Marcus sings for survival
Before The X Factor, Marcus Canty was on the last leg of the two-year run his mother granted him to pursue his dream when fortune struck at the last minute and he found himself being selected by judge LA Reid as one of the contestants in the boys' category.
Canty took off at lightning speed, delighting viewers week after week with everything from stylish routines complete with dancers and star-studded effects to soulful ballads sung a cappella. He hung on for three weeks in the bottom two, singing for his survival until last week when America decided it was time for him to exit stage left.
How does Marcus rate his experience on The X Factor? Have a listen...
Can you talk about what you went through this week after such a strong reaction to Rachel the week before? How did you prepare?
Obviously, seeing Rachel in the bottom with me, it frightened me because I treated Rachel with such love as a brother would a little sister. That’s how I treated Rachel, so I definitely didn’t want to be there with her. But going forward into the next week, I had
to erase that because obviously it’s still a competition.
The unfortunate part is there’s only going to be one winner. If everyone was going to win, I guess that takes away from the competition. I had to keep fighting. I’ve been fighting each week. I had to keep continually fighting. I had people supporting out there. I didn’t have the lowest votes so that meant I had someone out there supporting me. That’s what it was about.
You said several times that your mom had given you a two-year window to pursue a career in music. Has she given you an extension now that you've been so successful in The X Factor?
Yes, my mom definitely gave me that extension that I needed. I think The X Factor was the platform that maybe she was looking for. She gave me the two years because before the competition I may have gotten a little lazy about my career. Everything that happened for me, my mom did for me, so I never had to work for much, but this competition matured me and turned me into the working man that I needed to be. Especially fighting each week, being in the bottom so many times, I had to keep fighting. Doing that and seeing how many people love me and support me, it made me more motivated. It makes you want to work even harder each and every week, even after the competition. I won’t give up on my dream.
You had a rough couple of weeks, but you made it to the final four, and I know that that must have been scary. We’re hearing a lot of the positive come out of you, but has this affected your confidence?
No, sir. No, sir. When I came into this competition, obviously I grew. I needed to each and every week. Even looking back on my whole experience, I felt the growth. I saw the growth.
As far as not making it to the finale, obviously the grand prize was a $5 million contract and that’s where my eye was. I was dedicated to getting there. Not making it definitely didn’t touch my confidence at all. I’m going to go on stage. I’m going to continue to perform. I’m going to continue to inspire people, and I’m going to continue to just be myself. I think that’s what people like about me is that I can be myself. I don’t have to pretend and act like something that I’m not. It definitely didn’t touch my confidence.
In your discussions with LA, could you guys pinpoint some of the things that may have led to your being in the bottom three those three consecutive weeks that you were?
No. I walked into this competition and I wasn’t going to feel any regrets. Anything me and LA did, came up for each live show worked to show versatility. It goes to show that I can be versatile. I can sing R&B music, but at the same time, I can turn around and sing a Janis Joplin song. I can take a Boy George song and make it my own. It’s about being versatile and being different. Anything that me and LA did, it had nothing to do with that. America’s out there voting. The fortunate part is that I feel like America chose who they wanted to be in, and I’m definitely happy for any decision that was made, but me and LA are cool.
It seemed like really from the beginning of the competition, up and through last night, you had the support of the judges pretty consistently. So even though maybe you didn’t have the votes week in and week out, what does it mean to have such industry heavy-hitters really support you the way they did throughout the series?
It felt good that a lot of the people in the industry—especially Paula, she was so, so nice to me each and every week. Even behind the scenes she was so nice to me. Nicole as well. Funny enough, Simon is actually—Simon’s a puppy dog. He’s pretty nice himself. I have nothing but great things to say about the judges. They’re amazing and I hope to work with them in the future.
Obviously LA has had plenty of experience in the business and knows how to work with artists. But do you think, had you worked with any of the other judges, that maybe your fate on the show would have been different? Or do you think that didn’t really have anything to do with it at all?
No, no, no, no. LA’s a great guy. We came together and got great songs. I had great fun with LA. I wouldn’t change a thing. If I had Simon—honestly, I think LA was the perfect mentor,the perfect mentor for me. He shaped so many of the careers that I look after—the Pinks, the Justin Biebers, the Ushers, all of those artists. It was just fate. It felt like fate to me.
The X Factor finale airs this Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. on FOX.