Of the four American Idol
finalists voted off last week, we at TVGuide.com think Judd Harris
was least deserving of the hook. The 27-year-old New Yorker is a good sport, a helluva lot of fun — he raised the roof with his hip-gyrating rendition of Elvis Presley
's "Travelin' Band" — and he's just plain cute. As we steel ourselves for another quadruple vote-off tonight (9 pm/ET on Fox), Harris — who has resumed his duties as lead singer of his band, Visible From Space
— stops by for some Idol
TVGuide.com: We're surprised at your elimination. Are AI fans too young to respect the King?
Judd Harris: Well, I wouldn't say that I was trying to do Elvis...
TVG: Well, you sure were moving your hips in an Elvis-y fashion to a song he famously covered...
Harris: I hear ya. If I was speculating, I would think maybe people thought I was safe and didn't need to vote for me. [Laughs.] That's what I would like to think... Maybe they just weren't into what I had to offer. If that's the case, I'm OK with it, because I think I presented the real me and what I do best.
TVG: "Travelin' Band" was a risky song choice. Why'd you pick that one?
Harris: I wanted to show that I have a rock sensibility, and I wanted to do an up-tempo [song]. I wanted to set myself apart and I think I did that. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for me.
TVG: The way Ryan Seacrest mind-screwed you has to go down as one of Idol's meanest elimination tricks.
Harris: Of course it was awful. I had no idea it was coming and it was like a laser beam through me. I've never hated the sound of my name more in my whole life. But in the end, how they carried it out doesn't change what the outcome would have been, so I'm at peace with it at this point.
TVG: Didn't it seem unnecessarily cruel?
Harris: I think we all knew what we were getting ourselves into. It was very surprising and shocking and horrible for me because I was going home, but I don't really blame them for making the most entertaining show they can.
TVG: Admit it, though: You wanted to smack Seacrest when he finally revealed you'd been cut.
Harris: At the moment, I was very [inside] myself and trying to get a handle on myself. Knowing that I had to sing, I was just trying to hold it together. I know Ryan's just carrying out the will of America. It's not his fault, it's his job to get us to talk about [our reaction]. I don't hold any personal bad feelings toward Ryan.
TVG: Simon Cowell said, "I feel sorry for you." What exactly did he mean?
Harris: Um, I'm not sure what he meant by that. I was a little confused by it. But I guess I took it as [Simon] saying that he thought maybe it wasn't really my time to go and I went a little prematurely, and he felt sorry for me because he thought maybe I should have stuck around.
TVG: So you don't think he meant "I feel sorry for you that you suck"?
Harris: No, I don't think so. He's usually not very rude, right? [Laughs]
TVG: Your second rendition of "Travelin' Band" was as fun as the first. Is it better to go out as a good sport, rather than sleep through your final performance like Sarah Mather did?
Harris: You're on TV in front of millions. It's your last chance to say, "Hey, I've got something to offer. I hope you like it." I wanted to show I'm a professional and that even in a difficult situation, I can do my thing. Hopefully, people saw that and thought, "Wow, maybe we should sign this guy." Hopefully, there'll be opportunities I can take advantage of because people respected that.