MacKenzie Bourg wanted to sing his original song, “Roses,” on “American Idol” just one more time.
“The only thing that I really was bummed about was that my coronation song was going to be ‘Roses,’” the Lafayette singer/songwriter said Friday, a day after being eliminated from the final season of the FOX singing competition series. “And that was going to be the first time ever, they said, that an original song would have been that (a coronation song), but it’s all going to work out, I think, because I’m going to get to release ‘Roses’ as my single, and that’s all being worked out right now.”
Those plans seemed to solidify later Friday when, Bourg, 23, who had made it to “Idol’s” top 4 before his exit, tweeted, “i am recording roses tomorrow !!!!!!!!!!”
The top three, one of whom will be named the final “Idol” Thursday night, are La’Porsha Renae, of McComb, Mississippi; Dalton Rapattoni, of Dallas, Texas; and Trent Harmon, of Amory, Mississippi.
Bourg’s elimination last week followed a whirlwind trip to Lafayette on Easter weekend, complete with a homecoming parade, brief concert and appearances at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and elsewhere.
For the first song of last week’s episode, a song dedicated to each contestant’s hometown, Bourg performed Leonard Cohen’s moving “Hallelujah.”
“That was just superb, man, beautiful,” judge Keith Urban commented.
“That was classic MacKenzie right there,” Jennifer Lopez added.
Fellow Louisianian and judge Harry Connick Jr. also praised Bourg.
“It almost seems like you’ve come completely full circle because that performance was very similar to the feeling that we had when we first saw you so many months ago. And even though you’ve grown a lot, you were able to sort of condense all that into a very singular and powerful performance which shows that you’ve really grown. Nice job,” he said.
Nonetheless, Bourg was sent home minutes later, receiving the lowest number of America’s votes the week before on Classic Rock Week. Bourg’s renditions of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” and Sia’s “Titanium” didn’t wow the judges.
“The arrangement, I thought, was pretty good,” he said of “I Want You to Want Me.” “I spoke with the producer that does our iTunes tracks. He has produced the last two Cheap Trick albums, and he said to me when I was recording ‘Hallelujah’ that Cheap Trick loved it and they actually told him that my version was better than theirs.”
But Bourg said he “was about 98 percent sure” he would be sent home.
“After the Classic Rock Week, the only person that got mixed reviews was me, and the judges’ comments sway the votes a good bit,” he said. “I was pretty bummed then, so I had a week to get over it and accept it, and move past everything to kind of start my real life, my real career.”
Had Bourg made it to “Idol’s” top three, he would have sung “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac and Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” later in the show, he said.
“The reason why I wasn’t as bummed as maybe people had hoped was because, you know, I get on Twitter and Instagram and all these other things, and there’s so many people that, I don’t even know these people, and they’re sending me nothing but love. And those people want me to succeed just as much as the people at home (in Louisiana),” Bourg said. “So it’s kind of like I figured however the competition does shape out, I would be all right wherever I ended up.”
Bourg, who also competed on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2012, had many positive things to say about the “Idol” experience.
“I think ‘American Idol’ has done me so many favors just by not trying to change me, by letting me be myself … I’ve found that my best moments on the show, it was always moments where I was fully myself, where I kind of did what I do, and that’s get up there and just play guitar, me and my guitar,” he said, “and I’m kind of taking that moving forward, and knowing that it really resonates with people.”
Having “Idol” first-season winner Kelly Clarkson as a mentor also was great, he said.
“She said to me it’s really awesome that I’m one of the people that I know the artist I am, and I know what I want to do, I just have to do it,” he said. “Taking that, it made me more confident in who I am as an artist knowing that someone like her and someone like the three judges recognize and appreciate me as an artist, and that I’m on the right track.”
Besides recording the love song “Roses,” Bourg said he will be touring after “Idol.”
As for what artist he’d like to duet with that night, as the finalists traditionally do, he said he thinks Taylor Swift would be a good match for him vocally.
“I know that she did a song with Ed Sheeran (‘Everything Has Changed’) that was really awesome,” he said. “That would definitely be a cool song I think I could sing with her.”
Follow Judy Bergeron on Twitter, @judybergeronbr.