FT MYERS NEWS-PRESS

Back to American Idol

American Idol winner Nick Fradiani, more sing in Fort Myers


CHARLES RUNNELLS, CRUNNELLS@NEWS-PRESS.COM 6:56 p.m. EDT July 9, 2015

Nick Fradiani thought he was busy on “American Idol.” Then he won the thing.

Now the singer barely has time to eat.

During an interview with The News-Press, Fradiani munches on a leftover bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. He got his breakfast at 9 a.m. Now it’s 2:15 p.m. and he still hasn’t finished.

“It’s probably pretty gross, but I’m eating it now,” he says and laughs. “There’s been a lot of rushing around.”

Since winning “American Idol” in May, Fradiani has been zipping around the country for back-to back radio and TV appearances, phone interviews, recording sessions and concerts — including this Sunday’s “American Idol Live Tour” at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.

“It’s been a lot of controlled chaos in the last three weeks,” Fradiani says. “I’ve been working hard — and not sleeping a lot.”

Not that he minds. After winning “Idol” in May, his career finally has started taking off.

“It’s what I always wanted,” he says. “This is what I signed up for.”

Sunday’s “American Idol Live Tour” features Fradiani and the other top 5 finalists from the popular TV singing show. They’ll perform solo and group numbers from their appearances in season 14. Fradiani, for example, plans to sing a song from his pop-rock band Beach Avenue and also his new single “Beautiful Life.”

Fradiani, 29, didn’t get to choose that “coronation song” marking his big win. That was done by the “American Idol” production team. But he says he’s happy with the result.

“I just lucked out,” he says. “I really liked the song.”

This year’s tour includes top 5 finalists Jax, Rayvon Owen, Tyanna Jones, Clark Beckham and also a special guest on this leg of the tour, coffeehouse-style singer Joey Cook (and, yes, she’s bringing her ukulele).

Cook, 24, says she’s looking forward to hanging out with everybody. It’ll be a lot less stressful than competing on live TV.

“We’re not singing for votes anymore,” she says. “We’re just singing because we like to!”

This year’s tour is a particularly poignant one — it’s likely going to be the second-to-the-last “Idol” tour to ever visit Fort Myers. The show is being canceled after next season.

News of the cancellation broke in May.

“When I first found out, I was a little bummed,” Fradiani says. “It’s had an incredible run for the last 15 years… I’m just proud to have been a part of it and be one of the 15 winners, when all is said and done.”

Fradiani doubts “America Idol” is really over, though. It’s too popular and influential to completely go away. He thinks it’ll get revamped and come back new and improved in five or six years.

“What it did was really amazing,” he says. “It changed pop culture at one point.”

In the meantime, Cook says, next year’s “American Idol” should be a memorable one.

She thinks more people will try out than ever before. It’s now or never.

“It’s the very last one,” she says. “Go out with a bang.”

Connect with this reporter: Charles Runnells (News-Press) (Facebook) @charlesrunnells (Twitter)


If You Go

What: “American Idol Live Tour”

When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 13350 FSW Parkway, south Fort Myers

Tickets: $41.51-$73.71 (plus applicable taxes and fees, prices subject to change)

Info: 481-4849 or bbmannpah.com