Scott MacIntyre will go down in American Idol history: The Scottsdale, Ariz., native is the first blind contestant to make it to the show’s semifinals. And he didn’t just make it to the top 13 — he lasted through to the top 8, before his rendition of ”The Search is Over” didn’t wow the judges or the voting public. He may be off the show, but the loquacious singer-songwriter isn’t done talking: Here’s what he had to say about his ouster last night.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling today?
SCOTT MacINTYRE: I’m actually feeling really well, thank you. I’m excited to be moving on to life after Idol. I think I definitely could have kept going another couple of weeks if the chips had fallen differently and a lot of it is wrapped up in what the judges say. I don’t agree with all of it — I stand behind my performance on Tuesday, as a side note. If people go back and watch it, I think it’s a good, solid performance in the scheme of things. The excitement will live well past the show because of the tour.
What else are you excited about going forward?
The other thing is my huge catalog of original music and original songs that I’m sitting on. I can’t wait to release them and share them with America. It’s going to be a whole different Scott.
If you had to say, what went wrong with your performance of ”The Search is Over”?
I always have to remind myself that it’s a TV show. I’ve followed the show for a number of years and everyone knows you can’t listen to the judges all the time. A lot of people do, sometimes to the performers’ detriment. But the judges didn’t give me as much credit as was due in that performance. I was really hoping to kind of take America aback by coming out with the guitar. That’s partially what happened. No one expected me to come out with the electric doing an ’80s power ballad. It’s something I wanted to do before I left the competition, just to show another side of me. It was a one-time thing. Who knows? If I wouldn’t have done it, I still might not have been here next week and no one would have known that I’m also a guitarist.
To switch gears a bit, there are a lot of famous visually impaired vocalists who wear sunglasses. Wondering: Have you ever had the urge to do that?
I’m glad you asked that, and I’ve never answered this question before, so this is all off the top of my head. I have not had an urge to wear glasses like that. A lot of what I’m trying to do is break barriers and break the perceived notions about blind individuals. The biggest thing I can think of is, you never see how Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles get on stage. Stevie Wonder kind of magically appears there and then the lights dim and he’s gone. I always think: What if someone was in a wheelchair? Would they wheel them out, take them out of their chair, sit them on a sofa, and then turn the lights off and do the same thing when they’re done? You know, I carry my cane around. I can’t always on the show, but if you ever see me in concert, on tour, you’ll most likely see it. It’s been on television all over the place. That’s one thing. I think it helps people to be aware that, Oh, he needs help, and he may need some assistance. I’m not above asking for assistance at any time if I do need it. I think that trying to hide that — wearing the dark shades, not that that’s bad — but that’s what people have come to expect that. They may be a little stand-offish. They may not know how to respond. I think that by me not going that route it’s hopefully bridging the gap between the visually impaired and everyone else and letting them see that it’s just another attribute of me. You know, my hair is dark blonde, my eyes are blue, and I’m visually impaired!
NEXT PAGE: ”I worked hard for that [chocolate] cake!”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I think everyone wants to know this: How do you stay so positive and upbeat?
SCOTT MacINTYRE: I think the main reason I’m able to maintain a balanced perspective about this is that I’ve been through so much in my life and I’ve come through things that really give me a bigger perspective and really put American Idol where I can see it for what it really is. I don’t always get caught up in all the hype and ups and downs. For instance, during Hollywood Week, they didn’t even air me during group round because there was no drama in my group. I’m able to escape that. I’m a very levelheaded person, I hope. You can notice when I’m talking to the judges, too, I try to use a clever, humorous, diplomatic approach.
I think people appreciate that about you — all your funny little jokes. Like, even last night, when you were asking whether you were wearing anything pink during the Ford shoot.
I appreciate that. It’s nice to be remembered as a humorous person. That’s a compliment to anyone. There’s a big element of personality to this show. And there’s a big element of where we’ve come from and the likeability thing.
So, let’s get down to really important business: Everyone loved the anecdote about the chocolate cake. Can you describe the cake for our readers?
The quadruple chocolate cake was absolutely amazing — hats off to Chef David! I was loving the moist texture of the mousse layer and the cake layer was also very well done. And it had the chocolate shavings on top. Everything about it! I can’t remember what the fourth layer was, but it doesn’t matter because it was delicious. And I worked hard for that cake!
It took a while. The story is they introduced Chef David to us, and they kind of let us know that the reason they hired him was because he cooks very consciously and a lot of healthy type of items. He handed out request sheets for anyone to write down certain types of cuisines that we desired. I wrote down, partially as a joke, triple-chocolate cake. I brought it up to him, and handed it to him. He gave me that — I could feel the look, I couldn’t see it — but he gave me that silence. And he goes, ”That won’t be happening any time soon.”
Real quick: You’ve been cooped up in the studio and the house for the last several weeks. What’s the first post-media tour thing you’ll do? Disneyland?
Um, I don’t know if they’ll allow me to go to Disneyland! They might have to close it down. The first thing I’m gonna do is get home and really lay down on paper my idea for my next CD, my post-Idol CD. I’m gonna try to put my best foot forward as soon as possible.