Harry Connick Jr. quickly made his presence known on the “American Idol” Season 13 judges’ panel by being brutally honest with the contestants. But so-called “Harsh Harry” hasn’t only critiqued the singers, he’s also directed some of his criticism toward Rickey Minor’s “Idol” house band.
Minor tells Zap2it and a small group of reporters backstage after the Top 12 results show that he doesn’t mind Connick’s comments. “It is important to point out that that does happen, where the singer can get ahead,” he says. They can jump, and then it takes a collective mind for the band to go, ‘Do we go with the singer or do we stay our course?'”
It’s a common occurrence not just in music but in any number of disciplines. “It’s just like a broken basketball play,” he says. “We call play No. 3, and then something happens and a guy goes the opposite way and then the play falls apart. No matter who dropped the ball, who didn’t go the right way, the play falls apart so we just have to recover quick. It’s not always the life plan, but it always works out in the end.”
Ultimately, those little mishaps benefit the singers competing for the title, giving them professional experience on how to handle an impending disaster. “Those are teachable moments, where a contestant learns and I have to react quickly,” Minor says. “Maybe they didn’t come in early enough or on time — do we stay and wait for them? Do we keep going with the song hoping they’ll catch up? Maybe they don’t know how to catch up. It’s something that they are learning how to do.”
Even some of the most famous singers in the world who got their start on “idol” had those same problems. “The bottom line is you get someone like Carrie Underwood who’s never sung with a band, so the entire time she was on the show she was very to herself,” he says. “Imagine being plucked from your backyard into a total new experience — it’s one they will have to get used to if they are going to perform in stadiums or on the Grammys.”
Minor continues, “It’s a process, and it takes the time it takes to do it. If they weren’t on ‘Idol’ and starting a solo career they would still have these things to learn. They just do it on a bigger platform as opposed to something smaller like a garage or a wedding.”
Watch the Top 11 take on famous songs from the movies on Wednesday (March 12) at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.