Idoloonies: James Durbin Talks Flaming Pianos, Metal 'Revolution,' 'Waterworld' Inspiration

James Durbin wants to lead a heavy-metal revolution for today’s youth, but he doesn’t take himself so seriously that he can’t laugh about his goals. American Idol‘s Season 10 fourth-place finisher sat down for an Idoloonies interview and talked about how he wrote a storyboard to plan for his “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting” performance, why he stood up against Jimmy Iovine about his right to rock, who he wanted to strangle after watching Season 10′s Hollywood Week episodes, and which of his performances benefitted from him catching a cold. Press play below for all that plus references to The Book of Eli, Adam Lambert, Bo Bice, American Chopper, and Zakk Wylde. And for all my Idol news, reviews, and interviews, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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Comments (335)

  • Somehow I feel sorry for this guy.

    Comment by Rhama – May 22, 2011 01:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • May I ask why? I’m not sure I want to watch the video.

      Comment by ErixN – May 22, 2011 01:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Very likeable kid, slightly delusional, (probably) no career ahead.

        Comment by Rhama – May 22, 2011 02:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I actually liked him better after the interview. I hope it works out for him!

          Comment by Kellie – May 22, 2011 02:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Mr. Slezak… i commend you for this interview. Great job. I really feel like I know and understand this guy. So flawed yet so great. I did not love every performance. But I LOVED the effort. I APPRECIATE the effort. Thank you James.

            Comment by the real wendy – May 22, 2011 04:50 PM PDT  
          • Great job, Michael!
            I’m glad you listened to the comments after the Jacob interview and inserted yourself in this interview more. Played to a much greater effect. I also had a better feel for James after this interview and have a new respect for his thought process while on the show.

            Comment by Lunakit – May 22, 2011 10:42 PM PDT  
          • Love the shirt and sweater combo, Michael. You look great!

            Comment by Teena – May 23, 2011 03:15 AM PDT  
          • I can’t wait for James’ in concert. He’s the best performer the show has ever seen! (or maybe apart from David Cook who James idolizes).

            Comment by Janice – May 23, 2011 05:26 AM PDT  
          • I had the same reaction. Was not really a fan during his time on the show, but this interview left me with a new respect for his dedication and, yes, for his intelligence in terms of how he envisions himself as an artist. Still not sure I’d be interested in his recordings or shows – really not a fan of metal / loud rock – but I do wish him success.

            Comment by marie – May 24, 2011 04:08 AM PDT  
          • I agree!!! James is so charming and funny in this video. This made me like him quite a bit. Great interview, Michael!!!

            Comment by Carol – May 24, 2011 08:16 PM PDT  
        • I agree, especially at the end. I like him, but whatever happened to being humble?

          Comment by ops – May 22, 2011 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Please keep in mind he has Aspberger’s — key markers of the disorder are poor/awkward social skills, no “filter,” perceived “cockiness,” and extensive, even obsessive preoccupations.

            Comment by K Thomas – May 22, 2011 03:08 PM PDT  
          • Humble is for those who don’t know their true worth, James has a great career ahead and knowing it won’t hurt him one bit. Besides I believe the Asperger’s doesn’t allow for false modesty, he says what he thinks and good on him.

            Comment by Shuddup – May 22, 2011 06:27 PM PDT  
          • @k thomas- thank you for that. James has gotten a lot of flack for certain things that he’s done and all I keep thinking is, “pretty typical for someone with Aspbergers.” I like his personality a lot even if I didn’t love everything he did on the show. I hope people give him a chance.

            Comment by lesfull – May 23, 2011 12:25 AM PDT  
        • Are you serious… Delusional? No career ahead?

          I think James Durbin has enormous talent, intelligence and creativity, and I think he’s headed for greatness!

          Comment by Audrey – May 22, 2011 04:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Of course he has a career ahead of him. I’m sure he’s going to sign with Interscope, and I will be buying his music, along with my favorites (Lauren and Scotty). James is awesome and special.

            Comment by Bonnie – June 25, 2011 04:56 AM PDT  
        • I think he’s definitely got a career in front of him. Maybe not major-label, maybe not even making money off of his own albums, but he’s done well enough on Idol and made enough contacts that his worst-case scenario will be either working in the recording industry in some capacity (e.g., doing backing vocals for other artists — the kind of thing Adam was making a living with before Idol), or just doing private gigs, shows in bars, and so on. He’ll get offered enough of either type of work to support his family and produce his own albums on the side if he wants (which actually probably helps his credibility in the metal world). There are far worse fates in life. :-)

          Comment by he'll be fine – May 22, 2011 05:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • At the very least I think he can have a career as a production/stage manager
            for concert tours. He has a great mind for visualizing a great show.

            Comment by Bat Country – June 5, 2011 10:35 AM PDT  
        • Likeable, that’s a major understatement. Slightly delusional, NO WAY. Heck, I’m already standing in line to buy the James Durbin/American Idol DVD!

          Comment by BanksV – May 22, 2011 10:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I will right behind you standing in line !!!!!

            Comment by Bev – May 23, 2011 04:15 AM PDT  
          • I’m right behind you standing in line, too!

            Comment by aizjanika – May 23, 2011 01:11 PM PDT  
        • Why would you feel sorry for James ! He is going to be huge. One of the best Idols ever ! America didn’t vote him off. It goes like this, If James had made the top 3, Lauren would have never made it to the finale. Nigel was going to get her there someway. She could beat Haley, but not James. American Idol cheated and got rid of him. All involved in this may there day come. Sit back and watch what becomes of this guy, he going to be a super star ! God has plans for this special guy. All Gods childern are different.

          Comment by Bev – May 23, 2011 04:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Could you be a bigger freak? I mean really – how do YOU know what Gods plans are? Om my god, wait everybody – Bev actually has an “in” with God and knows what’s going to happen in the future. Can you believe it? So tell me Bev, when is “God” going to have you win the lotto so you can get out of your double-wide trailer?

            Comment by Aunt Sassy – May 23, 2011 10:26 AM PDT  
          • I agree with Bev. I think they needed to get James out of the way to get Lauren to finale. It’s easier to say she beat Haley, cause James would have put on a show and performance that you can’t give a bad review. James should have been in finale, but I’d rather Lauren than Haley. Good interview by the way.

            Comment by shadow – May 23, 2011 10:26 AM PDT  
          • Dear Sassy, I hate to inform you , I don’t live in a doublewide , but there is nothing wrong living in one either ! To all of your other comments, not going to waste my time.

            Comment by Bev – May 23, 2011 05:51 PM PDT  
          • @Bev- There are a lot of pretentious elitists who frequent this site.

            Comment by @galaga6846 – May 25, 2011 07:07 AM PDT  
          • Haley had the most votes the week James when home, the problem was James could not beat Lauren. I thought both James, Haley and Scotty earn a place in the top 3, if Lauren had been 21y/o and not 16y/o she would not have gone as far, since her voice is not that unique or special but being that good a 16y/o is.

            I talked with many of James votes both in person and online, they worked harder keeping Haley out of finale than they did voting for James the week before. One group alone was claiming they put in about 1.8M votes for Lauren.
            This move likely will not help James any since country fans don’t buy metal and pissed off many rock fans because of all country finale. Not a smart move if you like James in my opinion.

            Comment by B-scot – June 1, 2011 08:58 PM PDT  
        • He has a better chance of a career than Stefano or Jacob. Those two interviews w/ Michael were hilarious. I was a Stefano fan until watching him talk about himself. Pia & James came off very likable in their interviews w/ Michael. Jacob is in a category all his own, never heard someone so full of himself and his abilities.
          Wasn’t a James fan at first, but he did get fans over the weeks, including me.

