Positive Celebrity Exclusive: Garrett Jacobs talks American Idol, God and life!
American Idol has been packing quite a punch with its remaining contestants. This week, five singers were eliminated from the competition. Dominique, Brandon Diaz, Kay Kay, Layla Spring and Trevor McBane reached the end of the line. Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry had to make further cuts after watching each of the solo performances and celebrity-paired duets.
Could you imagine how hard it would be to say goodbye to such talented singers? Katy Perry took to Twitter with some advice to those who were told they would no longer be in the running to become the next American Idol. She tweeted:
“Just because your #americanIdol journey has ended, please don’t let it discourage you. Keep singing, keep following your dreams! Trust and believe I heard no 1,786 times before I heard yes.”
Katy Perry could not have said it better. Each and every contestant in the American Idol competition are incredibly talented. But at the end of the day, only one person can become the next American Idol. One fan-favorite, still in the running, is Garrett Jacobs. He’s a 18-year-old senior in high school. He’s a crazy talented singer, he plays guitar, he plays sports and, best of all, he has a very Christ-like attitude.
Do you guys remember Garrett from his first audition?
Luke Bryan’s first words were “This is a man right here!” Those were some of the first words that kicked off Garrett Jacobs’ journey on ABC’s American Idol. And it wasn’t just Luke who admired him. Katy Perry and Lionel Richie also felt really good about the “heartthrob,” after he performed his rendition of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”
Lionel Richie loved the quality of his voice, calling it “fantastic.” Importantly, he was ready to push him through to Hollywood after hearing what Garrett had to offer. Lionel told him “The quality of your voice is fantastic, and I do believe, in all honesty, if given the opportunity, you can go places with that!” Luke Bryan had a little criticism, but was excited to watch Garrett refine his voice. He commented: “He is bad ass, 6’4” he’s beautiful, you’re raw, you’re not just a polished thing, which is fun. We get the chance to watch you get challenged and potentially grow. It’s always fun when somebody is not what we are expecting.” Katy Perry enjoyed what she heard and saw the second he strolled in, saying “Garrett you are spectacular to look at! What a smile! And I think you’ve got a good voice. I think you’ve got something worth carving out.”
Three very impressed judges yelled “You’re going to Hollywood!” in unison, and Jacobs accepted his golden ticket to Hollywood, excited to follow his dream of potentially becoming the next American Idol.
Garrett Jacobs began singing when he was 12-years-old. He has been playing guitar for 6-years. His love for music started to grow when his mom began singing in church. Jacobs has an awesome positive vibe about him. And we think it has a lot to do with the Christ-like attitude he carries. Growing up, his family loved to attend church and he developed a deep and undying love for Jesus Christ. If you’ve visited his website, you may have learned how young he was when he accepted Christ as his Savior.
“My family made it a point to make sure that I knew the love of Jesus Christ and found Him in my heart. Ever since I accepted Him as my Savior at 9-years-old, I have lived with Jesus being the soul purpose of my life; trying to glorify Him in everything I do. My school work, my sports, and especially, my music.”
Garrett Jacobs works hard at everything he does in life. Whether that be sports, singing or helping someone feel the spirit. He’s always felt that God gave him an incredible voice for a reason.
“Music seemed to be what I was best at. It has always been my escape. Now that I have been given this gift of music, my goal is to use this to show the love of Christ and glorify Him over everything else I do. I do not want any of my achievements to reflect me. I want them to reflect my Maker. I want to use the gifts He has given me to bring more to His Kingdom.”
PCG magazine had the honor of talking with Garrett Jacobs among his busy schedule and asking him a few questions about American Idol, God and his childhood.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Jacobs immediately knew the scripture, as it’s also one of his favorites, and said the reference before we had a chance to do so.
“That’s one of my favorite scriptures. The first time I ever really heard that scripture, I was at ‘Passion Church,’ in Atlanta, and Trip Lee [an American rapper, singer, poet, and author; signed to Reach Records] spoke. It was a great message. He spoke about the Lord.”
We talked to him about how God has influenced his actions, music and life. He said:
“Over everything, God has gifted me with my voice. He is the one who has given me this platform. The only reason I can sing and the only reason I have a leg to stand on is because God gives me the ability to. Throughout this whole entire process, I’ve prayed to God ‘God let your will be done in this. I want this because I am your child. And as your child, I do want this. But I understand if your will is different.’ And so, every single step in this has been ‘God please just let your will be done in this moment and don’t let me get in the way.’”
If Jacobs wins American Idol, his beliefs will stay strong and he will be sure to include God in his life journey. He continued:
“I don’t know if I would pursue ‘Christian alternative kind of music,’ but I would definitely have Christ-based songs on my album, because he’s definitely the biggest part of our story. And in all of my music, I would make sure that is the biggest influence. In every single thing that I did, in every single one of my concerts, I would be sure to thank God that night. The main thing is to put God first in everything that I do.”
It’s no wonder his Grandmother “Honey,” is so proud of him. Do you remember during his audition when he talked about his biggest influence? He said one of his biggest life influences was his Grandmother ‘Honey,’ and the reason why he and his family gave her that nickname is because “she’s so sweet.” But we wanted to know more about the woman who has had such a profound impact on Garrett’s life.
