American Idol will be back in January with a lot of changes, but one thing that remains the same–there can only be one American Idol. So what happens to the thousands that don’t make the cut? Some of them actually go on to do other big things. In an interview with YRB magazine, Amber Riley of Fox’s hit show, “Glee” recalls her own American Idol experience, tells how it impacted her career, and gives some advice to other Idol hopefuls.
“With so many people in my family singing, it was kind of easy for me to go into clubs and sing background,” Amber told the magazine. “This was my first time out of my comfort zone auditioning. When I did that and they told me no, my world crumbled,” the 24-year-old actress recalls. “I was thinking these people are in the industry and they are telling me I’m not good enough to do this. I definitely thought that for a minute… It was a very humbling experience after being told how good I was the whole time.”
But after being rejected by the judges, Amber’s mother encouraged her to go on, telling her, “You know what you have and you know who you are and you know the gift you have. You just have to work harder.”
So, Riley quit her retail job in order to pursue her dream full time. And her gamble finally paid off when the she auditioned for and got the role of Mercedes Jones on Fox’s Emmy-award winning show “Glee.”
Without her Idol rejection, Amber says that she probably wouldn’t be enjoying the success that she has now.
“I am really glad they [" American Idol" ] told me no, because maybe if they hadn’t, I never would have strived for my full potential or reached my full potential. I might have rested on my laurels,” says Amber.
As for her tip to the many hopefuls who won’t end up becoming the next American Idol, Amber has a bit of advice:
“The best advice I can give is just be focused, be sure about what you want and don’t let anyone tell you no, you can’t do it. Don’t let that deter you.”
Season 10 of American Idol premieres Wednesday, January 19th on Fox.
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Photo Source: FOX