          Comment by amy.. – May 23, 2011 06:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Well, “Rhama” I have been a fan of yours for many years now, have all of your cd’s and who can forget those creative videos. Also, that movie with Johnny Depp was really great, no wonder it got an Oscar. So if you say that James Durbin has no career ahead it must be true. He should just get a job in manufacturing.

          Comment by adamfan – May 23, 2011 06:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Wow, what was that? Anyway, James will need much more than highly electrified fans to build a career. First of all he needs to cut of all the nonsense he’s talking about in the interview, second – improve his vocal skills and to start working on some really good and original material.

            Comment by Rhama – May 23, 2011 08:51 AM PDT  
          • You made your point very well. There are always a thousand people who will tell you why something can’t be done and one who will give you encouragement. If no one blew off the thousand, no one would achieve anything. James is very likable and highly imaginative; he is entitled to his dreams and very well may achieve them. He is already light years ahead of the rest of us. Rock it, James!

            Comment by Yo – May 23, 2011 10:01 AM PDT  
      • This video 100% made me like him and I only wish I’d seen this James when I watched him on the show, I’d have voted my ass off for him. Watch it, trust me.

        Comment by Darsy – May 22, 2011 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I have always liked James. The finale would have been much more exciting if it had been a James vs Casey finale. James is real and that is a good thing.I hope he has a prosperous future.

        Comment by Brenda – May 22, 2011 10:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Absolutely. Lauren and Scotty are nice, but they weren’t the best musicians at all. America voted for vanilla.

          Comment by Ally – May 25, 2011 11:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • why? I think I feel sorry for you.

      Comment by meh – May 22, 2011 02:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • you’re an idiot. James rocks.

      Comment by Joe – May 22, 2011 06:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He is a much better person than Adam Lambert and his filthy fans the Glamberts.
      ;)

      Comment by Yeah, I said it biatch – May 22, 2011 10:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Oh God yes!

        Comment by Alex – May 23, 2011 03:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • As an admirer of Adam Lambert’s voice, there is nothing “filthy” about me, but there is about your remark. Why is it necessary to trash one singer in order to build up another. James is a decent singer, records well, but live his voice is not dependable. If you want to hear a brilliant singer at age 22, youtube Lambert’s “Come to Me, Bend to Me” (Brigadoon) – live, on stage. That’s the difference between a great singer and an average one.

        Comment by Leigh – May 23, 2011 06:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Adam Lambert is the greatest Idol i’ve ever known …his voice, his performance…noone beats him…sorry to say….^_^ I love Adam Lambert

          http://www.seemeagain.com

          Comment by nnatea – May 23, 2011 06:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • YES. Most definitely.

        Comment by Saracen Riggins – May 23, 2011 06:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I totally agree… I was disgusted with Adam Lambert’s antics. He was determined to be filthy.

        Comment by sinman – May 23, 2011 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Your comment shows a person with a narrow filthy mind! You Sicken me and me!!!

          Comment by barbls – May 23, 2011 10:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • MAYBE YOU JUST THINK FILTHY AND NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES YOU WILL ALWAY’S THINK THAT WAY.

          Comment by SARAH – May 23, 2011 01:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Ouch. Take a chill pill, dude.. James Durbin seems like a good kid. Nasty fans don’t help anybody’s career.

        Comment by Slh – May 23, 2011 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • So your comment is an example of what Durbins fans are like…YIKES…let me out of here…Rock it Adam…

        Comment by stinglikeabee – May 23, 2011 09:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • “Filthy”? That’s uncalled-for. If you don’t care for Adam, fine, who cares. I don’t care for James but I would never bash him or his fans or call him or his fans “filthy.”

        Comment by marie – May 23, 2011 11:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • They are both good people and you are disgusting!!

        Comment by mm – May 23, 2011 11:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • How do you know what kind of person Adam is? Fambouant artist,major pipes, flare for the extrem, but who are you to judge him as a person! Filthy? I LOVED Adam Lambert and believe to this day he should have won! I am a grandmother of 6 and have been married to the same man for 33 years I guess that makes me filthy too! Judge someone for music talent and ability! Don’t Judge the whole person on somethings so shallow!! Hate is filth!!! Sounds like you might need to wash off some filth of your own!!

        Comment by Margaret – May 26, 2011 09:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Apparently Durbin is copying Lambert’s interviews also…Check Adam’s Idoloonies interview and U’ll find out he said he wanted to create a set list with his Idol journey. This dude is so Deluded LOL. And when did he do R&B? Do I see a career for him, yes. Every Idol contestants does better than what he/she had before auditioning. Will he be as big as he claims to be? NO!!! He will get gigs at charities the Asperg…Association will get him charity gigs and will make him their poster child. Good for him! And didn’t he say he is gonna do Metal only? when did the idea Pop with edge hit him???? When he realised that it ain’t gonna happen w his Metal delusion? What a trip!

      Comment by BloodyMary – May 22, 2011 11:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • David Cook also said he wanted to create a setlist with his Idol songs, and that was before Adam. I could be wrong, but I think I remember hearing Adam say he got the idea from David C. Perhaps James heard this also, and doesn’t remember where he heard it. Or perhaps he came up with the idea independently. He’s wrong that he’s the only one who’s ever thought of this, but I don’t fault him for trying to do it.

        Comment by aizjanika – May 23, 2011 01:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Hey Michael, was Durbs wearing his WWE belt while you were
        interviewing him?

        Comment by cry baby – June 8, 2011 06:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • James is BEYOND ARROGANT..”OFFENSIVELY EXAGGERATING ONE’S OWN IMPORTANCE”!! DO NOT blame this on his “condition”..it is not~ What he says and HOW he says it, is exactly what he means…When he said “I’m going straight to the top..I’m taking my career where NO OTHER past Idol has ever done..I’m not playing dive bars or paying for my own tour…or playing side stages opening for “Motely Crew”..My names on the top “BILL”…
      Holy Mother of INSANE twisted Arrogance and inflated Narcissistic EGO!!
      The most ridiculous thing is that James does NOT have a consistantly melodic good strong voice. He does not have any star quality either.
      The judges FAILED him so much by not telling him so…so maybe he could improve. But interviews like this show it would not have helped James..he already “Believes in his own mind” that he is a star and better then anyone else..coming off Idol or any where…It is a crazy world when you see this kind of egotism so unjustified!

      Comment by Summer – May 23, 2011 01:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You are delusional. I have heard anything that makes him arrogant.
        He has the right to dream. You think you know more than the judges.
        James does have a good strong voice and he is a great performer. You are the one who is ridiculous.

        Comment by Joe – May 23, 2011 04:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • No~ James is DILUSIONAL about his talent..he really thinks his voice is good…go listen to all his singing again..he is not a good strong singer…he’s all over the place..he is monotone most of the time and his high screams are Horrible…off tune and very pitchy.
          Idol is about finding the BEST singer..not one they have to train yet. Durbin is not it! The judges failed by not telling him so..that is sad.

          James is the classic definition of ARROGANT and Narcissisim..you need to listen to more of HIS own words to see it then…

          Click here: ‘Idol’ James Durbin: “I’m going to the top” – American Idol News – TV – Digital Spy

          “I’m not paying out of pocket to go on a nationwide tour, cutting my teeth playing in dive bars and rock festivals opening on side stages for Motley Crue. It’s cool [because] instead I’m going to the top. My face is on the billboard.

          Just one of any ARROGANT interviews
          HE is a Ridiculous fool!

          Comment by Summer – May 23, 2011 09:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I replayed the interview by Michael. The fact that he knows who he is and what he wants as a performer is not arrogant. Sorry, I do not agree with you. As others who have made comments on this blog, I will buy his album when it comes out. James is serious about his music. You are entitled to your opinion. Just because you do not like James or his music does not mean you are right and everyone who likes what James does is wrong. You are being arrogant in your insistence to put him down. If you really did play the interview by Michael there is absolutely nothing in it to justify saying that this particular interview shows he is arrogant. James does not need you to be successful. There are a lot of people like me who think he is an awesome entertainer. He may not be perfect, but he does not have to be. When James has been pitchy the judges have commented on it. But they also recognize and appreciate his talent. I trust their judgement.

