After a pitch-perfect duet of Lean On Me with his brother Mark two weeks ago that won unanimous praise from the judges, Aaron Gutierrez was eliminated this week on American Idol. The 27-year-old Mexican American spoke exclusively with Latina.com about his elimination and told us why he thinks he deserved to go all the way to the finals on FOX's hit show.
How’s it going, Aaron?
Tell us about auditioning for American Idol.
There’s just so much that they don't even show on TV. It’s a really long, draining process. I’ve been performing and traveling with my brothers since I was a child, but nothing prepared me for how nervous I was in this whole process. You’re not getting any sleep, you’re learning songs and it’s hard. It’s pretty crazy. But it’s also an experience that has a lot of highs. Meeting Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler—who I’ve looked up to for years—was a definite high. Jennifer was great. I definitely felt a connection with her. She was of course gorgeous, but she was also sweet and nice and kind and what you see on television—I just felt like she was really real. Another high was getting to meet a lot of talented, really fun people from all over the nation that are in your same age group—I’ve made some lifelong friends that I still keep in touch with.
When you sang Lean On Me with your brother, Mark, you didn’t seem at all nervous. Do you feel like that changed during Hollywood Week?
I WAS definitely nervous! However, duetting with my brother was great. We could feed off each other's energy. I've been singing with groups my whole life so that was easier. Hollywood week was just a whole other world of emotions and nerves! It definitely did intensify. No amount of preparation, or dosage of magnesium can calm you during Hollywood week!
Do you feel like you deserved to go on to the next round?
Without a shadow of a doubt I deserve to have made it to the next round...to the finals! I know my talent. I have what it takes! Our group BLEW IT UP! We had people on their feet! Everyone loved it! It just felt so good; it was fun. I remember looking back at the band and telling them, "Let's just go back into it!" while the judges deliberated. So the results that I was going home was a huge shock. Not only to me, but to all the other contestants, parents, and people working on the show. Contestants were telling me, "I should be going home and you should be staying!" However, I was fully aware that ratings has a lot to do with the show. Drama equals ratings. Capturing the brothers being split up made for good TV. All I could do was my best and leave the rest in God's hands.
What’s next for you?
I definitely want the fans that I’ve made along the way to stay tuned. I’m going to keep doing what I do and get back on the road with my brothers. I have four older brothers, so the five of us travel and perform everywhere.