Jacob Lusk hurt by Iovine critiques on "American Idol"

Fri May 6, 2011 3:54pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ousted "American Idol" contestant Jacob Lusk said on Friday he was hurt by constant criticism from the show's in house mentor Jimmy Iovine.

But the 23 year-old gospel singer, whose voice was compared to the late Luther Vandross, told reporters it was more important that his music connected with American viewers on the top-rated TV singing contest.

Lusk was booted off the show by viewers after reaching the Top 5, and exited on Thursday with a stirring rendition of "A House is Not a Home" that critics rated his best performance.

His departure followed weeks of negative comments about his song choices by record producer Iovine, the regular coach of the "Idol" contestants.

"It is definitely hard to have someone beat you over the head with a baseball bat, and then say go ahead and sing for your life," Lusk said in a conference call.

"But it's about touching people with music. It's not about how great I can sing, or how many riffs I can do, or how good Jimmy (Iovine) thinks I am. It is about me putting out great music that America loves," he added.

Lusk said he had no complaints about Iovine, and did not feel under pressure after having landed twice in the bottom three in public voting.

But he added, "I was getting a little tired probably, and I was trying to do different things that I thought he (Iovine) would like and (I thought) that Americans wanted to see different things."   Continued...