It was an odd hybrid of reality TV -- think The Real World meets American Idol -- but it was also the vehicle for Memphian Austin Carroll to prove himself to the world. Before the show's cancellation, the Flyer talked with Carroll to see how he was enjoying his time in Los Angeles. -- by Shea O'Rourke
Flyer: How did you hear about the show?
Austin Carroll: I got a call from the Memphis Music Commission. In Memphis, they did the auditions by invitation only. There were probably like 100 or 200 people auditioning.
What's your musical background?
I sing on the weekends at Hope Presbyterian [Church] -- my dad is the worship leader out there. I also do a lot of session work and a lot of jingle work with Baker and Associates. I was raised in a musical family. My dad was a Christian artist. He won two Grammys and seven Dove Awards. He had a big career before deciding to become a worship leader.
What makes you stand out from your competition?
I think that we're all pretty different stylistically. It just depends on whether or not America's going to accept the style that I have to offer.
Do you get along with the other contestants?
We've had our little drama moments, which I'm sure you'll see, but we've been doing well. We get a little stir-crazy at times, but I think that we're all really grateful for the experience of being able to work with such professional people. And the house itself is just amazing. It's like 11,000 square feet.
Do you get nervous performing live?
Not really. It's not really that different from singing in church. That's actually the easiest part for me -- the live performing. The reality side is what makes me nervous. It's weird being [microphoned] and being on camera all the time.
What's it been like to work with professional trainers and coaches?
The training has been pretty intense. They're trying to keep us all grounded and make us do the best job that we can do. It's been a great chance to learn from professionals. We've all learned a lot that we didn't know beforehand.