Now that judge Katy Perry has gotten back from under the “American Idol” desk after listening to Ethan Fingold, we’ll see if the Western New York native who goes by the stage name VoKillz gets the attention he was looking for by singing – or shrieking – in his Sunday appearance on the reality singing program.
Perry voted for Fingold to move on, cracking she did it because “I don’t want him to murder me.”
However, fellow judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie said no and the screaming “Mystic Death creature vocalist” who has appeared on the TV programs “Tosh.O” and “Ridiculousness” was sent home.
Fingold’s appearance on the reality singing competition – after the former gas station worker raised $2,000 to get to the audition in Los Angeles – led to many questions.
They were answered in a brief telephone interview.
The first question to the 2012 Kenmore East graduate: What does VoKillz mean?
“Vocality killing it,” said the 24-year-old Fingold, who has remained in California since filming the episode.
What did he hope to get out of his appearance introducing the genre of music he calls MysticDeath Trap Metal?
“Definitely expanding the music, bringing the culture together, bringing the world together and getting the new genre out in the world.”
Did he expect to advance?
“No, I did not. I knew what was going to happen. I only went there for one thing: to make my mark. It (being booted) wasn’t really a good feeling. I pretty much quit my job to come out to do this. It was definitely pretty devastating but at the same time funny, crazy. I feel like the ‘no’ is going to be bigger than the ‘yes.’ When all the creatures watch this, they are going to freak out that I didn’t get through. They are going to be so mad, it is going to cause such a big controversy online … The show isn’t ready for mystic death trap so the fact that I was able to show it off through this platform is really cool. I think this new genre is going to be really, really huge.
“I went there just to be the creature … show everyone what is coming, especially with the new sound. I wanted to get it out there. One of the only ways to do that is go on a show like that and be wild and be crazy. The creature is going to rise.”
What did he think about Perry’s joke about fearing for her life?
“I think it is cute. I really think she likes me. She definitely has a crush on me.”
How did he get on the show?
He tried out when the show came to Buffalo without the judges. He planned to come to Canalside for the tryouts with a friend who never got there because he was hit by a car while playing with his phone as he was crossing the street. Fingold said he stood out because he had a mask.
“Honestly when I got there I had no clue of what I was going to do. I thought maybe I was going to be funny. And then security looked at me and asked if my mask is part of my performance … I went ahead of the line.”
He reworked one of his songs, “Chris Is Dead,” renamed it “American Creature” and auditioned.
“The song I originally did had a lot of swearing in it and I had to take all the swearing out and remake the whole thing. It was crazy when I first auditioned I was so loud that people stopped during their audition to look over what was going on. It was furious, it was angry, it was heavy, it was cool. What I got going on is (being) different, I’m the creature.”
He knew the reaction he was going to get from five minutes of fame on "American Idol."
“People are going to laugh at me, but they are going to laugh at me for so long they’re going to like the music … (Trying out for ‘American Idol’), that’s the only way music-wise people will focus on me. Take it more seriously. People are already laughing at me anyways, but it is in a good way. I really don’t care if they laugh. I like it. The whole performance is bada--. You can laugh at it but it is still sick. It is not goofy, where it is a joke. It is so new, that I think it is misunderstood. People are still so curious.”
I am curious. Does he make a living doing this?
“I feel like I am about to.”
I am sure stranger things have happened, but nothing immediately comes to mind.