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Andrew Moreno

The enchanting and charismatic smile and voice of Jared Cotter was perhaps one of the
reasons viewers tuned into American Idol.  This time around, Mr. Cotter decided to sit
down with De novo Magazine to discuss life before and after American Idol, life on the
show, and an introspective look into his life.

Mr. Cotter graciously accepted our interview invitation and through the process we have
greatly enjoyed getting to know him.  

    Moreno: Jared, thanks for meeting with us.
    Glad to see you are doing well.  As with all
    our interviews, tell us when the magic began.

    Cotter: Well my father was in the entertainment
    industry and he opened my eyes to it. He had
    record deals when he was my age. And my Great-
    Grandfather was the first African-American to
    perform at Carnegie Hall. So it’s in my family.

    Moreno: Wow!  That's quite an
    accomplishment.  Tell me about your

Cotter: I had a great childhood. I grew up in Long Island about an hour and half away
from New York City. I was very happy and active.

Moreno:  Sounds like you have nice memories.  Are you still close with your

Cotter: I have a great relationship with my family, and luckily they have always been very
supportive.  I’m very blessed in that aspect of my life and it's something I try not to take
for granted. There are a lot of families that are broken and I know that in today’s day and
age having both parents still together seems like a rarity, let alone having them be

Moreno: What qualities do you look for in your friendships?

Cotter: A true friend is hard to find. That person will be with you no matter what. Will stop
everything just to help you out. I’m blessed to have a few of these people. I need to be
better a better friend to some of my friends. I’m glad they’re still around

Moreno: During your performance on American Idol, were you surprised by

Cotter: I was surprised at the judges sometimes. But I understand that at the end of the
day it’s a TV show. It was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. You can
never really expect anything because they keep you in the dark. It’s a need to know basis.
Moreno: So, what did you make of the judges?

Cotter: My impression was that they were doing their jobs

    Moreno: Tell me about the moment when you found
    out your Idol journey ended.

    Cotter: I did not see it coming walking up there; however,
    since I’m very tall and Ryan is not the tallest guy in the
    world, I saw right over his shoulder to the cards. I was
    very surprised at the results. I was actually surprised at
    all the results that night.

    Moreno: So, who did you think was going to win?  
    Did Jordin's win surprise you?

    Cotter: I knew Jordin was going to win from the start. She
    has it all.  Her voice is absolutely amazing. I’m so happy
    for her. And I let her know how proud I am of her every
    time we speak

Moreno: What do you think makes you different as an artist?  What did the Idol
viewers miss out on?

Cotter: What makes me different is that I’m going to bring real music back. There are a
lot of artists that are fabricated. I’m not going to be one of them.

Moreno: Clearly you see success in your future.  So, how do you define it?  

Cotter: Success is defined by the individual.  There are people with jobs that society may
look down upon, yet they may feel very successful, and they should.

Moreno: I've been asked by some of your fans to tell us what like is like on
American Idol.  Care to share?

Cotter: It’s not as glamorous as you might think. It’s a lot of waiting around and
rehearsing. Its very hard work.

Moreno: Before you auditioned for American Idol, what were you doing?

Cotter: I was auditioning for everything else, waiting tables, [and working] as a struggling
musician, model, and actor.

Moreno: Now that you have appeared on Idol and received some fame and
popularity, how do you plan to keep the momentum?

Cotter: It’s about persistence and knowing exactly what you want and pursuing how to get
it. The day I got voted off I was hustling to see what the next step would be and that’s how
I landed a TV hosting job on Fuse TV. I co-host a show called “The Sauce”. You should
check it out. It’s a lot of fun! Its Live Monday through Friday 6-7pm EST.

Moreno: Since you work in the entertainment industry, Is there anything that
bothers you?

Cotter: It's just not what it used to be. There’s no more artist development. Real artists are
not getting shots anymore. And there are a lot of people that are in high positions that
are not creative. They are just people that are good with paperwork. We need to put
music back into music business.

    Moreno: It seems you think a lot about your
    career, whet else do you think about?

    Cotter: I’m actually always thinking about the next
    step, which sometimes is a bad thing because I
    don’t give the step I’m in enough time. I’m always
    asking myself what’s next and I pray a lot about the
    answer. I just try to take what God gives me and do
    the best I know how to with it

    Moreno: What do/did you make of the Sanjaya

Cotter: I thought the hype was a little crazy,  but I think Sanjaya is a great kid and I wish
him all the best.

Moreno: In general, what annoys you?  What brings you pleasure?  

Cotter: Ignorant people annoy me. I know that’s probably a broad statement but it’s the
truth. Whether its ignorance about something as significant as racial discrimination or
something as simple as just being a jerk.

Moreno: Do you still keep in contact with other idol members? If so, who?  

    Cotter: I stay in contact with as many as I
    can. I’m very busy with “The Sauce” and I
    know a lot of us are busy with other things
    too. Like the top 10 are on tour right now but
    I did go and see one of the shows and met
    up with them. On a regular basis I still speak
    with Brandon, Antonella, Blake, Chris Rich,
    Paul Kim, and of course Jordin.  From time
    to time I speak with Phil, Lakisha, and AJ. It;s
    funny I’ve hung out with past Idols too like
    Elliot Yamin, Constantine, and Anthony

Moreno: What do you ultimately want from life?  

Cotter: I think I want what everyone wants and that’s just to be happy.  Happiness is
different to everyone but God knows what will make me happy and slowly but surely He’s
getting me to where I want to be.

Moreno: Is that what you ask God for?  

Cotter: I ask God for Health for my family and me. He’s given me so much that I hope to
be able to enjoy it with the people that I love.

De novo Magazine would like to thank Mr. R. West for facilitating this interview.  For more
information on Jared, visit

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