            Comment by Joe – May 23, 2011 10:51 PM PDT  
          • @Summer

            The word is “DELUSIONAL.” Perhaps you have delusions of intelligence. And delusions of having the elementary ability to write coherent sentences. But what can one expect of a person who has less brains than an amoeba.

            James will be in concert and I will be looking forward to his first cd. You, on the other hand will be ranting about how arrogant James is while you’re lying in your bed alone because who’d ever want someone as vicious as you.

            Comment by jaded – May 25, 2011 11:57 PM PDT  
          • AGREED!

            Comment by tina – May 27, 2011 06:26 AM PDT  
    • Why do you feel sorry for him?
      He did what he wanted to do on the show, he’s gonna get more exposure on the tour, and, he seems like he’s got a pretty good head on his shoulders. He’s also kinda funny. I like him so much better after seeing this interview, (and the performance clips), than I did before.
      I really, really REALLY, wish that we were getting a James/Haley finale. Would have been sooooo much more entertaining than what we’re gonna get.
      Good luck, James. I hope you have a successful musical career. Stick to your guns and do your thing!

      Comment by JamieC – May 23, 2011 04:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m not into the kind of music James want’s to make, but after listening to his iTunes recordings I was surprised to hear real depth and character in his voice. His vocal performances are extremely good, even though the music isn’t to my taste. I didn’t dig his wailing either, but this guy could easily make a viable CD with the right producer.

      Comment by Buster Cretin – May 24, 2011 08:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • WELL..i would like to say that i have and will continue to be a huge DURBINATOR….james has such great musical talent,and is a wonderful preformer,he deserves alot of credit for doing his own thing and not really following the direction of the idol alumni??? jimmie iveine..?? also the past several interviews i have watched of him,is is the type of musician that is not..into himself.alot of singers who make it big,they also get big heads.i feel james is the guy that ..WHAT YOU SEE,IS WHAT YOU GET..i only hope for wonderful things for him,and i will be watching for his first cd o be out,i will be in line for that one..WAY TO GO JAMES….

      Comment by mickeyringlover – May 24, 2011 04:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Most interesting, most compelling, perhaps the most in touch with who he is as an artist, no need to feel sorry for James! He’s quite incredible.

      Comment by @galaga6846 – May 25, 2011 07:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Because he’s been laid-off? I thought he was really funny and personable in this interview. i also think it’s odd that he’s been laid off several times–he’s witty–there are jobs for him, even beyond performance, which I think he’s really good at.

      Comment by Suzanne – May 26, 2011 08:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Tweetgate is why Durbs is a DUMBASS
      1)You never burn bridges in the music bizz!
      2)In the Entertainment Community, LA is a small town!
      3)If JD was hoping to be signed by 19/UMG…did he think he would
      never run into Adam?!

      Comment by Dbags-R-us – June 8, 2011 05:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • JAMES DURBIN IS AMAZING, IS THE BEST.

      Comment by monicecilia – July 23, 2011 06:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This guy’s filters are *not* well developed. Funny.
    He comes off very likeable still.

    Comment by EvilEdit – May 22, 2011 01:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He has Aspergers and some of the problems with the disorder are delayed communication and socialization skills.

      Comment by Deb – May 22, 2011 02:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Didn’t mean it in a bad way. In fact, he comes off as a typical rocker.

        Comment by EvilEdit – May 22, 2011 02:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Not only did James make it fun every single week, I am so looking forward to his finale performance as well as the tour. My kid is one of the kids he is talking about, a 15 year old who loves metal, whose favorite bands are bands from the 80s.

          James is a huge inspiration to all people with disabilities … to not let them get the best of you. To do what you want to do, to dream it and be it. He has got a huge amount of guts to put himself out there, as an Asbergers person, opening himself up to the amount of ridicule he has taken, as well as the kudos.

          Comment by tomitweets – May 22, 2011 02:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Great comment. Couldn´t possibly agree more.
            Here in Brazil, nobody really understook why James isn´t in the finale. Believe or not, here we are huge fans of rock n´roll and heavy metal. Ask Ozzy, Iron Maiden, AC/DC and so on.

            Comment by Candice – May 22, 2011 02:44 PM PDT  
          • @Candice, here in the U.S. there are a lot of people who don’t understand why James isn’t in the finale either.

            Comment by Lily – May 22, 2011 03:22 PM PDT  
          • really miss James. He brought excitement week after week, and I think he was smart to plan his idol performances like they were a setlist at his concert. I love metal, and I would love to go see it. It would rock, that’s for sure. Contrast that with what we’re left with now. Snoozefest. Miss Haley already too. I hope America is happy with their finale now. Hope they brought their blankeys for naptime.

            Comment by Blair – May 22, 2011 05:56 PM PDT  
          • Here in New Zealand we couldn’t understand it either, how could such a talented artist/performer get booted … it was the most ridiculous elimination in Idol history as far as I’m concerned.

            James is a huge inspiration to all .. not just those with disabilities, he has shown a great strength of belief in his music, in his family, his character and his personality, with everything going on and all the things that have been said and despite his Aspergers he comes across as genuine, caring, talented and not in the slightest bit condescending or nasty.

            Rock on James, we love you.

            Comment by Shudd – May 22, 2011 06:34 PM PDT  
          • Amen to this post.

            Comment by Claire – May 22, 2011 07:18 PM PDT  
          • I have Aspergers and I’d hate to have my condition represented by someone like this guy; cocky, delusional, whiny, entitled. I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt until watching several of his interviews.

            Comment by Me – January 12, 2013 08:57 PM PDT  
    • That is one of the defining symptoms of aspergers: “filters” not well developed. For a person with aspergers, his filters are surprisingly well developed. Moreover, he seems to have the most developed ideas about music and what he wants to do with it of any of them.

      Comment by Julie – May 22, 2011 02:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I couldn’t agree more. That’s what I love about Michael’s interviews. You don’t just get the person, you get the artist.

        I’d heard that James is a wonderful, sweet person, so I expected that. I didn’t expect to find him so methodical. That impresses me.

        He is a bit full of himself. He might be surprised that quite a few other idols also viewed their string of performances as a set list (or album cuts). But hey, he’s young.

        Excellent interview!

        Comment by Teresa – May 22, 2011 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • > I didn’t expect to find him so methodical.

          That actually really fits with his Asperger’s diagnosis.

          Comment by Tuzo – May 22, 2011 11:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • i think his asperger’s might ACTUALLY be a misdiagnosis. i know multiple people with aspergers and know a lot about it, and yes the symptoms’ extremities range based on different cases, but the common denominator is a definite social awkwardness and uncertainty. James Durbin has neither. he clearly has something wrong, possibly tourette’s, maybe not. he is a bit deformed- his ears are misshapen/misplaced, but i really don’t think he has asperger’s. and i don’t think he lied about it, either. but i don’t think he has aspergers.

        Comment by corey – May 22, 2011 06:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I would say that the common denominator of high functioning autism in general is not having an inherent understanding of social rules. James displayed this multiple times during the season (how may times did Ryan have to scramble because James broke an unwritten/unspoken rule)?

          I could list the times he broke rules the other kids got naturally, if you’d like. He did it a lot.

          Comment by mgl – May 22, 2011 06:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I am curious about these broken rules.

            Comment by SajiNoKami – May 23, 2011 03:08 PM PDT  
        • I would venture to guess that the doctor who diagnosed him also “knows multiple people with Asperger’s and knows a lot about it.” Maybe even more than you on both counts.

