When Brooke White talks about her musical style, she uses the word ‘organic’ a lot. And the rough edges of her performance — the little hiccups in one or two of her songs — are part of the Brooke charm that got her all the way to fifth place in American Idol.
She talked OK! though those trip-ups — including becoming the first person to start a song over on a live Idol show — and what went through her mind when it happened.
The 24-year-old famously forgot the lyric to her Andrew Lloyd Webber song, but her first mistake happened in week six of the finals, when she had to take two shots at the opening piano chords of Every Breathe You Take.
"They were both completely different scenarios," she said.
"Oftentimes, with the applause of the audience can make it difficult for me to hear me cue from Ryan Seacrest.
And before she started Every Breath, she said, "he was standing behind me, so I couldn’t see anything.
"I didn’t see him point, so I hit it and I was like, ‘Is it my turn?’, and then did it again."
"But with the other song, I flat-out blanked."
Two weeks ago, former nanny Brooke from Mesa, Az., made Idol history by getting two lines into You Must Love Me, then asking the band to take it from the top.
She says that she was focussed so hard on bringing emotion into the Broadway number that a little thing like the words slipped her mind.
"Every song I tried to take it to a personal level so I could connect with it.
"I was definitely aware of the character. Andrew Lloyd Webber was amazing helping me to prepare.
"And I just really wanted to grasp that and I tried to connect with an experience that I had with that character and make it real," she said.
"I was really into the character, I was really sunk in. Maybe I sunk in a little too far, and I lost it."
"I was upset that it happened, but then I’ve thought it over, and I thought so many worse things could have happened," she added. "I could have forgotten the lyrics again. I could have got really emotional and started crying, but I didn’t."
Brooke, who’s now looking forward to making an album, was shocked that the viewers forgave her error and sent Carly Smithson home instead, but can’t say if it might have won her a few sympathy votes.
"I could analyze it for hours and come up with theories," she said, "but America decides what happens and I was lucky enough to stay another week and not so much to make it through this week.
"But in the end I was incredible for the experience and if you had told me when I was standing in line to audition that I’d get this far I probably wouldn’t have believed you."