Ben Briley’s elimination on the March 13 episode of ‘American Idol’ was pretty polarizing for viewers — as was the high risk performance of “Bennie and the Jets” that got him the axe. After he was voted off, Ben Briley told HollywoodLife.com that he partly blames the judges for misguiding him, but that at the end of the day he has no regrets about taking the risks he did!
American Idol‘s Ben Briley is sticking to his guns — he took a big risk in singing Elton John‘s “Bennie and the Jets” on the March 12 episode, and it did not pay off. He found himself in the bottom along with Majesty Rose and was voted off with 0.07% of the audience’s votes separating the two. We caught up with him after his elimination, however, and despite holding a slight grudge against Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr., Ben also told us that he does not regret switching it up from the country songs we had seen him perform up until now.
‘American Idol’: Ben Briley Does Not Regret Choosing To Sing ‘Bennie And The Jets’
It’s tough for an American Idol contestant to choose what they’ll sing for the judges and for the American audience. On the one hand, the performers need to sing something in their wheelhouse, and on the other, if they “stay in their lane” too much, they’ll get criticized for playing it safe. That said, Ben definitely took a risk in singing “Bennie and the Jets,” and in fact, the performance started off fantastic! But he started to lose the plot by the end of the song and it was clear that he was out of his depth. Here’s what Ben had to say when asked whether he had any regrets about his song choice:
I don’t regret doing that at all. I wanted to do that. I had a goal and I feel like I reached my goal. If I confused people, that was not at all what I wanted to do. I just wanted to show people that I can play piano, I can do different things. One week I’ll do country, one week I’d do southern rock, one week I’d do R&B, one week I’d do blues. I have all these genres that have influenced me and I wanted to showcase all of them while I was on the show. People, I guess, it just didn’t sit well with them. It really bothers me when people say, ‘You need to stay in your lane,’ because that is the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard in my life.
Ben Briley: The Judges Need To Be Consistent In Their Judging
Well put, Ben! Clearly still frustrated, he also added:
“I’m not going to pick on the judges too much, but they will say to one contestant, ‘You need to break out and do something different’ or they told I think it was Majesty that she spread herself too thin, […] and then when I do it and I try to break out and do something other than country music, I get shot down for it. The inconsistency, something needs to happen there to where they are actually consistent with what they say because it not only confuses them, it confuses the people voting because they don’t know what to think.”
Ben conceded, though, that “it’s not [the judges’] fault I went home. I really did maybe pick the wrong time to do that song or to break that out. I don’t think I did, but as far as regrets, I have none.” It’s great to see that Ben is sticking to his convictions but it’s clear that he doesn’t think he’s the one that should have gone home. We don’t necessarily disagree — while the bottom three did not have the right group of contestants, of the three of them, we thought that Sam Woolf and Majesty deserved another shot at the title.
We also agree, though, that the judges need to be more consistent in their judging as well as need to give more constructive, useful criticism.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Is Ben right to be frustrated? Should he not have taken the risk that he did? Do you think that he has a long career ahead of him, despite not making the Idol Top 10? Be sure to vote and let us know!
— Reporting by Russ Weakland, Written by Amanda Michelle Steiner