When we asked Jacobs about Honey and what she has done to influence his life for the better, he excitedly said:
“Honey is like the definition of joy when you’re around her. She’s so bubbly. She has so much wisdom and I’ve learned so much from her. Especially how to just let God work in your life and do whatever you can and just step out of the way and let God Shine, because she’s been around a while and she knows the works. She definitely has great advice at every turn.”
Garrett Jacobs is a fun-loving and friendly person. We wanted to know more about the friendships he developed while on American Idol and what he loved about some of the contestants. He said:
“One thing I was surprised by was how many genuine Christ lovers are on this show. One that comes to mind is Cade Foehner he’s an absolute rock star! That dude is crazy good, crazy talented. And then Maddie Poppy. She has such a unique voice. It’s like butter… it’s like you go to the movies and you get your popcorn and like… She’s like the butter that comes out of the fountain. But it’s like the butter that’s not too much and it just flows over everything so perfectly, if that makes sense. Her voice is just so smooth. And then there’s Caleb Lee Hutchinson. He’s pure country! I love that about him. He’s like my best friend on the show. We joke around all the time.”
He also loved spending time with Thaddeus Johnson. He said: “Thaddeus Johnson was my roommate, and I really miss him a lot. He was awesome. That dude could sing his tail off. I was really disappointed when he went home.”
When it comes to Hollywood week, “intense” is an understatement, but it sure does teach you a lot about yourself and Hollywood. Garrett shared his perspective on it. He said:
“Hollywood week teaches you. One thing that I learned, and thought even before this process, is that you don’t necessarily have to know everything. You have to know how to go with the flow of things. You have to be ready to sing when your voice is not 100%. And you have to be ready for the unexpected at all times, because they tend to spring anything on you. Like ‘Hey, you’re not performing in the next hour, you’re performing in the next five-minutes, here we go.’ You have to be ready at all times. You have to be working with people. Like with group rounds, you have to be personable and be able to pull something together. One thing I learned is you can’t be selfish, as much as you want to get through, because for group rounds, you don’t want to be the best one in the group, or the whole group is going to suck. You want your whole group to shine so that you have the best chance of getting through.”
There is plenty of talent out there gearing up to follow their dreams. We asked Garrett what he would tell those that are gearing up to following their dream to be the next American Idol, or those who were eliminated?
“I would tell them, if you know that you want music, then go for it, no matter what happens. If this is what you want, and is something you feel like you can take, then go get it. This is a business where you have to be a go-getter and be confident in yourself. The competition has a lot of people, and there are a lot of people who are going to be better than you in some areas. But you have to understand what you have to bring to the table. What’s different about you? You don’t have to try be like everybody else. And don’t compare yourself to other artists, because everyone is different and everybody has something to bring the table. The moment you start comparing yourself, like ‘Oh wow, this persons runs are way smoother than mine’, or ‘I can’t sing like that.’ No! You are your own genre and your own artist, and it’s about your whole package. It’s not necessarily about comparing you to other people and seeing who is the ‘better singer.’”
Could you imagine seeing yourself on TV and then feeling your phone go crazy from the massive outpouring of support? That feeling, knowing you just inspired thousands of people, is amazing! Garrett told us about the moment all the love and support started pouring in.
“The night of my audition, before my audition aired, I had 2,200 followers [on Twitter]. And the second they broke to commercial break, after my audition, I had 6,000 followers. By the time I went to bed I had 12,000 followers, so it was a crazy experience, and I had a ton of DMs to go through and tell everyone ‘thank you so much!’ I feel super supported and I feel like a lot of people are rooting for me. And at the same time, I have God on my side, which is pretty great. But I feel like I have a lot of support coming my way, and that’s pretty awesome.”
Garrett shared some random facts with us about his life.
For the video game lovers, Garrett is a gamer too. We asked what game is his favorite. He said:
“Right now my favorite video game is ‘Fortnite,’ because it’s the best game out there.”
If you haven’t heard of Fortnite, it’s basically a mass online brawl where 100 players leap out of a plane onto an island and fight one another until only one player is left. Around the small island, one is able to find weapons like rifles, crossbows and grenade launchers to help them survive. The game allows for you to collect resources which allow you to build structures to hide in and defend yourself. As the match continues to progress, the small island is continually shrinking, which means all the players get forced closer and closer together. And to win, you must be the last survivor.
Ha. Sounds a little like American Idol, except nobody dies.
We then asked what some of his favorite older music is to listen to. His favorite past-time songs are not from the 90s, but the 80s. Some of which are: Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Kenny Rogers (especially his song “The Greatest”) and even Bad Company.
His favorite cartoons from his childhood include: Jimmy Neutron, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Phineas and Ferb.
The first movie he ever saw in a theater was Finding Nemo.
We loved learning a little bit about Garrett, and especially his memories from childhood. He shared a little from when he was growing up in Valdosta. He said:
“I had a friend named Morgan back when I lived in Valdosta. We were in 3rd grade and we would just go outside and play and make up all these scenarios and stuff happening and pretending and sword fighting and everything. I just liked being a kid in the backyard with my friends and stuff.”
[ All images are credited to American Idol and Garrett Jacobs ]