          Comment by not convinced – May 22, 2011 06:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Well these syndromes and their diagnoses are very fuzzy.

            Comment by julie – May 22, 2011 06:44 PM PDT  
          • Well said. I believe James said he was diagnosed at Stamford, I think the doctors there know what they are talking about!

            Comment by lucky – May 23, 2011 09:27 AM PDT  
          • Sorry Stanford

            Comment by lucky – May 23, 2011 09:29 AM PDT  
        • He has Asperger’s. Trust me.

          http://bit.ly/j536Sx

          Comment by Claire – May 22, 2011 07:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I just went and read that article….how could anyone after reading that doubt the veracity of this kid….I just cant understand why I dol brings out these heart-wrenching stories and then proceed to do things that brings them down…think Chris Medina for one…..But I think just with the way the voting system is on this show….that there hasn’t been a true winner for a long time….Crystal Bowersox was clearly the favourite and best last year….All through 2009 Danny Gokey was the favourite but didnt make the final….Daughtry…need I go on….This year has been remarkable in the talent pool..last year perhaps only the top 4 had any real chance, the year before that was probably the best talent pool up until now that is…..any one of the top 13 they chose could have won this thing….and maybe even Medina if he had gotten a chance….you know they have a habit of doing that each year as well..I think back to Jamar Rogers in 2009…what a great voice..didn’t get past hollywood either…Not everyone in the top 13 was my cup of tea and I will probably only take an interest in keeping tabs on a few as to buying any of their music…Pia, Paul, Casey, James and Haley..the others were and still are seriously good good but those five were the cream of the crop.

            Comment by chervern – May 23, 2011 06:09 AM PDT  
          • @chervern Actually Crystal was a fan favorite and had the best voice of the final two, but she was not the judges’ favorite which is probably why she didn’t win. Simon and the producers supported Lee. Simon regularly undermined Crystal with comments like ‘subway singing’ while praising Lee with comments about what a ‘genuinely nice person’ he was. It was pretty much the same as S10, a talented singer who’s not the one the producers wanted to win got criticisms and edits to undermine her with the voters. Lee meanwhile literally got the Hallelujah chorus and was showered with praise even when he sang offkey.

            Comment by Reboot – May 24, 2011 05:35 AM PDT  
  • Seems like Slezak heard the complaints about not showing his face. You see him asking questions in this one.

    Comment by happy – May 22, 2011 01:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was wondering about that… Is it possible there’s been enough time for him to have already taken that into account in time for this interview? If so, feels great to be heard!

      Comment by Julie – May 22, 2011 02:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The same was true of some of the earlier interviews this season (e.g., Pia). Maybe depends on whether the contestant’s schedule actually lets them sit down in person rather than just having to Skype it in or whatever.

      Great interview! Reminds me how much I really did like about James, weak performances near the end notwithstanding. I wish him great things!

      Comment by go james – May 22, 2011 05:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I never cared much for James’ performances on Idol – but I like the kid and I’ve have much preferred a James/Haley final two than country teen idol.

    Comment by Tonya – May 22, 2011 02:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I am with you. A James/Haley would have been great.

      Comment by karen – May 23, 2011 10:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Same here. I like Scotty and Lauren (as good kids) well enough, but have no interest in seeing teens singing country for an entire evening. James and Haley would have made a much more entertaining finale.

      Comment by aizjanika – May 23, 2011 01:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Your interviews are always so insightful and fresh. Thanks for bringing all this out of James. Keep up the good work, can’t wait to see you flailing all over Haley when you get to talk to her.

    Comment by fromthegreyfort – May 22, 2011 02:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • OMG, so much more likeable than I thought. Nice job, Michael!

    Comment by Linda – May 22, 2011 02:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think James is great. I like that he knows what music he likes to do and does well. I think he is a pretty likeable character with a bit of boyish charm. I was more entertained by one of his performances than I was by all of Scotty & Lauren’s entire catalogue of performances put together. I hope the kid gets the fostering and help he needs to get something really creative off the ground in his post Idol career.

    Comment by AprilD – May 22, 2011 02:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t wait til he does an album so I can hear him again! Its also nice to finally hear him cause I wondered what happened to his interviews n such. James should have been in the finale this years will be so boring without him.

    Comment by s – May 22, 2011 02:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This guy is adorable. I love how much thought he put into every performance! He knew so much more about every number he did than anyone in the audience did, and that’s really the way it should be. Rock on, Durbin.

    Comment by Mia – May 22, 2011 02:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Totally agree!

      Comment by Danielle Notaro – May 22, 2011 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree and am grateful for these extended interviews with the performers. A lot of preconceived notions about these kids get dispelled when you hear their versions of what we see on the screen. I was blown away with how much thought went into Adam Lambert’s performances after I listened to extended interviews with him after his Season was over. I have a feeling James gave a lot more thought to his performances than Lauren ever has. He is, foremost, an entertainer and you don’t need to sell out huge arenas to have a successful career. I admire his confidence and hope he does well. His performances were some of the most entertaining of the entire season and I’m sure he will be loved on tour.

      Comment by Kathy – May 22, 2011 03:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great interview! I would have liked to see James in the finale with Haley. I look forward to seeing what he does post Idol.

    Comment by dance2thebeat – May 22, 2011 02:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loved interview! Thanks Michael…I still think you are a closet James fan.

    Comment by meh – May 22, 2011 02:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow. He’s really interesting. Best interview so far.

    Comment by julie – May 22, 2011 02:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great interview! Thank you so much Michael! James is witty, thoughtful, and very serious about a career in music. Its very clear that he was determined to win this season, and worked harder than any other contestant. I really like how much thought he puts into his performances, and how important the audience is to him. Don’t stop believin’, James. Contrary to other people posting here, I have faith in you.

    Comment by da – May 22, 2011 02:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Great interview! So sad that we didn’t get a James/Haley finale. James really made this season so much more fun. Best of luck to you in your future career, James!

      Comment by Lily – May 22, 2011 03:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Awesome interview, great questions and James really rocked it. Would have preferred a James/Lauren finale myself. But I don’t think we have seen the last of James and I for one can’t wait for more!

        Comment by Shudd – May 22, 2011 06:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I sort of feel sorry for him too. I can’t judge him because I can’t tell what parts of his ego are attributed to Asperger’s, and which parts are just pure egotism.

    Comment by karen o – May 22, 2011 02:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think before judging you need to study autisic spectrum disorders. By no means does James have an ego. Please refrain from being so mean, or shall we start on Haley’s ego? I refuse to, because I believe the best!

      Comment by meh – May 22, 2011 02:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Why would you bring up Haley’s name in your comment? Typical bitter Durbin fan.

        Comment by Rena – May 22, 2011 03:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Why would I be bitter? I am so thankful James went out 4th over 3rd. If it wasn’t for 1/2 of the James fans voting for your favorite Haley, she wouldn’t have gotten as far as she did. But, as you saw, we saved your Haley, but realized it sacrificed James, so in the end she deserved 3rd. No bitterness, rejoicing. 4th is way better than 3rd. Got enormous awesome supportive press. 3rd goes right into finale rehersals and gets interviews after 1st and 2nd place. I know this is a pro Haley site, and the fact that you guys even try to judge the character of James is the scum below the pond scum. That is why I won’t go there with Haley. You can’t judge a book by edited TV, as James stated in his interview.

          Comment by meh – May 22, 2011 07:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • You Durbin fans have a funny way of showing your excitement that he went out 4th, rather than 3rd. I have never seen such hateful remarks from a group of fantards in my life, literally BLAMING Haley for James being booted before her. I don’t believe for a moment there was a campaign to “save Haley” ….. pleez

            I understand Haley is too busy for interviews right now as she is recording her first single that is rumored she will perform on the results show. Any idea what Durbin is singing or will he even be there?

