When in Manila, one of the most popular reality TV singing competitions is American Idol (AI). Yes, the program has the word “American” yet Filipinos are very much involved in this show. That’s why it is not a surprise why American Idol champions gain a lot of fans here in the country. Just this weekend, May 7 to May 8, American Idol Season 9 winner LEE DEWYZE visited the Philippines to promote his album called “Live It Up.” He had a press conference, TV guesting in Eat Bulaga and mall tours as well.
In all of Lee’s AI performances, his “You’re Still the One”, “Lips of an Angel” and “Hey Jude” are the ones that I remember the most. Oftentimes in Season 9, he hit the stage with his guitar, appearing as a shy and humble young artist. Gradually, he succeeded into showing his confident and talented self and became the champion of the show last year. Now that he is in the spotlight, Lee is geared up to promote his debut album called “LIVE IT UP.“
Last May 7, a press conference was held in the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel. As expected, Lee was asked about his experiences on American Idol. When asked about his closest friend among the past American Idol champions, he jokingly said that it was Taylor Hicks, which made everybody laugh since Taylor was on an older season of American Idol. He however took it back immediately and said it was really Kris Allen, who he still gets to communicate with every so often. He also mentioned David Cook, who Lee described as a cool guy. Lee said that he could not really follow and take 100% the judges’ comments but during his season in AI, of all the judges, Simon Cowell’s comments would have been the most influential for him because Simon spoke what’s on his mind and his comments were really honest. When asked for his bet this current season, he pointed out that everyone is talented but identified Scotty Macreery and Haley Reinhart for their good sound. On his opinion on the new set of judges, he said JLo is great and considered Steven Tyler as one of the best rockstars of all time. Quite lost for words to describe the new judges, he paused for a while before continuing his answer, “They are…supportive. They are very positive this year and that is never a bad thing.”
Most of the questions asked were related to his music. He was asked what musical instruments he could play and he answered piano, which he described as a good accompaniment in song writing; drums, which he finds hard to play while singing, and his favorite of all, his guitar. He could not sing without his guitar because he feels naked without it. Lee, who is a good song writer, finds lyrics significant in any music. He explained, “Personally, I listen to song lyrics and relate it to something in my life and connect with it.” This is the same effect he wants to achieve when people listen to his music. For him, writing comes naturally. He loves to write about how he feels and tell stories and experiences through his songs. He believes that good music always rises up to the top and thrives despite music industry stampede (free song downloads and piracy) so he tries not to think about this problem too much. Lee finds fun in working with other artists and musicians and is open to collaborate with others just like our very own Charisse Pempengco. He thinks that “Music at the end of the day will bring everybody together.”
On a more personal note, Lee opened up and admitted that he is currently in a relationship and has a girlfriend. He manages to communicate and spend time with her and his family despite his busy schedule. One brave soul asked him if he is anyway related to Lebron James, a very silly question just because Lee’s real name is Leo James. He smiled while saying “We look kinda alike… but no.” And everybody laughed again. He also talked about his tattoos. He has five already and plans to get more.
Lee, true to his original image in American Idol, appears to be a really pleasant guy; wearing a dark blue shirt, black suit, pants and brown slippers. During the whole duration of the press con, his legs were quite jittery and he tends to click his tongue when thinking hard. He moves and acts casually despite stardom. Lee was given a token by the organizers – a small jeepney replica. He shared his dream of driving a real jeepney here in Manila because he had seen Pinoy jeepneys on the go. He finds Filipinos nice, friendly, helpful and generous so he gave a short message for his Filipino fans.
I had fun at the press conference but definitely not as much as my companion Dorothy Gulapa who happens to be a really big fan of Lee. So I asked her to share something with the readers, and this is what she said:
*************MESSAGE FROM DOROTHY**********
“Oh my gosh!!! (with a high pitch voice) That’s how I reacted after Cheryl of LittleRunningTeacher.com/WhenInManila.com told me that Lee Dewyze was coming here for a mall tour. To top it off, I was given the chance to attend his press conference at the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel. I really couldn’t believe that I was going to meet my American idol season 9 bet .:)
I felt really tensed and excited because I didn’t know what I was going to do there. It was my first time in such an event, and to make it worse/better…LEE was there! A lot of important people in the media were also there such as news anchor, Nelson Canlas of GMA 7 as well as several professional bloggers, writers and columnists. I was a bit shy and nervous though I think it was a great opportunity to have met people like them and to have been part of that event!. J
An hour had past and still no sign of Lee. Every one (especially myself) was waiting for him to enter the room and continuously looked at the door. I was so excited and kept my camera ready the entire time. Until finally, my long waited moment has arrived! LEE JUST WALKED IN! *faints*
As the press conference started, I can’t help myself to feel that excitement in me.*weeee! I never wasted any time and quickly took as many pictures and videos of him (even if some were a bit blurry)! I enjoyed watching his smile, staring at his face and feeling like I was in the auditorium/ stage of American Idol at the time. I’d still can’t believe that Lee was just inches away from me! I wasn’t able to take a picture with him but still that was the most awesome experience I ever had in my life…I finally met my IDOL! 🙂 “
************ END OF DOROTHY’S MESSAGE************
So what are you waiting for?
When In Manila, or ANYWHERE ELSE, let’s all support Lee Dewyze in his debut album “Live It Up” under Sony Music Entertaintment. Grabbing a copy also means listening not only to his first single “Sweet Serendipity” but to ten more beautiful songs. Of all these, he confessed that “Dear Isabelle”, “Me and My Jealousy” and “A Song About Love” are the songs he is most proud of.