Type 3 Media: How was your May 26th season 9 American Idol finale experience performing and saying goodbye to Simon Cowell?
Jordin Sparks: It was great, as it always is when I go on Idol. It’s definitely like a reunion seeing all the crew and people who work so hard to make the show what it is. But being up there with all of the other winners and past contestants was amazing. It was very bittersweet because it was a blast to sing with everyone, but with Simon leaving we all felt a little sad.
T3M: Which of the former winners (or contestants) were you most excited to meet and sing with?
JS: Well, I’ve met all of them so I was excited to sing with them all. I just wanted to see who was going to win!
T3M: What is your fondest memory of Simon?
JS: Fondest memory? Probably backstage when I saw him and I wished him luck and he said the same.
T3M: What are you most excited about on your current first headlining tour?
JS: The fact that I now ‘run the show’ so to speak. I’m getting used to the fact that I have openers. Because I was just in the position. It’s so fun though! Now I have an hour to sing my heart out instead of 15-20 minutes.
T3M: What about headlining makes you nervous (if anything)?
JS: The fact that most of the people coming are now there to really see me. Instead of warming up the audience, I’m the main act. I definitely have to bring my ‘A’ game no matter what. Rain or shine. Sinus trouble or sickness. The show must go on!
T3M: In conjunction with Mike and Ike, the tour is sponsored by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. What does this charity mean to you?
JS: I’ve been affected by cancer personally within my friends and family. I’ve met and spoke with a few girls through Make A Wish who had cancer, that were either my age or younger than me, who didn’t have much time. No child should have to go through that. With Mike and Ike it also shows you can make a difference in the smallest way. Just by buying a box of the lemonade blends, you’re making a donation to find a cure. As well as learning about the story of Alex, where everything started for her with a cup of lemonade.
T3M: Also, please tell us about your involvement with the X The TXT campaign.
JS: In many states there are laws against being on your phone while driving. You’re supposed to be ‘hands free’. If you’re texting, that’s definitely not the case. Texting while driving is the equivalent to drinking four beers and getting behind the wheel. To be that distracted… who would want to risk their lives like that for a message that can wait? I got involved last year with my Mom to show that it effects not only my generation but others as well. The campaign went so well, that we teamed up again and now they’re with me on tour. There’s a booth where my fans can take the pledge and put their thumbprint on the banner. It’s really cool. People can also take it at Facbook.Com/thumbsuppledge.
T3M: In August you will begin to play Nina Rosario in the Broadway show “In The Heights.” Have you performed in musicals in the past?
JS: I did before Idol. I did a lot of community theatre and drama club in school. I absolutely loved it. But Broadway is a whole different animal!
T3M: What will be the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in your role in the musical?
JS: The difference with Broadway and touring is, on tour, I can change up the songs, start them over, change the key and do whatever I want. In the show I have to stay true to the character and sing the songs how Nina would sing them. Key, rhythm and everything. Also eight shows a week is gonna take some getting used to, but I’m up for the challenge. As far as the reward goes, I’m excited to do something I’m familiar with but it’s going to be really foreign as well. I hope that I can take the role of Nina and do the best that I can, while staying true to the character, but putting me in there too. I’m also going to be living on my own for the first time so not only is it a new direction in my career but in my life as well.