            So, when is James going to marry his shack up girlfriend and what is his kid’s last name? Just curious. Yeah, he’s a pretty stand up guy alright. Before anyone answers this, please realize I know he as asperger’s, tourettes and an inflated ego.

            Comment by Rena – May 22, 2011 08:38 PM PDT  
          • Rena,
            Everyone contestant worth anything on this show has “fantards.” Haley has plenty herself, which you’d notice if you weren’t so biased. Knock it off with the hate.

            Comment by mgl – May 22, 2011 08:53 PM PDT  
          • why would durbin fans vote for haley when James was still in the competition? Are U saying Haley made it to 3rd b/c of Durbin fans? LOL I don;t even know what to say. Anyways, I liked Durbin when he did maybe I’m amazed but after watching this interview, he has become my least fav person. So obnoxious, delusional and arrogant. Good job slezak for bringing out his true colours. Aspergers or not, the guy is a total D-bag. And I am glad I won;t be hearing his name for the rest of my life.

            Comment by Rick – May 23, 2011 12:06 AM PDT  
          • Rena..YEA for YOU..said perfectly! Face the facts..go listen to james sing again..close your eyes and hear how bad he sings…just not Winning material..he should be thanking God he got as far as he did..NOT bragging about his Career he does not have yet!! Again..his “condition” does not make you Cocky, Arrogant and narcissistic. Just like a drunk..your true heart will come out when you are “unfiltered”..it doesn’t make you an ASS who thinks you “are on top and I’m taking my career to where no Idol has ever done before” HAHAHA…Really Durbin..where ya going??

            Comment by Summer – May 23, 2011 09:27 PM PDT  
          • Rena, there was a campaign to save Haley. Where have you been that you did not know that? James is not the first person to become a father before getting married. Your comment shows your bias and hate.
            I see you have joined Summer,the other hater on this site.

            Comment by Joe – May 23, 2011 11:13 PM PDT  
        • Rena,
          The more time one spends judging, the less one spends loving and being loved in return. The negative folks on this website need to turn their judgment inward and determine where their hostility is coming from, imo.

          Comment by CONO – May 22, 2011 09:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • It is funny how the majority of the comments here are saying the interview with James makes them like him better, but the true HATERS spurn off more hate. And, YES RENA James fans were voting for Haley in hopes for a James/Haley finale. I personally DID NOT. But,the majority of the James fans DID NOT vote for her to get her to the Finale. Just internet buzzzzz.
            Anyway, done here conversing with the Haters and ones who know ego’s so well. BYE BYE!

            Comment by meh – May 23, 2011 10:53 AM PDT  
    • For those of you that are curious about James Asperger’s and the way it affects his behavior there are a couple of posts worth looking at. One (I did not write this) is here: Why did James Durbin cry, give Jimmy “lip”? Read my piece, find out. http://bit.ly/j536Sx

      The other posts are in the comments section at MJs following James’ delightful interview with Ellen. Unfortunately you cannot get the interview there anymore but there are some educational comments.

      Suffice it to say that very much of what is perceived as arrogance and ego are at heart, due to the Asperger’s, which is not visible like Tourette’s, but is very visible in behavior, if you know what to look for. But don’t take it from me. Read and learn.

      Comment by Claire – May 22, 2011 04:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Very insightful article(s) on James’ struggles with his very misunderstood disability which helped clarify to me what he was up against as a contestant on one of the biggest reality competitions in the world. More people should read this, and articles like this to gain more understanding about it.

        Comment by Blair – May 22, 2011 07:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • poor kid is so delusional

    Comment by Andy – May 22, 2011 02:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ha! I guess there are already 30,000+ people who are just as delusional as James is then. And you will see an uprising of delusional people.

      Comment by Delusional – May 22, 2011 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great interview, but James is just a bit delusional.

    Comment by rebecca – May 22, 2011 02:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I don’t understand all these posts about James being delusional. Any young person going into one of the arts has to have goals about what s/he wants to achieve artistically, or bring to the form. He never said he thought it would be easy to accomplish. Sure, he has some pitch issues; he can work on that. He also has a lot going for him, including a good dose of performance charisma, and there are many levels of success and ways to do your thing out there. It’s normal for a young person in an artistic endeavor to have big ideas. Some realize them, others modify them along the way in accordance with what reality confronts them with.

      Comment by julie – May 22, 2011 02:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • James isn’t dilusional, he suffers from Aspergers syndrome. People should take the time to research Aspergers so they can make intelligent comments about James. People would then understand that James has been given a wonderful gift, Music. With the proper guidance he has the opportunity to become a rock legend in the music world. The fact that he was able to get to the final four is absolutely amazing.

      Comment by Stephanie – May 22, 2011 05:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I appreciate the pro-tolerance message, but please don’t weaken it by using language like “suffers from” to describe Asperger’s. A great many Aspies believe that there’s nothing wrong with the way they are — if they “suffer,” it’s because they live in a society that doesn’t respect and appreciate them on their own terms. You wouldn’t like people describing you by saying “She suffers from being a woman”…
        It IS amazing that James has been able to fight his way through all the prejudice that Aspies face in order to show the world what a brilliant musician and performer he is — but the unconventional way his mind is wired isn’t itself the obstacle; it’s part of what makes him who he is, and contributes to the unique vision behind his performances.

        Comment by embrace neurodiversity – May 22, 2011 06:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Love this comment.

          Comment by mgl – May 22, 2011 06:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Agreed – good comment and reminder.

          Comment by Claire – May 22, 2011 07:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well you have to have some belief in yourself and your vision. How in the world do you make in anything never mind in entertainment? You get so many beats downs, and forget it, and some many trying to control you. You will never get the most out of your abilities if you don’t believe in them.

      That said obviously you can’t go crazy about things either and if you are tone deaf you can’t just decided that you are not gonna give up and you are going to stay in the game because that is just ridiculous.

      Comment by anon – May 22, 2011 05:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Unfortunately for James (whom I enjoyed, but not as much as Haley), he overplayed the “power” card too much with Jimmy. From the moment Pia was booted off the show James was almost a lock to make the final 2 and the guaranteed contract (he and all of us believed). And so he felt he could control his own destiny and direction– more than it turns out he could (at least on Idol). His revelation that he was fighting with Jimmy (who is one of the more powerful people in the pop music industry) on a weekly basis is a red flag to me for him to get a sweet recording contract in the near term. His road will be much harder now, it seems to me– but maybe he doesn’t care. It made my heart sink to hear that part of his interview. Haley, on the other hand, stayed true to her instincts, but clearly listened to Jimmy– and now isn’t it obvious that he wants to try to make her a star (it is to me, at least). Maybe, if James had listened to Jimmy just a bit more he WOULD have stayed ahead of Haley and signed the Idol contract (or one from Jimmy’s label). James had the most to lose. He was unemployed with a family, while Haley was still a college student and could depend on her parents for support. As a parent with two kids almost the same age as James and Haley, I just wanted to grab him and say “listen to your elders”. Hehe. But hey, that’s just me. I do believe he’ll have a career in the music industry, but now it will be oh so much harder, I think.

      Comment by JT – May 23, 2011 08:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • To be honest I don’t think Interscope would be the best label for James to sign to. Jimmy wants to push James into HAC and James doesn’t want that, plus it doesn’t suit him stlylistically. IMO the best label for James is Roadrunner which is rock & metal oriented. Artists/bands signed with Roadrunner include Lenny Kravitz, Nickleback, DragonForce & Lamb of God. On the plus side James already has contacts with 2 acts signed at Roadrunner – Black Label Society (via Zakk Wylde) & Dream Theater (via Mike Portnoy who’s rummered to be James’ new drummer). Finishing in 4th means James doesn’t have to sign with Interscope if he doesn’t want to.

