American Idol's Jax Talks Bon Jovi, Beatles and 'Bang Bang' Covers, Her Brutal Exit and the Origin of Her 'X'

“I’ve never lived a life where I wasn’t taking risks,” says American Idol‘s recent third-place finisher Jax.

And indeed, that philosophy informed almost every performance the 19-year-old New Jersey native gave during her Season 14 run.

TVLine caught up with Jax at Fox HQ on Thursday afternoon to discuss where she cooked up her radical rearrangement of “You Give Love a Bad Name” (spoiler alert: she was hiding in a closet); what made her iTunes recording of “Beautiful Disaster” so special; why she ignored warnings not to cover Adam Sandler’s “Grow Old With You”; and which classic bass line from the B-52s informed her interpretation of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”

Press PLAY above for the full, freewheeling Q&A — which touches on her near-disaster in group rounds and addresses criticisms about her artistic authenticity — then hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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38 Comments
  1. Florence+TheMachineRules!!! says:

    YASSS!!! Loving this interview!!! Go Jax!!! 😍😍😍

  2. Kristi says:

    Awesome interview! I wish we could see more of the contestants’ personalities during the season.

  3. Tahoe Mike says:

    I’ve been waiting for this! What, no flowers ?!?
    Jax and Joey were the best things about Idol this season for me, I’ll be watching for more from both of them.

    • Lloyd says:

      Michael probably wanted to give flowers to Sarina, but he never interviewed her for some reason.

    • Jill Moy says:

      Tahoe,

      You must like weidos and ug mugs! Jax models horse blankets and Joey’s a clown at Circus Circus, in Las Vegas!

  4. V. says:

    You guys should do interviews with The Voice contestants also. And hey Michael, why not start with Kimberly Nichole aka the queen of this last season?

  5. Lourdes says:

    Another great interview, Michael!! Jax’s enthusiasm is truly infectious. I thought it was neat that yet another Idol contestant mentioned they read TVLine’s Idol coverage and watch Reality Check. Hope you do an article on the Idol tour when it comes to the NY/NJ area.

  6. Liz says:

    Jax just solidified for me the reasons I was drawn to her and why I voted for her above everyone else, because she is the real deal! I am so looking forward to when I can buy her debut album. I am a fan for life, I can’t wait to see what twists and turns she takes along the way. She is original! Love ya Jax!

  7. TVAddict says:

    What were the other 2 songs Jax had prepared for the finale?

  8. brandy says:

    Michael, your face when she asks to draw the X. Priceless.

  9. Michael Thompson says:

    So, Michael, After interviewing everyone in the top of the class except Rayvon, I have to ask now. Did America get it right? Not just vocally but from the stand point of star quality? Would love your thoughts post interviews.

  10. Hamish says:

    I missed the traditional presentation of the flowers. Michael, you’re slipping… ;-)

  11. Jill M says:

    You can all praise this talentless bimbo! Bottom line is JAX A$$ CAN’T SING;PURE AND SIMPLE! I’d rather listen to a hound dog than this phony voiced singer!

    • Antz says:

      Can you please be specific with your critique? Mention her mistakes, what she has to do…like maybe telling her to loosen up her voice? Who knows by any chance Jax might read it. I’m waiting how you would respond to this. You have only one chance to change my perception about you. Don’t blow it.

    • Jess says:

      Jill your comments all of the time are terrible. Get over it with Jax if you don’t like her and you also need to get over it about people’s looks- even if you are a supermodel (which I doubt you are) -you are rude and hoping you can get blocked next year from posting here.

  12. lorie says:

    Had a hard time understanding what she was saying. She talks kind of low and fast. Either my speakers aren’t cutting it or I’m getting old. Can’t keep up with those young’uns anymore.

    • Lloyd says:

      It’s not your speakers, I turned the volume up to the max and still couldn’t hear her clearly all the time. The sound was pretty weak on this recording.

    • Antz says:

      Try maximizing the the equalizer as well…or, well, touch them speakers to your ears.

    • Jess says:

      I didn’t get far with this interview b/c of not being able to hear her clearly with sound and speed of her voice. Wish Jax all the best.

  13. galaga6846 says:

    It was very hard to hear

  14. Jill M says:

    JAX A$$ should become a bus girl because with her talent and that face, she isn’t going anywhere! She could model horse blankets!

    • Kim Moores says:

      Are you aware that you’re as articulate, elegant, and intelligent as an ant?
      Aka, not at all?

      • Jill M says:

        KIM,

        Why don’t you stuff it! The truth is she can’t sing and is ugly as hel*! That’s my opinion! Go join your partner who broke a record with 43 comments on a blog, and take a very long vacation to the Alps….ONE WAY PLEASE!

  15. Kim Moores says:

    I’m a smidge curious atm.
    In a season where at least 4 of the contestants were notorious for not doing straight covers of songs, why does Jax get the biggest round of applause for it when there’s Joey and her jazzy/folk rearrangements, Quentin’s haunting and ethereal arrangements, and Clarks entirely musical rearrangements.
    Is it because hers was the most noticeable risk or is this simply favoritism? Cause honestly those 4 all took big risks on songs.

  16. Jill Moy says:

    Why not interview Adanna or Crowe…someone with talent, not this talent wannabe who made a fool out of American Idol! She would never get a turn on The Voice! I’ve heard better sounds from a fly!

  17. Lyn says:

    Best wishes for continued success Jax! You are wonderful!

  18. john boyd says:

    Thanks for the interview – I turned off idol after Jax left – (after the way they treated her)

  19. silentmajority says:

    I like her even more now. Go get it Jax, you’re amazing!

    • Jill Moy says:

      SILENT,

      HOW IS SHE AMAZING….SHE WHISPERS FOR CRISSAKES! And when she doesn’t whisper she’s straining! And that joker, homely face that only her mother can love!

      • silentmajority says:

        We get it already, Jill. You hate her. We heard you. The fact that after days of saying so repeatedly, you still can’t stop, makes you look like someone with serious issues. Get over it and move on.

    • T.B. Hammer says:

      Those who keep-up with some of the Idols as time goes by, will be seeing more of Jax in the business. More so than any of the other girls from this season. Those who only detract and run her down, will be proven wrong about her future.

      • Jill Moy says:

        TB,

        YOU ARE A DELUDED DREAMER! JAX A$$ IS GOING NOOOOOOWARRRRRRE! She stinks! She looks and sounds like a JAX OFF! Easily the most overrated singer ever, ON ANY TALENT SHOW!

  20. Joseph Rider says:

    Good interview!!