Several past American Idol winners were on hand at the press event for American Idol XV:-
- Season 2 winner, Ruben Studdard
- Season 6 winner, Jordin Sparks
- Season 7 winner, David Cook
- Season 8 winner, Kris Allen
- Season 10 winner, Scotty McCreery
- Season 14 winner, Nick Fradiani
They were asked what the one takeaway that the contestants on the current season should be looking at when they go into the real world?
David Cook: I think Idol is probably the closest thing you’re ever going to find to a fame boot camp.
I think the lessons that I took away from it are lessons that I still use today, eight years later. So I think, as you go through the process, it’s important to step back and realize where you are and figure out how to navigate, more than anything.
I’m, eight years, still figuring out how to navigate, to some degree.
Jordin Sparks: There’s no blueprint really. I remember after the finale, I ran into the arms of my brother, my mom, and his best friend. I was crying, and I remember feeling a tap on my shoulder, and it was like, ‘Okay.
Press in five minutes.’ And it was like, ‘Okay. Here you go.’ There’s no blueprint. You kind of just go.
We learn a lot on the show, how to compose ourselves and talk in front of people, how to convey emotions through our songs and reach people through the TV.
But once you get out there, everything is so different, and you kind of just have to go, “Okay. Here I go.” You just dive in headfirst.
Scotty McCreery: Yeah. Surround yourself with good people. I mean five months prior I was selling groceries.
I didn’t know anything about the music business. So find people you trust, and go out there and try your best.
Kris Allen: I think realizing that, just because you’re on TV and a lot of people know your face, that nothing is given to you.
You really have to work for it. There’s a lot that you have to work for in the music business.
Nick Fradiani: Yeah, I agree with Kris. There’s definitely no guarantees. After the show is over, it all comes down to the work you want to put into it.
What I was noticing with all the past Idols is it really comes down to the music. After the show, you’ve got to put out really good material.
I think that’s been the biggest focus for all of us, is to try to come out with the best material that we can.
Ruben Studdard: I think everybody that comes on the show has a dream of just doing what they love every day. And that has been, for me, the most fulfilling thing in my life.
There’s a description in the Bible that says faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things you couldn’t see.
And God actually gave me those tangible things that I could put my hands on and say, ‘I dreamed about that.
This happened. I wanted to sing. I’m singing.’