Back to American Idol

‘Expect a party’ when American Idol Live Tour hits A.C.

Posted: Sunday, July 12, 2015 5:10 pm

For the first time, all Top 5 finalists will perform for the “American Idol Live Tour,” which comes to Caesars Atlantic City 9 p.m. Aug. 1.

Season 14 winner Nick Fradiani will be joined by Clark Beckham, Jax, Rayvon Owen and Tyanna Jones, proving they are as talented a Top 5 as there ever has been on the Fox reality series.

Jax, an East Brunswick native and No. 3 finalist on the show, chatted with At The Shore’s Scott Cronick during a recent airing of “Off The Press with Scott Cronick” on NewsTalk 1400-AM WOND to talk about her experience on the show, the tour and much more. You can read the entire interview at


Q: Jax, you placed third (and you’re) originally from East Brunswick, and then moved to New York when you were young. You can never take the Jersey out of girl. Right, Jax?

A: Yeah. I’m just an East Coast chick in general.

SC: I think everyone was shocked that you didn’t get in the Top 2. Were you as shocked as a lot of your fans were?

J: I was more taken back not by the elimination, I kind of felt like a winner earlier on, at that point the placing didn’t even matter that much, but I was more taken back by the elimination process and the way it was done rather than the actual cut. I don’t know. It just felt really unethical and kind of disrespectful to me and my family, but it’s OK. I got my closure in the end. I don’t know who was behind the actual way it was done. I don’t know what producer, but I just needed to thank everybody toward the end because it’s so important for me to thank the fans and the people who came out to support me.

Q: It is kind of amazing because when they call it reality TV, there’s not as much reality as you think although it might be the business reality of life. Like you said, you’re not sure which producer sort of meddled in there, but it’s not all about the fans calling, it’s not all about judges that like you, sometimes there are people behind the scenes pulling little strings.

A: Yeah. I mean anybody who watches reality TV kind of suspects that there’s something going on that puts the show together, aside from the reality of it. What was real about the show was the chemistry between the contestants for sure. That’s why the tour is going to be so killer. We all have an amazing time and we look great on stage together because we really are genuinely having that fun. If there’s any reality in American Idol it was the family that we made.

Q: One of your songs is a song I think you actually recorded after you left the show, was a cover of Empire State of Mind. So why does that song fit you so well? Why do you enjoy singing that so much?

A: Because I’m a New York girl, an East Coast girl. I grew up in New York, New Jersey, everywhere on the East Coast, and I love it. That’s why I love Alicia Keys and that was fun to sing. I really loved that one.

Q: It kind of brings chills when you hear you doing that version of that song. With something that’s such a great song, it’s hard to bring your own little thing to that. That’s saying something for you as the kind of performer you are. Nice job on that.

A: Thank you so much. Alicia Keys is a powerhouse. A lot to live up to. So I figured I would maybe not try to emulate her, but try to do my own thing because I can’t really compare to Alicia.


Q: So what has the show done for you, and where do you think it’s headed? Where is your career headed?

A: It gave me a great platform. It gave me a great launching pad. The exposure was insane. It was a national platform, global really because of the Internet and how fast things spread. I have a fan base now. I have a new family that really supports my dream and latched onto this crazy weirdo movement that we have going on: to be different and embrace music noir. And I have my Jax Pack, I like to call them. They’re my super friends and fans online. I feel like I really started my footprint, the door just completely opened, and it just opened a million different doors for opportunity. So I’m excited for the next step.

Q: Do you think you are a better singer and performer when you left the show then when you started?

A: I’m definitely more technical. It’s a different type of singing and performing you do on the show. There’s a lot of room for error when you are performing live on tour because it’s a vibe thing. You’re hanging out. There’s not a camera on you at all times. It’s like you’re partying on stage. On the show, there’s like 17 cameras on you at once. The mic is crystal clear. You’re being judged by America. Your performance is what’s going to reflect the voting the next week. The judges are right in front of you, right in front of your face. J-Lo’s sitting right there. I don’t even know how I was able to do it. Just the thought of it is making me nauseous.

Q: You alluded earlier that you feel like you made up for whatever it was that happened in that second to last episode. I’m assuming you mean when you performed with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in the finale, right? To stand up there with that guy that had to be something.

A: Steven is the coolest person on the planet. I loved performing with him, and it never felt like work. It always felt like — he made me feel like a star and he’s such a rock star. That was probably one of the best nights of my life because he was able to do that for me.

Q: So he said he wants to make you a star. Are you taking him up on that offer?

A: I’m in touch with some people from his camp. I’m thinking about performing a Steven Tyler song on tour. His new single “Love is Your Name” is fantastic. You have to go watch the video. It rocks, and I hope to be able to sing it because I loved when he sang it on the show. It really got to a piece of my heart.

Q: You said it’s fun to reunite with your fellow contestants. You don’t have to worry about competing now. So what can we expect in Atlantic City?

A: You can expect a party! It’s so much fun! I’m literally like part of the crowd at this point. I’m so excited that Jersey did so well. The tickets are sold out, which is like actually mind boggling. I really thought that it was so funny because I go through the seating charts and I was like, “Oh man, Mom, it looks like we only sold four tickets there’s only four seats colored.” She was like, “Jax, no, the colored seats are the ones that weren’t sold.” I was like “Oh my God! Are you kidding me? We sold out Jersey!” I’m so excited. You have no idea. I’m going to be a psychopath on stage. I think at this point, the adrenaline is going to completely take over. I can’t wait to meet and get back to the home people, you know? It’s like they were there for me throughout the whole journey. So I’m so excited. Represent East Coast!