Last week, The X Factor delivered, arguably, one of the more shocking eliminations in a televised singing competition in 2012 when Vino Alan, perpetual top three-ranked competitor, was sent home in a near-unanimous vote after landing in the bottom two against 13 year-old Diamond White. In an interview with Yahoo Music, the 40 year-old singer discussed his elimination, along with his fateful issues with song choice, his “angry” edit, and a (debatably) rude comment from Simon after his elimination.
This week, you had a last-minute song switch, and a lot of your fans think that was the cause of your downfall. Do you think the song chosen for you, or the songs you did in general–which were more old soul than modern rock–represented you well?
“I realize, looking back, that I didn’t get to show the diversity of my range. I play a lot of instruments–the original plan was to play piano on my song this week–and I’ve written for years and won awards. But I ended up leaving the show after doing songs from the ’60s and ’70s–nothing that showed my relevance since my version of ‘Sober’ by Pink [at the Judges' Houses]. I didn’t even do anything from this decade, something modern, something that showed where I would be relevant today in the music industry. I realize I could have fought more, after talking to [Season 1 runner-up] Josh Krajcik last night.”
Oh? What did Josh tell you?
“He said he had to fight a lot for his songs last year. He told my mother and me he was a fan of mine, and that I should fight for song choices. But I’ll be damned if it wasn’t too late.”
You actually seemed pretty upset during your rehearsal footage Wednesday, and you said you wanted to do Alex Clare’s “Too Close” this week. It didn’t seem like you didn’t put up a fight at all….
“Well, I didn’t test the waters to see, what if I buck up? What if I rear up and go, ‘Dude, don’t put me in this position’? It’s actually funny that you guys saw me punch a wall in Boot Camp, because I’m usually so Zen; I don’t go there a lot. I’m pretty even-keel. So I didn’t go that far this week.”
Several contestants on this show besides you–Arin Ray and Lyric 145 especially–have said that they got song choices that didn’t accurately represent who they are as artists. It seems to be a common complaint on this show. Do you agree?
“What I will say is I think everybody you just mentioned, it was their first ride on this train too, so there was some part of them that was like, ‘These people know better, and they’re trying to do the best for us. These people know what TV viewers want and what will get votes.’ So there was a level of trust, and there was a matter of, how much are you gonna fight the system? I wouldn’t say the show was doing that on purpose, or that there was some conspiracy theory, nothing like that. But yeah, if somebody is telling you, ‘You do this and you’ll get more votes, and then you can do what you really want later,’ you listen to them. But L.A. would never throw me under the bus. Still…here I am.”
Many of your fans out there are sharing conspiracy theories, and do think you were thrown under the bus. It does seem weird that you went from being in the top three to going home within the course of just one week–especially after that last-minute song switch…
“Wow. You’re pushing me to cross my ‘Mr. Cool’ line, because that makes a lot of sense when you lay it out like that. I mean, I wouldn’t know where to point at that. I know that inside the ‘X Factor’ camp, they knew what I could bring. To drop me down that far and send my a** home is kind of strange. But I am not one to say whether it was on purpose. But that talk does get my spine tingling…”
Why did the show want you to do “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” instead of the song you were originally supposed to do, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”–or another rock song of your choice by Alex Clare or Kings Of Leon? And did you doubt that decision at all?
“I wasn’t fake and I didn’t just suck it up, but it’s L.A. Reid, and it’s a TV show. So I had to trust that there was something to what they were saying. They kept telling me it was the most-played song of all time. And it wasn’t just L.A.; by no means can I put this just on L.A. So many people were in his dressing room with me saying, ‘This is the song to do. Do you want to just sing and show what you can do, or do you want to win?’ When they put it that way, I was like, ‘Well, I want to win, I guess.’ I still like the version I did. I think Simon was being a bit extreme to say that it was time to go home because of it.”
Simon actually cast the deciding vote against you this week, and you seemed taken aback by that. Did you get a chance to speak with him about it?
“Yes. I even asked him, like, ‘Dude, I just want to make sure I didn’t do something to upset you.’ I wanted to know if I was being let go for a different reason. He said, ‘No, and you’re gonna be a star either way.’ But he did say, ‘If it helps anything, I don’t think you would have won anyway.’”
To read the rest of the interview, in which Vino discusses his future in the industry, his feud with Demi Lovato, and The X Factor’s viability as a show, head on over to Yahoo Music.