Tim Urban may have been eliminated last night on “American Idol,” but you have to give the guy some credit for his staying power. He wasn’t even supposed to be in the top 24. You’ll remember he was given a spot after a contestant was disqualified. Tim took hits from the judges, hits from the media and hits from Internet bloggers & critics, but he just kept smiling. This morning, Tim faced the media in a conference call with reporters and for the most part… just kept on smiling.
There was one topic that had him frowning. It’s all in today’s Dish.
Tim earned the nickname “Teflon Tim” over the course of the season, thanks to his ever-present smile while being slammed by the judges. This morning, he couldn’t help turning that smile to a frown when one reporter asked him what he thought of the Web site VoteForTheWorst.com. Each season the “Idol” hating site chooses one contestant to focus on and for which to encourage its readers to vote. Sanjaya Malakar, Kevin Covais and Megan Joy have all been past victims. This year Tim was their target and lasted the longest of any of their chosen ones. “I really have no comment about that Web site,” an irked Tim replied. “I think that it’s really not anything that anybody should be proud of. I really didn’t like being on there and basically I was working my hardest to get off of there.”
Later, Tim was asked what he thought of all the negative comments that had been made about him on the blogosphere. “People like to just pick somebody and find something that they don’t like about them and talk about it,” he said. “I get that it’s part of dealing with the industry. It’s part of being in the spotlight. You sort of have to deal with it. Shrug it off. I don’t perform for the people who don’t like me. I perform for the people who want me to be on stage.”
Certainly the people who wanted Tim to be on stage were the young girls. Several people have brought up the fact that Tim has the look of a Disney Channel star. This morning one reporter suggested he would be good for FOX’s “Glee” too. Not surprisingly, Tim said he’s open to that. “I would love to do music. I would love to pursue that and I’m hoping that that door opens up — but I also, like, I have always had a desire to act and just be in that side of the entertainment industry as well. So, I would be really excited if I got the opportunity to do that as well.”
Despite having been eliminated, Tim said taking part in “Idol Gives Back” this year had special meaning for him. He had recently taken a summer trip to South Africa. “I was there on a relief trip taking nutritional products to orphanages there,” he explained. “That was a really amazing and kind of gut wrenching experience. That’s one of the reasons I was excited about ‘Idol Gives Back’ — because I had the opportunity to kind of experience that first hand and to see that being on the show is helping those situations is really cool for me.”
Inside “Idol Gives Back”
Thanks to my friends at FOX, I scored some amazing seats to the show at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The crowd was as energetic as if they were watching the entire show live, instead of just a few performances. With the exception of the Black Eyed Peas sort of odd and badly sung performance, the house was blown away by the vocals from Joss Stone, Carrie Underwood and Elton John.
Backstage, our cameras were there as Carrie explained how the song she sang, “Change,” was the perfect fit for this show. “It’s on my latest album. It just talks about how the smallest thing can make a huge difference.” Carrie announced during the show that 36 cents (a number which is referenced in the song) of every ticket sale from her upcoming Fall tour will go to “Save The Children,” one of the beneficiaries of “Idol Gives Back.”
The crowd was light on celebrities. I only spotted David Arquette in the front row and season seven contestant Michael Johns a few rows ahead of me. Three of the housemates from Simon Fuller’s “If I Can Dream” were sitting two rows ahead of me. I said ‘Hello’ to them, since I had recently taken a tour of the house they all live in. Clearly they didn’t recognize me not all glammed up and sans makeup. I think they thought I was a crazy stalker lady who sits and watches their Web site 24/7!
The strangest thing to me about the crowd here was that the second Elton John finished singing, at least half of the theater goers darted out of the theater, not caring who got eliminated. What I don’t understand is this — if you are a fan of the show and were willing to invest money to buy tickets, why wouldn’t you want to know who was being sent home? Strange.
I’ll be one-on-one with Tim Urban tomorrow morning. Got questions? Send them to me on Twitter! twitter.com/dishofsalt