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'Idol' exit Q&A: Tyler Grady on mixed signals and that famous bathrobe

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IDOL-Tyler-Grady

Tyler Grady was no Jim Morrison. If he was he would have stayed longer than the first week of top 12. Besides, he doesn’t want to hear the comparison anyway, as he told EW.

EW: Tyler, how are you doing today?

TYLER GRADY: I’m very disappointed but at the same time I’m in high spirits because I realize all the potential this platform has given me. I know I had approximately 30 million viewers see me perform. That’s more than some performers can say. I already have a pretty strong fan base from the show and it’ll be relatively easy to bring them into the fan base of my band, Wailing Waters, because as a band we do the same sorts of things I did on the show. Similar vibe. I perform the same with my band as I did on the show.

Was your band upset you went out for American Idol to begin with?

No, they were very supportive. In that situation you have to realize only good can come of something like American Idol. Yeah, I had to leave the band for a month or so but at the same time I come off and I have the potential to bring thousands of fans to us.

Let’s talk about your comment back to the judges after you got voted off. It did seem that they were giving you mixed signals – in Hollywood week saying they loved you and then critiquing you on Wednesday night for the very things they said they loved.

I’m glad you see that. I was not intending to be rude or bitter or angry. I thought I stated it pretty matter of factly. I wasn’t trying to be emotional there. If you watch the clips side by side from the last day of Hollywood week when Kara said they want to see more of my moves and talks about Planet Tyler and is giving me all this positive feedback. And then on Wednesday they basically turned it around on me and called me a wannabe and a poser and that I’m obsessed with Jim Morrison. No one likes to be pigeonholed into a certain stereotype. I love the Doors. A lot of rock fans love the Doors but the only reason I’m being pigeonholed into the Jim Morrison stereotype is because of my hair. I’m sorry that my hair is brown and curly. If you watch Jim Morrison’s performances and mine are there some similarities? Yes. But I would say it’s not an accurate comparison.  To say that I have Jim Morrison posters on my wall I just thought was rude. I didn’t think it was objective. It was rude.

Even after the criticism, did you think you were safe because of previous praise?

I’m a realist. So I know each of the four of them has a huge following that will vote according to what they say. Not one of them came to my rescue. And I did exactly what they told me they liked. I did exactly what I do every time I’m on stage. I don’t have any regrets about the performance, the song choice, the clothes I wore, nothing. And I can almost guarantee you that if I had completely changed myself they would have criticized why I changed myself. I can take objective criticism. But the most hurtful thing to me was Ellen’s comment about me lacking charisma and honesty in my performance. I respect her as an entertainer, but I try to be as honest as possible. For her and Simon to call me a phony was just really hurtful because I don’t fake things.

Was there anyone in particular you bonded with who could comfort you after being voted off?

Casey and I bonded because we were roommates for the past two weeks. I became good friends with him and both of us were really supportive of each other.

Onto a lighter topic, let’s talk about you and your bathrobe. What was up with that?

Like I said on the show I just went from the hotel in the hotel’s bathrobe. I felt like “Oh, we’re gonna go to wardrobe.” And then they told me to rehearse. I just hoped it didn’t fly open.

And did it?

Nope. It was securely fastened.

Image credit: Patrick Ecclestein/Fox