Megan Joy is a true example of not judging a book by its cover—or, in this case, a singer by her tattoos! This Utah native and mother of one brought a new style of quirky soulfulness to the American Idol stage. Megan sits down with the Oprah.com Screening Room to talk about her signature dance moves and love of death metal.
Bradford Dworak: How big of an impact has American Idol had on your life?
Megan Joy: It made me realize I can do anything I want, and it has just been incredible.
BD: During your first audition, Simon said you were one of his favorites. Did you expect that initial response from him?
MJ: No, not at all. Coming from never making anything, I couldn't imagine making American Idol past Round 1. So each milestone—each audition I passed—I was just blown out of my mind.
BD: What was your favorite performance on the show?
MJ: Probably "Walking After Midnight" because I was so sick and I didn't think I would be able to hit a single note and it worked out nicely.
BD: Were there any genres you wish you got to do on the show before being eliminated?
MJ: Yeah, [the contestants] did jazz standards, [but] I got cut. That would have been amazing to be a part of.
BD: If you got to perform during Jazz Standards Week, what would you have sang?
MJ: I don't know—maybe some Frank [Sinatra]. ... There are so many to choose from—I just wish I had the opportunity.
BD: You did get to come back during the finale and sing with Steve Martin. That must have been awesome!
MJ: Oh, it was crazy. When they told me I was going to be doing [a song] with him, I was like, "For real? He makes music?" I didn't know, but ... he is incredible. He can wail on that banjo.
BD: I know you're a huge fan of Bjork—even saying she is your number one influence. Are there any plans to work with her in the future?
MJ: Oh my gosh, I have many plans within my heart to work with Bjork. We'll see what happens in the future, but I have not had a chance to be in contact with her.
BD: One of the most important people in your life is your son, Ryder. Does he understand what is going on with Mom?
MJ: We've explained to him Mommy's working. When he is with my mom, she shows him [me] on TV, "Look, Mommy''s working." He is out with me right now, and he will come with me to rehearsal and see what is going on. ... But he is still so little that he still doesn't truly understand.
BD: You have put a lot of time into prepping for the Idol tour. What are you most looking forward to?
MJ: When I imagine the tour, the first thing that comes into mind is when I get to play Salt Lake—when I walk out on that stage and they say, "Your own Megan Joy." I'm sure I will cry.
BD: You have said that you never made anything you auditioned for back in high school. What was it like visiting your school and seeing all your old teachers?
MJ: I talked to my choir teacher and I was prepared to be like, "In your face, thanks for nothing!" But she was so kind and excited for me I was like, "Okay, okay, let bygones be bygones."
BD: What is the best piece of advice you were given during your Idol journey?
MJ: It seems like not that big of a deal, but not to get on the Internet or worry about what people are saying about you. Let the bad publicity and the negative things people say just flow. ... Stay away from it because it can easily destroy anybody, and I understand that now.
BD: One rumor on the Internet is that Stevie Nicks is interested in having you play her in an upcoming biopic. Have you heard about this?
MJ: I have heard that just from people asking me about it. I haven't heard anything from people that represent her or the film, but I hope that it's true, and I hope that the opportunity will be presented to me, because that would be incredible. I have been practicing my Stevie Nicks imitation, and I think I can do it!
BD: You seem to have a pretty eclectic taste in music. What is currently on your iPod?
MJ: On my iPod right now, pressed on pause, is Emiliana Torrini. I [was] just introduced to her. ... It's beautiful, kind of strange music I guess you would say. But I listen to everything. The only thing I really don't listen to is country. I love it and respect it, [but] it just isn't something I listen to. I [do] like death metal—Cradle of Filth or Gwar—silly, screaming music with ridiculous lyrics. But I just think it is fun to head bang and jump around.
BD: So, any plans to make a death metal album of your own?
MJ: I doubt it—I don''t think the death metal fans would accept me into their world! I want to make a bluegrass album, a jazz album and an album directed toward girls in junior high because I think they need help in this day and age! As I am making that music, I [also] want to model and act as much as I can.
BD: I have to say, your dance moves during your performances were pretty memorable!
MJ: I have always been quirky. That just happens—I have no control of it! Any time that I've tried not to flop around like a dork when I am singing, it kind of interferes with my vocals. So I let go how silly I am and I focus on my vocals, and that's just what happens.
BD: The judges frequently commented on your fashion sense—they loved it! Have you ever thought of going down the fashion route?
MJ: When I was 18 years old, I wanted to go to fashion school and design clothes, but it kind of hasn't been in my mind for a really long time. But I would love to be involved in fashion—I have a love for fashion. Sign me up for everything. I am on board!
BD: Another Megan Joy trademark—your tattoos. Any plans to add to the collection?
MJ: Yeah, absolutely. I have one in mind that I am going to be getting. I have a luck ring that I got right before trying out, and it has a bird on it and it says, "fly lightly." and it has just been my motto throughout all of this, and I am going to get that tattooed on me. I just recently had [one] tattooed on my hands ... that says, "It's in our hands," and the other one says, "It always was."
BD: Looking back, do you have any regrets?
MJ: Nah—I think that everyone's path or faith, whatever you want to call it, is going to roll out how it [should]. Everyone took their place in the order like they were supposed to: Kris [Allen was] meant to win, and I was meant for ninth.
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Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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