Quentin Alexander sparked a bit of controversy during the Top 6 episode of “American Idol” Season 14 when he point blank told America and the judges that seeing his best friends in the bottom two was “whack.”
The outburst lead to a heated exchange between Alexander and Harry Connick Jr. who felt that the singer’s comments were disrespectful to the show.
While some watching at home may agree with the judge, Alexander’s best friend Joey Cook — who was eliminated at the end of the show — is proud her friend spoke his mind.
“That moment explains our entire friendship,” Cook explains to Zap2it backstage after the show. “His emotions tonight — they just took over. They overflowed. It was the most honest and true thing. It was a performance in and of itself. I thought it was art.”
Though Alexander’s comments originally seemed to stem from his frustration with Connick Jr.’s critique of his performance, the singer did highlight a painful part of these competition shows. Getting closer to the “American Idol” crown inevitably means sending people who have become like family home.
“He was not attacking anybody. It was meant to point out the craziness of this entire situation. He was not saying ‘American Idol’ is whack,” Cook says in her friend’s defense.
“He is just as appreciative of this whole opportunity as I am, as all of us are. He was not bashing the show in any way. He was just pointing out how awful of a situation that is for us to have to sit through every week.”
Cook isn’t the only one applauding Alexander for his honesty. “American Idol” Season 14 mentor Scott Borchetta also tips his hat to the singer for not hiding how he feels.
“There is no reason why any artist would sit there and take criticism and not be able to comment back on it or not vocalize how that person is feeling about a situation,” Borchetta says. “There is nothing in the world wrong with him saying, ‘This is hard for me. I think this sucks. My best friend might go home tonight.'”
Borchetta also compliments Alexander for coming back and clarifying his comments to Connick Jr.
“I love that he came back out and talked to Harry about it. That’s what a man does.”
After a second performance of the night and having time to cool down before talking to press, Alexander also feels that he doesn’t have anything to apologize for.
“We think we’re supposed we’re supposed to censor ourselves and kind of put on this act that everything is okay. In that moment, I couldn’t. It wouldn’t have been genuine,” Alexander says. “I was not trying to offend anyone or be disrespectful. It was a slew of emotions that I was dealing with and I’m glad I got it out when I did.”
Alexander is grateful that Connick Jr. called him out though, because it gave him a chance to clarify what he was saying after his first performance.
“I’m really glad that Harry responded the way that he did. It gave me an opportunity to talk to America and say ‘That’s not what I meant,'” Alexander explains. “I was hurting and I can’t control that.”
See Alexander’s comments and his full exchange with Connick Jr. below.