'American Idol Live' coming to Santa Rosa

Season 14 winner Nick Fradiani discusses sleep, salad and Soul Patrol before the top 5 American Idol contestants come to the Wells Fargo Center on Aug. 22.|

Singer Nick Fradiani has seen the fate of recent “American Idol” winners go nowhere fast.

“The last couple of years, the winners haven’t really taken off in terms of commercial success,” said the recent Season 14 winner.

“In the reality-show hall of champions, there’s Taylor Hicks, and his Soul Patrol fan base, who never quite lived up to expectations, and then Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, who went on to massive success. Even more recently, Phillip Phillips sold more than 4 million copies of his debut single, “Home.”

Fradiani is out on tour this summer with the rest of the Top 5 (Jax, Clark Beckham, Tyanna Jones and Rayvon Owen) from Season 14, squeezing every last dollar and watt of limelight out of the show before he goes into the studio to record that make-or-break solo album.

With news that “American Idol” has announced its final season in January, Fradiani feels “a little extra weight” on his shoulders as he carries the “Idol” torch around the country. Before he arrives at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday, the 29-year-old Connecticut native took a tour break on a day off in Texas to chat about sleep, salad and Soul Patrol.

Q: So what do you do on a day off?

A: Mostly eat and sleep. I’m probably not leaving this hotel room all day.

Q: What are the highs and lows on the tour so far?

A: The Beacon (Theatre) in New York was pretty amazing. There aren’t that many lows honestly, I mean we’re doing what we wanted to do with our lives. Maybe just lack of sleep and lack of rest, that can be tough.

Q: Do you feel extra motivation to go out every night and prove why you’re the winner?

A: Yeah, especially this year, there’s a new label behind me - Big Machine Records. And they want this to work as much as I want this to work. I always put a lot of pressure on myself. But if it goes the way I think it’s going to go, it’s gonna be a pretty cool ride.

Q: Do you think you’ll always be branded as that guy who won “American Idol” - even 20 years from now?

A: I don’t know. I think some people were able to wash that mark off their forehead. Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson - people know they came from “American Idol,” but they’ve had such huge careers you don’t really think of that. For one thing, the show will no longer be on while I’m starting my career, so maybe that will be a little different.

Q: So if you look back at past American Idol winners, and you have Soul Patrol (Taylor Hicks) on one end and Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood on the other. What’s going to prevent you from winding up like Soul Patrol?

A: The songs on this first album. Some of the winners took off and for others that first album just didn’t have any hits on it. If you don’t have any hits, unfortunately I think people kind of have ADHD and they forget really quickly about you.

Bay Area freelancer John Beck writes about entertainment for The Press Democrat. You can reach him at 280-8014 or john@beckmediaproductions.com.

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