AMERICAN CLASS-ACT: SCOTT SAVOL
It would be hard to forget Scott Savol of American Idol's fourth season. It was a season full of personalities. Of course everyone knows Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice, and most people remember Constantine Maroulis. But try to say the name "Scotty" without following it with "The Body" and you'll understand what I'm talking about. He was the big guy with the R&B tenor voice that just came out of nowhere. By very definition he was the underdog, a different looking guy who could flat out sing!
There were no mixed emotions about Scott among fans. They either hated him or loved him. Message boards were filled with some of the most vile insults, ranging from picking on his weight to accusing him of being an abuser. Chatters called him every ugly name in the book. Lost in the controversy was the image of a quiet, thoughtful man, a man who led group prayers with the Idol contestants as they headed into the competition, a man who is very soft-spoken and kind, and a man who will go out of his way to make sure a fan gets his undivided attention.
Scott freely admits to having made his mistakes, and he owns them. He acknowledges the domestic violence charge that caused the controversy while he was on Idol. (That charge was dropped, and he was never brought to trial on it.) But he also knows that he needs to move on and make the most of his life. And move on he has! Scott is dropping the weight, and at the time of this interview, he was minus twenty pounds and looking vibrant and healthy. He's also getting married.
I watched Scott throughout the day. When a fan approached his table, he never stayed behind it. The first thing he did when anyone talked to him was to get out of his chair and out from behind the partition and stand with the fan, talking to them as though he had known them all their life. Scott doesn't believe in putting barriers between himself and those that want to get to know him. He stood there and talked to each and every fan for as long as they would have him, and most often he would either shake their hand or give them a hug when they left. He held very little back, and he never put anybody down.
The only time Scott backed down from any questions was when someone wanted to know gossip about his fellow contestants. Scott's not the type to trash anybody else or talk behind their back. He'd rather talk about you, or let you ask about him.
So basically what you see now is a Scott who is humble, yet confident enough to let you know that he does intend to rock it out when he sings. And he wants you to know that he's on his way, and that he looks forward to entertaining you.
Scott dropped what he was doing to do a quick interview with me. It's shorter than some other interviews during the day, because by the time I really got into it, his fans were already starting to line up behind me, ready to see their favorite Idol. Still, he gave me some great insight.
J.D.: Can you tell us your most interesting Idol story?
Scott: Hmm, most interesting Idol story... I would say--I won't go into detail about it--but all the havoc and everything that happened on the tour when Bo left to be hospitalized. There were, you know, time issues. People wanted more time, and y'know, who was gonna get it? It was a pretty fierce time while he was gone. A lot of behind-the-scenes things happened so...
J.D.: There was a lot said about the "Bo-Savol" pranks. Can you tell us anything about those?
Scott: Oh man, me and Bo were wild! I mean, like, when we got together and did stuff, man you could never tell what was gonna happen, whether it was just joking around or pranks, y'know, stuff on the tour bus, stuff while we were on the bus, so. We had a pretty good run together.
J.D.: What is the most important thing you think you've taken away from the Idol experience?
Scott: I think the most important thing I've taken away was that you can't ever make excuses for not doing your best, or how they say "not showing up." Always do your best. I mean, as long as you always do your best, you don't have to make excuses. And as long as you're doing your best, there are no excuses. So I prefer to put all I have into what I do, and if at the end of the day it wasn't good enough for others, I know I did the best I could do.
J.D.: You're getting ready to record a new album, and you're looking forward to that. What are your thoughts on what you are going to record?
Scott: Well, I'm gonna move down here to Nashville in August. When I come down here, I'm gonna do a little pop music with a little R&B influence, something uplifting and positive that everybody will listen to. And it will slaughter everybody. Something you can listen to all day. It's gonna be fun music that everybody's gonna enjoy.
J.D.: How are you liking Tennessee so far?
Scott: It's a'ight.
J.D.: Do you ever get to Memphis at all?
Scott: I haven't yet. Nashville is really the only place I've been in Tennessee, but I hear Memphis is a great town for music, and I'd definitely like to go sometime.
J.D.: So who's this guy with you behind the table?
Scott: Oh, that's my manager. He's Jessica's manager too. Verge management, and they've been good to me.
J.D.: New management, new album...anything else new going on with ya?
Scott: Well, I'm about to get married this summer. I'm lookin' forward to that.
J.D.: Congratulations, man!
Scott: Aw, thank you...thank you so much.
J.D.: And I think you're a bit skinnier, too...
Scott: Yeah, my plan is to be all lean soon. Hopefully by the time my record drops, all this will be gone.
J.D.: So is there anything else you'd like to say to your fans out there?
Scott: I just wanna tell all my fans, y'know, I love them. Thank you for your support. Just keep your eyes and your ears open, because there's a lot of good stuff coming from Scott Savol, so thank you very much!
And at this point, I had to give way to his other fans lined up behind me. Scott and I did catch up later in the day, and he always made sure to give me a "what's up" and a head nod every time we passed by each other.
At the concert... wow. All I can say. He tore the roof off. More on that later. Also, he gave me a man-hug after the concert. (For you women, that's when you slap hands, pull each other into a hug at high velocity and then pound each other on the back.) And he thanked me for coming. Class act all the way.
And now it's your turn to check him out. His website is currently under construction at www.scottsavolonline.com. His manager tells me that that is the only official page for Scott at this time. The site www.scottsavolofficial.com is not, in fact, official (even though it is linked from Scott's page for now.)
You can also visit Scott on myspace at www.myspace.com/whitevelvet. There are quite a few Scott Savol impersonators on Myspace, but this is the only real one.
If you'd like to know more about Verge Management, you can visit their website to find out about their stable of artists.
And lest you think these are the only interviews with Scott, Jessica, and Lindsey, you are wrong wrong wrong! Coming soon, the 45 minute panel discussion, here in all its glory, with Scott, Jessica, and Lindsey dishing candidly about their experiences! Stay tuned, and keep coming back!