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Idol Chit-Chat
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Blake on Sanjaya: “His life story is super shocking.”

Blake Lewis recently did an interview with Jonathan Takiff of the “Philadelphia Daily News” to promote his tour.

And as usual, he had a lot of frank things to say…

Blake said “Idol” treated him like a “troublemaker.” He clashed often with the contestant handler. “Plus, [he] didn’t rehearse a lot and they hated that…At rehearsal, I’d stand straight in front of the camera and sing badly. I was holding back for the live show. After three weeks, they finally caught on and let me be…And I wasn’t a team player. I hung out with the production guys—the lighting and sound guys. Maybe that’s a reason I was successful. I cared about the true people running the show.”

When Takiff suggested that Blake’s frankness would make for a good tell-all book, Blake responded that the person who should write a book is Sanjaya Malakar. “I was very vocal about him, didn’t think he should be on the show. But he’s a great kid. And his life story is super shocking. I can’t tell you why. I’ve burned him enough already. Trust me, though. It’d be a ‘New York Times’ best seller.”


Blake also took a few shots at Clive Davis in the interview. “Arista was attuned to my idea of the record, but not exactly the whole thing. I wanted B.T. to be the executive producer, not Clive Davis…Clive knows music, he knows vocals, what to do with Alicia Keys. When it comes to electronic, my area, he knows nothing. The man is, like, 80 years old!...I’d say about 70 percent of what I wanted came to fruition.”

As for the fight over the first single, Blake said, “They spent $200,000 making a bad video for the wrong song, ‘Break Anotha,’ without telling me I was responsible for half the cost. Finally they did an audience test, and the song that scored highest was the one I wanted all along to be the single, “How Many Words.”

Blake added that Arista refused to put the CD out in Europe, even though the electronic aspect probably would’ve worked well there. And after Clive was demoted, Barry Weiss, his replacement waited two months before he listened to the album and then decided not to do a second one, causing Blake to lose valuable time he could have been using to tour or to look for another label.

The good news is that 19 has not abandoned Blake and is supporting him on his tour.

Blake said he’s working on an album in his home studio, but it’s a production record and not a Blake record…