        Comment by Alex – May 24, 2011 06:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Perfect! Roadrunner is a great label for James, and might earn him some credibility among those who dismiss him for being on Idol. I have even read some of the Roadrunner fan boards. It’s 50/50, with a lot of people defending James, saying “sure, he was on Idol, but have you heard this guy sing? Don’t judge him until you hear him. He’s amazing.”

          Comment by @galaga6846 – May 25, 2011 07:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LOL Michael, your face is hysterical. You’ve got the “this guy has got to be kidding me” look on your face so many times. I’ve watched enough of your interviews to know the difference between genuine laughter, when you’re really amused by someone and fake, “what a douche” laughter.. you were giving the full on “what a douche” laughter on this one.

    I’d have much preferred James and Haley in the F2 than the boring countrybots we’ve ended up with.

    good luck to James. I think he’ll find that there is no market for metal in mainstream music. If he’s lucky enough to get an album it will be rock lite just like David Cook’s album.

    Comment by starla – May 22, 2011 02:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Boy, are you full of yourself. Did you even listen to the interview? He is going to have a contemporary metal edge to his rock, not the 80′s rock. Well, we will see who has the most successful career post idol and you may be eating your words. Can people just comment without judging, why aren’t you judging your beloved Haley?

      Comment by @starla – May 22, 2011 02:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • We are not judging Haley because she is not the one being interviewed. Her time will come. Also a lot of people here are saying good things about james. And, by the way, I believe James will be able to find a market for metal and I wish he does, since I not only like him but also the pop metal he sings.

        Comment by nana – May 22, 2011 06:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I think the 80s metal will be James’ best chance of being successful! People are pining for that kind of music. Even James said that “metal” is a category that has been taken from The Grammy’s. It’s a lost genre, and needs resurrected. A lot of people in their 30s-60s would definitely agree.

        Comment by @galaga6846 – May 25, 2011 07:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Everybody has to start somewhere. Even if he gets no creative influence over his first album, if it does half as well as David Cook’s did, he’ll have a lot more clout the next time around, which means more opportunity to start bringing in elements of his own vision — and from there, who knows?

      Comment by good luck, james – May 22, 2011 06:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I must say Slezak’s face was priceless… I was totally checking his reaction the whole time LOL

      Comment by fandom – May 23, 2011 12:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • What the hell is wrong with some of you posters? Does it make you feel good about yourself when you act like the judge and jury about James? If you don’t like the kid,fine, but please reframe from personally attacking him. He doesn’t know you, has done nothinng to you. Fans are fans, they say what they will but it is not “cool” to attack an artist based on his or her fans.

        James you rock!!!

        Comment by Irene – May 23, 2011 04:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • it is sad how ignorant your comment is

    Comment by SC – May 22, 2011 02:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • this comment is for rebecca, karen o , Andy, Rhama

      Comment by SC – May 22, 2011 02:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You are missing the point here. I think that James is talented, likeable and intelligent. He needs to focus on his vocals and originality and to forget about “giving metal a chance” & other nonsense.

        Comment by Rhama – May 22, 2011 11:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Surprised by the positive reaction of some folks both to his singing and personality in this interview.

    Comment by JJ – May 22, 2011 02:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • @jj
      Why? Is it hard to believe there is love on this post at times? Maybe the fear of the world ending got people to have softer hearts.

      Comment by meh – May 22, 2011 02:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Based on some of the mean comments on this board, every day is “judgement” day!

        Comment by zaza – May 23, 2011 09:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • James. Good story teller here in this interview- J. Lopez was right. This kid gave us 100% of himself week after week and it was consistently good. Too bad the ChrisTEENS are taking over the world of Idol this year.

    Comment by Danielle Notaro – May 22, 2011 02:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • wow. this season kids are grazy. So full of them self jeez

    Comment by imgun – May 22, 2011 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • how the hell is he full of himself?

      Comment by lisa – May 22, 2011 02:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Like we should believe anything coming from someone who can’t even spell? Yeah ok.

      Comment by Irene – May 23, 2011 04:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes, watch this video. I respect this guy more after seeing his obvious respect for music (history) and his thought into making each performance thematic and exciting, however successful or not, he had a vision. I just wish I liked his tone better, and I wish that he received some serious constructive help from someone about his pitch issues, overusing the scream, and losing his emotional control. I do think he had a good Idol run, with the visuals and the costumes, etc. It will be reeeally interesting to see what happens with him post-Idol. And count me in for Team James-with-a-Cold.

    Comment by ThemApples – May 22, 2011 02:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree with you ThemApples. “however successful or not, he had a vision… I wish that he received some serious constructive help from someone about his pitch issues, overusing the scream, and losing his emotional control.”
      This goes for all the contestants. Too bad none of them got the constructive criticisms they needed to actually use this experience as a chance to learn and improve.

      Comment by Julie – May 22, 2011 02:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m all for positivity. It’s just frustrating that yet another Season 10 contestant is about a B- in terms of likability and talent.

    Comment by JJ – May 22, 2011 02:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SELF LOVE is not one of Jmae’s problems..he is already a legend in his own mind..I used to like him A LOT! The more he brags about himself the less I want to hear.

    Comment by linda – May 22, 2011 02:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Poor Slezak, having to pretend he’s enjoying this interview. His true opinion is pretty evident in the “Suck it, James” video with Melinda Doolittle. And the multiple comments on here referring to Durbin as “delusional” are spot on.

    Comment by Rena – May 22, 2011 02:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’d love for Michael to address all the comments saying he wasn’t enjoying the interview, that he was secretly laughing at James, that he was thinking “what a douche.” I wouldn’t let other people speak for me; I don’t think you should either, Michael.

      Comment by HannaBec – May 22, 2011 04:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I’m pretty sure Michael would answer in a totally PC kind of way, but you really need to watch the referenced video, it’s hilarious! Maybe James doesn’t want his rabid fans speaking for him either, but there’s plenty of that in these comments, isn’t there? Works both ways.

        Comment by Jennifer – May 22, 2011 05:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • @Rena – there is no “Suck it, James” video by Slezak. People seem to confuse actual honest criticism with hatred, as if you can only either be blindly ‘for’ a contestant and never see any flaw in what they do, or rabidly ‘against’ a contestant and rant about flaws both real and imagined. Slezak is neither of those. He gives his honest opinion about what worked, and what didn’t, with each contestant’s performance. Yes, he has favorites each year but he doesn’t exempt even his favorites from criticism – I remember when he was the only critic to nail Crystal Bowersox for missing words to a song, even though she was his favorite. I wish people on this board were MORE like Slezak in being fair with both criticisms and praise.

      Comment by Lily – May 23, 2011 05:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • it didn’t come off that Slezak hated doing the interview, but it did come off that he was walking on eggshells. As if he never really knew what to make of James.

      Comment by SajiNoKami – May 23, 2011 03:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LOL Michael Slezak! After all those hilarious Adam/James episodes and comments.. it must be hard to interview him!

    Comment by LOL – May 22, 2011 02:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I feel sorta bad for this kid also. He wanted to be his own artist, and its pretty clear all of his ideas were his but he will forever be stuck in that sort of Adam Lambert wannabe bubble that the media has put him in. I wish you would have told him that he, himself, compared himself to Adam on the show…and then he wonders why people compare the 2. in fact, most of the stuff that came out of his mouth in this interview are things that adam has said in your own interviews with Adam, Slezak.

    I wish him luck with the whole metal thing, but i really don’t think it’s going to happen for him, not on Jimmy Iovine’s label anyway.

