PART I, by Kirsten Coachman
I find that it’s hard to ignore talent. The main reason I continue to watch American Idol after all these years is to see what each season’s crop of talent brings to the table. This season we were introduced to 23-year-old Tim Halperin, a singer-songwriter from Fort Worth, Texas. After making it through to Hollywood Week, Halperin moved on to the Vegas round where he had a stellar, standout performance, which helped take him through to the Top 24.
After falling short of making the Top 13 this past week, Halperin headed home to Omaha, Nebraska to be with his family. He graciously took the time to chat with me over the phone this weekend about his American Idol experience.
I know it’s been only a couple days, but how is post-Idol life treating you?
It’s good. It’s a transition, for sure. It’s crazy going from being on the number one TV show in America to being back in reality. I feel like I’ve had a smooth transition for the most part.
How did you first get your start in music?
I grew up just loving music, started taking piano lessons at six-years-old. In middle school, I started playing with the worship team at church, and then eventually started playing with bands in high school. And when I went off to college at TCU, I had started recording and playing some more shows. Then I graduated from TCU here in May.
Wow, so you’re fresh out of college?
Yeah, timing-wise it was really perfect for Idol to happen.
So, when did you really start working on your songwriting?
It was about during my sophomore year of high school, I believe, when I wrote my first kind of serious song. It was really slow at first. You know, I’d write a couple here. When I got to college, I just started writing some more. I played a talent show my sophomore year of college, and people were wondering when I was going to release some of the songs that I had written. And I was like, maybe that’s a good idea. Maybe I should do a short CD. I recorded a five-track CD and put it up on iTunes by the winter of my sophomore year in college. That led me to keep songwriting.
PART II by Kirsten Coachman
In the first part of my chat with American Idol season 10 Top 24 contestant, Tim Halperin, we touched on the earlier rounds of his Idol journey, from his initial audition in front of the judges in L.A. to making it into the Top 24.
During the final part of my interview with Halperin, we talked about Top 24 from his song selection to the Wild Card round, what he took away from his American Idol experience, and what lies ahead for his music career.
How did you go about selecting your song for Top 24?
For Top 24, I had a list of about five or six songs that I thought would be really good. And the thing that I wanted to do for Top 24 was show off the fact that I wasn’t a one-trick pony; I wasn’t kind of pigeon-holed in one sound. Up until that point, I had really done slower kind of ballad type songs, which is definitely probably one of my strongest types of songs to sing, but there’s also this soulful part of my voice. I love doing soul/pop rock kind of tunes.
I was looking at Gavin DeGraw, I was looking at John Mayer, and of course that Rob Thomas song. We rehearsed, and felt the Rob Thomas song was just a really good fit for my voice.
Rehearsals went well, I was able to fine-tune it, and I felt like even the on stage rehearsals were going really well. I thought the performance, to be honest with you, went really well. If you notice when you watch the crowd, they really loved it. I thought that it went really well, and the judges thought that it wasn’t my style. Maybe it wasn’t, and I can see where they’re coming from, just because all they’d really heard me perform were ballads. Maybe I should have stuck with that sound for my first round, before I ventured off into something else.
For me, I have no regrets with that song choice. The other thing that was kind of hard to deal with was when Ryan asked Steven what type of song I should have picked and he said John Mayer or Jason Mraz, when in fact, John Mayer co-wrote that song that I sang and played guitar on the track. So that was kind of frustrating to hear.