As you may have read Monday, Chris Daughtry described American Idol as in a state of “decline” on RollingStone.com. Since then, a producer for the show told Rolling Stone Daughtry called to apologize and said that he was “misquoted or taken out of context.” We think Daughtry is a great guy and understand that he put himself in a tough position, but we also need to set the record straight. Here’s the interview transcript and audio from our phone conversation.
ROLLING STONE: Are you gonna watch it next season, or do you even care anymore? I mean —
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: You know, it’s kinda hard, to be honest with you.
ROLLING STONE: Yeah, I can imagine.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: It’s gotten to a point now where it just kind of like — I don’t know. I don’t know how many people actually take it serious. And in return you have a hard time having an audience that takes it serious —
ROLLING STONE: Right.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: — you know what I mean? So, you know, this — I feel like they’re gonna have to do a lot to really, you know, change the way it;s — or otherwise, I think it’s gonna end up, you know, running its course, because, you know, I think that people get tired of seeing the people that suck. It’s funny at first, but come on. You know, you spend like two whole — ;two or three weeks on people that can’t sing, and that’s what they’re banking it on. It’s like come on, find some people that you can really invest in.
ROLLING STONE: Right.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: And even better, why don’t you give them a time to perform some of their own songs if they’re able to play an instrument? If not, you know, work it out with the band, and, you know, let’s see what kind of artists they really are, you know what I’m saying? And I think some stuff like that — people would end up taking it more serious, you know, as an audience because despite what it’s done, so many people are like—you know, there’s that stigma of like oh, it comes from American Idol, so it’s hard to take it seriously at first. And we’ve had to work our butts off to prove that, you know, we’re beyond that. We’re not — you know, the show didn’t make us who we are. It just gave me the opportunity to show people who I was. And that’s not saying that in a cocky way, but all I’m saying is I was an artist before I went on the show. Nobody knew who the hell I was, [laughs] you know?
ROLLING STONE: Yeah. Well, I think that you have definitely gotten rid of that stigma, right? I mean —
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: Yeah. And so, you know, I think if they start doing stuff like that, people — more serious people will come out for the show, and I think it’ll kind of revamp the series.
ROLLING STONE: Yeah. So you don’t think it is in decline? You think they just need to like rethink it a bit?
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: Oh, I think it’s definitely in decline.
ROLLING STONE: Oh, okay, okay, gotcha.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: If they don’t do something about it, it’s probably not gonna last too much longer.
ROLLING STONE: Yeah. Yeah, well, it — yeah.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: And I’m sure that’ll be used against me, but I’m just — that’s the truth, you know? I feel like it’s definitely lacking some credibility at this point.
ROLLING STONE: Yeah, I definitely agree with you. I mean, I watched last season, and like they all sucked. [Laughs] It was boring, you know? Yeah.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: Yeah.
ROLLING STONE: So we’ll see what happens.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: It would be — it will be interesting to kinda check it out and see if it’s — you know, what kind of people they’re finding and what kinda — I’m always interested to see what kind of people are trying out for it, you know?
ROLLING STONE: Yeah, ’cause there seems —
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: After going for so long, who else [laughs] is out there that still wants to get on the show?
ROLLING STONE: Right. Yeah, and there seems to be so few rock acts. I mean — ’cause like last year there was nobody that rocked.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: Yeah. It was almost like — I don’t know. I was expecting to like maybe see more people, you know, coming out, doing rock, and I didn’t see any.
ROLLING STONE: Yeah, it’s weird.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: So — but anyway —
ROLLING STONE: Yeah. Okay, Chris. Well, it’s — I think that wraps it up.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: Thank you, man. It was really good talking to you.
• The “American Idol” Rollercoaster: Checking In On the Show’s Biggest Winners and Losers
• Chris Daughtry: “American Idol” Is “in a State of Decline”
• “American Idol” Adding Guitar Strumming, Subtracting Mentors