    Comment by Melinda – May 22, 2011 02:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • right on melinda. There are many comparisons to be made between james and adam. and that is not to denigrate either one of them. they were both idol contestants that we looked forward to each week with that “I wonder what he is going to do?” They both loved the performance and created entertaining moments each week. Not just with the song, but the lighting, the set, the costume. Ok Adam did it first, but I never thought James was a copy cat. why can’t we have more than one talented artist with a similar style/approach?
      Sad that the producers of this show set up the comparison and the fans ran with it in the wrong direction. I will miss James in the final two. James was often put on the defensive mode and it is difficult not to get caught up in it.

      Comment by ohbabs – May 22, 2011 05:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow at some of the mean spirited comments on here; Here’s a lad who totally believes in his genre of music, but also thought so much about his audience, what they wanted to see; Yes he obviously wanted to win, but is that such a bad thing; Hes come across as very humble, and very grateful of the opportunity, he not like others who have complained about song choices etc after theyve left in fact he’s said in all his interviews hes grateful for the opportunities it has given him. Id hate to live with some of the people who post on here, are you as mean spirited to people in your real lives?

    Comment by lisa – May 22, 2011 02:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I could not have said it better myself. I started out not liking James, but he totally won me over with his talent and his sincerity. This was a very enjoyable interview and I hope his career takes off. I’m a fan.

      Comment by betsy – May 22, 2011 04:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Great comment, it blew me away to see how cruel people were being and I can’t understand this can happen, not once have I heard James say anything petty or mean spirited, he never talks about another person in a derogetory way .. even when asked he is always has nice things to say. He is always so positive and he leaves me feeling good about life and people and then I see the negativity here and wonder what could make people so horrible.

      Comment by Shudd (also a Lisa) – May 22, 2011 06:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • James doesn’t even know what rock is. Adam did more rock on Idol than James did. And Adam’s concerts are some pop but are mostly rock. James screecing out of tune does not make you a better rocker. And yes James sang some pop on Idol also. And if Adam can’t rock then why the heck was James trying so hard to copy him? The media all saw that. And who put him in charge of who can rock and who can’t. He hasn’t even made a record yet. I would like to see him try to stop Adam from rocking when he wants to. Adam is just good at many different types but I can assure you he will not stop rocking because full of himself Durbin tell him to.

      Comment by Jet – May 22, 2011 08:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You know what – this interview is about James, not Adam. What is with Adam fans – it’s like they still feel they have to prove something. Give it up, his season was 2 years ago. Adam is a big boy and can take care of himself. He has been successful. You don’t have to run around like you are his momma trying to prove to everyone that he is the best thing that ever happened to the entire world since the invention of the wheel. Let his success speak for him. This interview is not about Adam. You can best support Adam by supporting him – not by tearing others down. NOH8 has universal application.

        Comment by Claire – May 22, 2011 08:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Thank you, Claire. You’re 100% correct.

          Comment by @galaga6846 – May 25, 2011 07:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • My thoughts exactly, Lisa. I was a fan of James early in the season and I like him even more after the interview. I really wish he and Haley were in the final. It would have been so much more entertaining than the country snoozefest on Tuesday with Scotty and Lauren.

      Comment by Teecie – May 22, 2011 10:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Thanks for the positive replies, i am totally open mouthed at some of the replies on here again this morning; I know people get caught up in supporting their favorites but neither Haley or James have said anything bad about any of their fellow contestants so why should we? Im sure neither one of them would appreciate the bashing of each other, i just dont get it

        I prefer James’s vocal tone, some peopl dont and thats fine, but what i hate to see is that some people are saying basically that James is using his Aspergers as an excuse, or at least his fans are, to be delusional/arrogant etc that is so far from the truth its inreal. All i ask is those that believe he is delusional to go and read some of the articles linked on here and see it from a non biased, objective viewpoint or is that too much to ask?

        Comment by lisa – May 23, 2011 05:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • GREAT COMMENT, Lisa. I am absolutely shocked at the hatefulness that some people here have shown. What the heck is wrong with some of you people?

      Comment by Leanna – May 23, 2011 07:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thanks for this interview, Michael! I always looked forward to James’ performances each week to see what he would do since he always pushed the bar unlike some of the others. I would definitely love to see him live because he has an unbelievable talent for entertaining and not to mention a great young man for other kids to look up to! I hope he goes far in his career!

    Comment by Karrie – May 22, 2011 02:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think James was GREAT on Idol. I actually LOVE his tone. I dont know if any contestant can change that, you either like the singers tone or you dont, and I for one, love the sound of his voice, period. I also think he was pitchy on 2 nights ONLY. Don’t get how he got this pitchy moniker. Lots of contestants totally missed notes, i’m not going to name them. Also, as another Durbin fan said, don’t mistake exhuberance and passion for arrogance. I think James has been humbled in a lot of ways during his life. He probably learned that if you’re not confident in yourself, no one else is going to be. There’s nothing wrong with loving what you do and shwoing your excitement. I do agree, he had some issues with emotion that really turned people off, and that’s probably part of his Aspergers, and AI will be a good lesson for him for his future. Taht said, some of the situations in AI are very forced and beyond the artists control (like showing an emotional clip before an emotional song). During his own concert, James would probably know better than to set himself up that way.

    Comment by Ellie – May 22, 2011 03:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This kid is already a “star”. I will be watching and buying his cd’s in the future, what an entertainer! Love him!

    Comment by PJ – May 22, 2011 03:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • he’s so pissed with the adam questions! don’t really blame him.

    Comment by Andy – May 22, 2011 03:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree, I bet Durbin wishes he had never compared his high notes to Adam, nor claimed he could sing better than Adam. Maybe it was the Asperger’s talking.

      Comment by Shayla – May 22, 2011 03:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • He never clamed he could sing better than Adam.

        Comment by mgl – May 22, 2011 03:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • This is partially true – he stated pre-Idol that he could sing higher than Adam.

          Comment by Emy – May 22, 2011 10:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • he did say he could sing better and higher than Adam
          I really doubt it’s true.. lol

          Comment by Tereza – May 24, 2011 06:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Adam has a stronger and more versatile voice, plus he tended to hit his notes better and suffered from way fewer pitch problems than James did.

            Comment by Me – January 12, 2013 09:24 PM PDT  
  • James is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Dee – May 22, 2011 03:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I always liked James…after this interview I realize just how smart and creative he is.

    All the people who are calling him arrogant and “delusional” merely are unsympathetic to his condition. He’s a artist.

    Comment by K Thomas – May 22, 2011 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well said, I concur.

      Comment by Shudd – May 22, 2011 06:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • One comment left: It’s a little rediculous to feel sorry for James. His performances were really amazing. This guy has overcome so much, put himself out there so much, and made it to the top 4 of American Idol, has huge talent, and now has a huge fan base. Maybe he won’t be as successful as some, more than others, but this guy already has a family and a huge, loving community and now some recognition for his talent. Why in the world would you feel sorry for him?! He’s accomplished more at 22 than many people achieve their whole lives. Funny what people say sometimes :)

    Comment by elli – May 22, 2011 03:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great interview James. You were not arrogant at all. You just said the facts. Why not take credit for your own creativity. Your awesome James can’t wait to see you on Wed.

    Comment by Durbinator800 – May 22, 2011 03:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I find it completely unbelieveable that he planned his performances out from show to show to make it like a concert set list throughout the entire season….lol!! And, no, I don’t want a DVD of his Idol journey. He’s very full of himself, and Asperger’s is no excuse for the lack of humility. I’m not expecting much from his post-Idol tour CD or career~sorry. No hate-just my opinion.

    Comment by NotAFan – May 22, 2011 03:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Perhaps if you took the time to educate yourself about just what exactly Asperger’s is, you would experience a little more humility yourself.

      Comment by Claire – May 22, 2011 04:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • @ NotAFan: Wow, you’re mean.

