HomeBlogshyperdel's blogAmerican Idol Contestant Leaves M-Pact

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DC: What made you want to do American Idol in the first place? I didn’t know that you had ambitions as a solo performer.

RC: I think that everyone deep down has their own ambitions as a solo performer and I am the same way. I initially did it because I thought that it would be great publicity for M-PACT. I thought that I could at least meet people or even a producer and that this would be a good contact for the group. Then, as I advanced from round to round, I started to realize that I could have a real chance to make it far in this competition. I was passing out press kits and spreading the word about M-PACT. Because of this, a lot of people were exposed to the group that might not have heard of them otherwise. It was a win-win for all involved. 

DC: What was the very first audition like?

RC: Well, the first audition was crazy. I was there for 12 hours at the stadium and 13,000 people were there auditioning that day. It’s funny; you get 30 seconds to sing for a producer of the show. They eliminated almost everyone who showed up that first day. 

DC: So, how far into the process do we, the TV audience, gets to start watching?

RC: There are a lot of rounds of auditions where you go and sing for different producers of the show. I think that the Hollywood auditions are round five. By that point they have eliminated all but like, 50 people.

DC: What did the other M-Pact members say when you told them you were going to audition?

RC: Well, that’s an interesting question. I actually didn’t tell the guys that I was auditioning. I knew they would make fun of me (in a nice way) for doing it. Plus, I didn’t want to come to rehearsals and tell them that I got eliminated right away. I think I actually told them in November, right before the Hollywood round. They were planning a tour and it got to the point where I finally had to tell them. When I did, they were very supportive and thought it was really cool. 

DC: Do you get to pick your own songs or do producers pick for you?

RC: You pick the songs for every round but they have to be cleared by the owner of the song and in those TV weeks they have to be in the theme of that week, like Country or Blues or whatever. This was a challenge for me because I basically ended up singing my fourth choice at times because some of the songs I wanted weren’t cleared by the owner. I ended up picking older songs that I thought would have an easier chance for approval. One of the most popular questions asked of me is, “what songs would you have sung had you made it further in the show?” I am actually recording some of those very songs on my upcoming solo album.

DC: How much of a “show” was it, as in put-on conflict and etc…?

RC: Basically, it’s all a show. Sure, its reality TV but there is just too much money invested for the producers not to have control. It is very scripted and the people you see are acting a certain way for the benefit of the show. For example, I am really not the type of person to get extremely excited and crazy when I win something. I remember having to redo my reaction for them because it wasn’t dramatic enough. I was actually kind of surprised by this. That’s one of the first things I learned about this process and I actually felt I was going into this knowing what I was getting into. There was a lot of cutting and splicing going on but you have to remember, they are trying to make a TV show and keep people watching.

DC: Any thoughts on Sanjaya and this movement to vote for the worst on the show?

RC: It is kind of frustrating since I was paired with him and he was chosen. However, I think that in the context of making a good TV show, it is brilliant. These people are creating great TV with their votes. I kind of feel bad for him actually. I am 29 and have lived through things and I am very comfortable with myself. He is a 17 year old kid and the whole world is basically making fun of him. SNL is making fun of him for being awful. If I was 17 and the whole world was making fun of me like that, I just don’t know how I would handle it. It’s not his fault that he is winning like this.

DC: Why are you leaving M-Pact? What does the future hold for you?

RC: You know, when you get a chance to do something like this, you just have to take it. I know I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t. The show has opened a lot of doors for me. When I did the show, they had to get a sub for the group. When I came back from being on the show, I realized that even though I love the group and I love the Jazz music they are doing, it really isn’t my forte. I can do it, but it isn’t my forte. Since it was an easy transition for them because they had a sub, I figured, if there ever were a time to do it, it is now.  So now I am working on a solo album.

DC: Do you have a deal in place, or are you producing a demo to take to the labels?

RC: The way it works on Idol is that everyone who makes it to the top 24 is automatically signed to 19 Entertainment. I am also signed to CAA. When a contestant is eliminated, the label/s basically says, “Show us why we should keep you on.” So you record your best material and submit it to them. It’s such an excellent opportunity since I have my foot in the door more than I ever would have. I just have to go for it. It’s sad to leave the group, but at the same time it is good for both the group and I. I get to pursue this amazing solo opportunity, and they get to sing with someone who is probably a better fit for them.

DC: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me. Is there anything you would like to say to the CASA readers/fans?

RC: Thanks for your love and support. I have to say that the a cappella community has the best fans in the world. I mean that. Also, just because I am not in the group, does not mean that you won’t see me any more or that I won’t be involved with the group.

DC: Any chance we might hear an a cappella track on the new album?

RC: Absolutely! There will most likely be at least one a cappella tune on the album. I have done it for so many years now that I can’t just drop it. Watch my MySpace for some clips of songs for the album.

Wow! That’s some pretty interesting stuff. I have to admit I am not a die hard American Idol fan, so some of the “inside secrets” about the show were really an eye-opener for me.

So now you are probably wondering “Where does this leave M-PACT?” “Who is this new replacement?” Well, I spoke to Jeff Smith of M-PACT and he had this to say about their new member, “As for m-pact...we've had a phenomenal singer (an LA session singer named Fletcher Sheridan) filling in for Rudy while he was on the show. With Rudy's departure, we jumped at the opportunity to make Fletcher a permanent member.”

Well, there you have it folks, the end of an era and two wonderful new beginnings for Rudy and M-PACT. Keep an eye out for my next installment on the site. Will it be a rant with sparks included? Will it be a blunt review of a recently panned a cappella musical? You just never know. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!