Jeff Gutt was focused on himself during his “X Factor” finale performances. The rocker is proud of his fellow finalists, Latin pop singer Carlito Olivero and folky duo Alex and Sierra, but he didn’t pay attention to what they did during their last performance show.
“I didn’t watch anyone else,” he tells Zap2it backstage after the show. “There was nothing I can do about anyone else’s performance and what they’re bringing. There was no point in me sitting there and creating worry and doubt in my mind, so I just kind of stepped aside when the others went before me. I’ll go back and watch what they did now. I’m happy for them even though I didn’t see what they did, but yeah, tonight I was just focused on me.”
It’s that singular focus that has brought Gutt so far in the competition, and what made him so excited to get on stage and show America what he’s got. “I was so excited days ago just like, ‘This is going to be so awesome!’ I was just laying in my room thinking how awesome this was going to be,” he says. “I just hope that everyone else thought it was awesome because it was amazing to go up there and have that moment after all the years of struggle and not knowing if I was ever going to get here. To have that happen is just a gift.”
Gutt has performed a lot of ’70s and ’80s rock classics throughout his “X Factor” run, but he isn’t quite sure what he wants his album to sound like should he win the grand prize, a $1 million recording contract. “I have an idea,” he says. “I love classic rock. To me, they don’t write songs like ‘Dream On’ anymore, you know what I mean? That’s just a song that just makes your soul feel something and that’s all I want to do: make people feel something.”
Well, he also wants to win the competition. Having made it so far, it would be a shame to go home with anything less than the title. “I definitely want to win,” he says. “I always have wanted to win. I mean, I love the other contestants, but they’re much, much younger than me. I have so much more experience and things I can rely on and things that I feel like I have to give. I’ve been doing everything layer by layer throughout this entire competition, like when I went up and started playing guitar — no one knew I could play the guitar. So just little things like that that I’ve been trying to make sure everything happens at the right time. I guess the right time to win would be tomorrow.”