      Comment by Teecie – May 22, 2011 10:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You find it unbelievable that he planned his journey as a set list?

      Most musicians/singers who have a clue would. I guess you aren’t one of those people.

      Comment by Bat Country – June 5, 2011 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like the guy. Great attitude. Fun personality. I hope he goes far. Well done, James. Should have been you and Haley in the finale.

    Comment by NedPepper – May 22, 2011 03:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael:
    Can you please tell me where is Casey Abrams´s Idoloonies interview? You interviewed everybody except him! Why is that? I was waiting for that these weeks! Can you interview when the tour goes through New York?

    BTW James seems nice but he is way delusional.

    Comment by Titina – May 22, 2011 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Michael posted the following at the end of the writeup on Jacob’s interview:

      (p.s. Idoloonies is horrified to report the video file of our Casey Abrams interview got corrupted, but we’re working on scheduling a do-over. Stay tuned!)

      Comment by algalhi – May 23, 2011 12:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was a James fan from the word go. He is a throwback to the days of real music when people sang and entertained their fans instead of some of the stuff young kids seem “gaga” over these days. He’s real, he’s honest, he’s talented and he’s open. Some people just can’t handle these attributes and that’s fine. The rest of us who can will buy his CDs and purchase tickets to his concerts. Oh, by the way. I’m old enough to be his grandmother but I also know really good music when I hear it. I’m part of a group of “grandmas” on FB who love the dickens out of this kid. “Grandmas for James Durbin”. Who’da thunk it. He’ll be around for a very long time.

    Comment by Rita – May 22, 2011 03:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am sorry AI didn’t come through this season with their promise of showing more of their personalities. I’ve learned more in these interviews than I did the whole season. I find him to be very passionate about his music with a clear idea of what direction he wants to go in. I don’t like his music, but he sure knows how to put on a show. Amazing to see all the support at his hometown concert. Best of luck to him.

    Comment by lucy95 – May 22, 2011 04:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I got to see in this interview the aspects of James personality that I had a good idea was there all along. It only makes me like him all the more. He has a career ahead of him and it will be huge. Glad for you James.

    Comment by chatwuann – May 22, 2011 04:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The first time I experienced one James Durbin I was hooked…absolutely fascinated and spent each week excitedly anticipating where he was going to take us next…so, at least in my mind, he accomplished just what he set out to and I’ve got a hunch that, as time goes by, a whole lot more folks are gonna’ sit up and pay attention to this young man.

    Comment by Carol Ann – May 22, 2011 04:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I liked James from the first time we saw him perform on Idol. After this interview, I love him immensely. He’s thoughtful, precise, knowledgeable, funny, talented. He’s determined–another thing I admire about him. I wish him the best and can’t wait until he does have his own tour so we can go and be entertained, dance and sing along!
    Thanks for asking the good questions so we could get to know so much more about his Idol journey!

    Comment by HannaBec – May 22, 2011 04:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If you had been at Santa Cruz for his hometown visit you would know that he is not egotistical. He was very humble to his fans and his city. He was also very greatful to American Idol for all they did. He was excellent and he was very great to his fans!!

    Comment by Maria Cornwell – May 22, 2011 04:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “I’d love for Michael to address all the comments saying he wasn’t enjoying the interview, that he was secretly laughing at James, that he was thinking “what a douche.” I wouldn’t let other people speak for me; I don’t think you should either, Michael.”

    This. So what is it, Michael?

    Comment by mgl – May 22, 2011 04:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’d rather NOT see Michael dignify that kind of nastiness with a response.

      Comment by ugh – May 22, 2011 10:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think what we are seeing in these interviews (Stefano, Jacob, and now James) is the effect of the judges’ total lack of criticism this season. These kids all think they are The Next Big Thing, headed for glory and greatness, and I think they are all in for a hard and rude awakening.

    Yes, James is delusional. Yes, some people still enjoy metal and will buy a metal album. But in the wider cultural context, we are not there right now. The music industry right now is being driven by hormonal 14 year old girls. Which is why Scotty will win. So, IF metal makes a come back, it won’t be James Durbin who “starts the revolution,” it will be someone who appeals more to teenage fantasies – and the awkward kid with big ears and Aspergers doesn’t fit that description for most teen girls. The clock has already started on this kid’s 15 minutes of fame. It’s a shame. He’ll have to learn to “DO” a real job after all.

    Comment by Reba – May 22, 2011 04:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Dreaming big is not delusional. Even he says, “hey, I can dream.”

      As for: and the awkward kid with big ears and Aspergers
      You know what’s weird? Autistic people buy music too.

      Comment by mgl – May 22, 2011 05:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m pretty sure you can point to any time in music and use the “hormonal 14 year old girls” line. But what makes our current era of music different, IMO, is that we live in an age of Satellite Music and the Internet. With all the diversity out there in the musical landscape and all the outlets for it, there is no ONE type of music that is ruling the airwaves anymore. The old “big four” of Pop, Rock, R&B and Country have all been split up into so many sub-genres its not even funny. The tweens may have the voting locked up on a show like American Idol, but they sure as sh*t haven’t proven they’ll support their choice post-Idol. Having said that, I think James has just as much a chance to have a decent career as any of these contestants if not better.

      Comment by sebby – May 22, 2011 09:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Really, in this economy, you’re going to assume that someone being laid off is because they can’t do their job? I live not that far from where James is from, and our unemployment rate has been one of the worst in the country. Plus, so many businesses do layoffs by seniority, that once you’re out of work in this climate, it’s *SO* hard to get any security in another job — instead, once you finally manage to find something (which itself is not easy, so if James keeps FINDING new jobs, it says he was getting good references from previous employers), you’re first in line to go as soon as cuts come at the new place. Think what you want about James, but dissing somebody for getting laid off in this market is REALLY reaching.

      Comment by no way – May 22, 2011 10:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • “The awkward kid with the big ears and Aspergers……..” Really??? Who the heck do you think you are? I am absolutely appalled at some of these comments in here.

      Comment by Leanna – May 23, 2011 07:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I am appalled on behalf of those not only with Aspergers, but big-eared people like the president of the United States.

        Comment by Mark – May 23, 2011 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Who do I think I am? I think I’m your average American consumer. Is it politically correct to think or say such things? Of course not. Would I say such things to his face or treat him negatively if I met him in person? Of course not.

        But when it comes to personal entertainment, people (including myself) can be quite shallow – how else to do explain much of the garbage that passes for entertainment? Sometimes the talent is so powerful and undeniable that you can overlook the shallow. Put it this way: If Adele looked like she does, but sang like Brittany Spears, would she be famous? Hell no. Then how does Brittany get away with singing like Brittany…um, because she LOOKS like Brittany. (except in that period where she gained weight, then we laughed at her and stopped buying her music. I rest my case)

        Comment by Reba – May 24, 2011 10:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As I recall, in the very early days at Microsoft, when Bill Gates had big plans, he was called delusional. Bill Gates, like James, was a whip smart kid with Asperger’s. I’m not saying James will become a superstar. I’m saying that dreaming big is good. How else could you get anywhere without a vision and a dream? I’m sure there were many that thought it was delusional to think that a kid with Tourette’s and Asperger’s and no formal music training could wind up making it to the top #4 on American Idol. Dream big or go home!

    Comment by Claire – May 22, 2011 05:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well said, Claire.

      Comment by mimimouse – May 22, 2011 09:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great interview Michael. Seems like you took a lot more time putting this one together than the one you did with Jacob. And rightfully so….

    Comment by Debbie M – May 22, 2011 05:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This interview made me like James more than I had before, unlike Jacob’s or Stefanos. I hope his career goes well, and I appreciate the fact that he tried to do something memorable on Idol.

    Comment by dan – May 22, 2011 05:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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