if the SYTYCD tour has not yet come to Atlanta I highly recommend seeing it. Really fabulous.

Rodney Ho

October 24th, 2009
7:04 pm

I skipped the SYTYCD dance tour this time around cos I didn’t follow the season closely enough.

Yes, Taylor is 19, isn’t she? I spoke with Ryan Seacrest today. Will post something Monday. I want to leave the Jason Castro performance up for awhile first (it’s the new blog entry!)

Justin

October 28th, 2009
2:33 pm

Did she just say Taylor Swift is 17? WTF?

And I wanted you to ‘gab’ with Katharine McPhee too!!!! I’ll try to help :( I’m a member on Kat’s fansite so I’ll put it out there to one of her record’s publicists!!! :D