Siobhan Magnus: The 'American Idol' castoff defends theme nights and her fashion choices
Image Credit: Frank Micelotta/FoxButterflies everywhere hoping to one day accessorize the arms of Siobhan Magnus on American Idol were weeping tears of disappointment last night when the fashion-eccentric singer was shown the exit last night, leaving five contestants to battle for Idol glory. (Full recap here.) But the 20-year-old isn’t crying. In fact, the finalist spoke with the same positivity that helped her deal with vocal and fashion critiques alike, even when talking about Simon Cowell’s critiques and those pesky theme nights.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Hi Siobhan. How are you feeling about the ouster last night?
SIOBHAN MAGNUS: It’s sad, and it’s bittersweet. But I’m so grateful for the whole experience, and I couldn’t ask for more.
You were pegged early on as the season’s most eccentric contestant, and generally people were enjoying the taste of something different. What went wrong?
I don’t know. Maybe it was too much for some people, and that’s understandable. When it comes down to very few [contestants], it’s hard. We all had a good week this week. We were all wondering how they would pick somebody.
Do you think Simon comparing your last note to someone giving birth did you in?
I tried not to take it [in a bad way]. Giving birth is not easy to do. I’ve never done it, but I know people who have. And it’s a miracle. It’s something that only women can do, and you have to be very strong to do it. So I tried to take it in a good way, and think, ”Well, if you’re comparing my singing to something that is beautiful and miraculous then that’s fine with me.
Of course, I have to ask a question about ”the scream.” When did you realize that note was your secret weapon?
Well, I learned how to do it in the shower when I was in high school, and it came in handy in a few different instances when I realized that this was something I could do that not a lot of other singers could do. I started to work it into my singing as much as I could. Then I realized how much I sound like my dad when I sing because I grew up listening to him, and he could do that, too.
It’s those power rock vocals. He used to cover lots of Guns N’ Roses when I was really little, and the whole Axl Rose thing.… I love to do it. I think about when Michael Jackson would dance, and he would just scream and yell because you he just had so much emotion in him, he just had to get it out. I think of it like that because it’s one of the best feelings I can reach.
Did you try to stay mindful of using it too much?
Yea. There were times when I had to step back and do a different kind of song because you don’t want it to get obnoxious.
More so than the scream, I feel like your wardrobe got more comments than anything some nights. Did you ever wish they’d just get over it?
Yea. There were definitely times when I wished they would have given me more constructive criticism about my vocals instead of talking about my clothes because it’s not a fashion show. It’s a singing contest. How I chose to dress was a part of my performance, but it’s who I am too. It doesn’t really have to do with the singing part of it.
What was your favorite outfit?
I loved them all for what I needed them to be for that performance. I was particularly fond of my Elvis [Week] outfit because it was completely custom done. It started out as just a simple skirt, top and raincoat. Then it was hacked to pieces, sewn back together, and completely customized. It was perfect, exactly what I wanted.
Tell me about song choice. You started off as one kind of artist, but I feel like that changed throughout the season. Did that happen because of theme nights?
It was tricky, but the thing about being on the show is you have to be versatile. You have to be able to face challenges. It may not be your favorite genre of music, but you have to go about it confidently and take risks. I’m a very big believer in challenging yourself in order to learn. When I chose my songs I didn’t choose something because it was easy I chose something because it would require hard work. I didn’t want to take the easy way out.
What about mentors? Who was your favorite?
They were each great for what we needed them for that week. I think it was particularly comforting to work with Adam [Lambert] because he understood exactly what we were going through.
So what’s next? More music? Return to glassblowing?
I’ll never stop making music. I think I’d explode if I couldn’t sing. But I have really big ideas — not just in singing and recording. I’d love to do more theater. I’d really love to be in some kind of opera. The Phantom of the Opera is one of my ultimate goals, to star in that some day. I’d also love to do some film. Especially horror movies because I love scary movies.
So I take it you’re going to see Nightmare on Elm Street.
Oh yea. I’m already geeking out about it.