WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Tiquila Wilson’s quest to become the next American Idol has ended, but the judges didn’t vote her out.
Wilson, a 24-year-old Winston-Salem native, left “American Idol” in tonight’s episode for her own reasons.
What do you think of Tiquila Wilson’s decision?
“I just felt like ‘American Idol’ wasn’t for me,” she said, “and when I got on that stage, it was totally different.
“I’m a church baby,” she added. “All I know is gospel music. And then too, a lot of people might not understand my decision, but I had a little talk with my God and He assured me that everything would be all right.”
In an episode that aired last week — but was filmed in October — Wilson had wowed judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr., who unanimously voted to give her a “golden ticket” to the next round of the competition.
During that segment, the judges even questioned whether she would be comfortable singing mainstream music since her background was in the church and singing at peoples’ funerals.
“How does the church community feel about you singing secular music?” Connick asked.
At the time, she replied, “I really don’t care what they think. I’m here to win American Idol. Of course, I’m going to promote God, because I love Him.”
But during the Hollywood rounds, which began airing this week and will continue next week, she had her change of heart.
Those episodes were filmed in mid- to late December. She was shown briefly in Wednesday’s episode, where she made it through the first round of eliminations, but tonight, she told the judges that her heart was in gospel and she felt the competition wasn’t for her.
“It’s our loss,” Connick said.
“You’ve got to follow your heart, baby,” Lopez said.
“I am leaving here with a better sense of self, and what I want in life, and what I feel in my heart is going to please me in the future,” she told the Idol cameras after making her decision.
This week, she said the felt that she had made the right choice.
“It was just as soon as I got out there, the Lord started talking to me,” she said. “I had to obey.”
She said that her family supported her decision “100 percent.”
“Nobody got mad or disappointed,” she said. “It really didn’t bother me. Whether people are mad or glad, I had to do what’s in my heart. I was just assured that that’s what He said. And I went and told them that I no longer wanted to be in the competition.”
Although she told the judges during the Salt Lake City audition that she wanted to win, she said she is not a competitive person by nature.
“I didn’t like competing. Even though I knew I probably had a good chance of winning, I just went ahead and did it,” she said.
And now she is moving on to life after ‘Idol.’
On Tuesday, she passed a test for an adult high-school program at Forsyth Tech; she had not completed high school, but decided she needed her diploma.
“So now I’m in the program I need to be in,” she said. “I will start online classes this week.”
On Sunday, she said, she will be featured as a soloist during the anniversary worship services at her home church, Christ Cathedral Church of Deliverance on North Cherry Street.
And on March 1, she is scheduled to be one of the guest judges for the Journal and Winston-Salem Dash’s national anthem tryouts, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hanes Mall.