"When I first met Madonna, well, the only time I've met Madonna... I just, I mean, she walked in the room and I went, 'Oh, my God.' Like, I kind of whimpered or something came out of my mouth, I don't know what it was, and I was like, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm like really intimidated right now.' And she was like, 'Why?' And I'm like, 'Because I love you.' And, um, you know, she called me out on it. 'Yeah,' she said, 'so love equals intimidation for you?' And I said, 'Yeah, most of the time, it pretty much manifests itself that way.'
"She was very playful and she kind of teased me a little bit, but I played back and it was, we had, like, a nice little kind of, like, cheeky banter going on that I was really happy that I was able to be on that page with her. I thought that was pretty awesome."
"I would say if I had to pick a turning point on 'Idol,' I think when I did 'Ring of Fire.' There were certain people -- including Simon Cowell -- that thought it was crap. You know, a lot of country purists really did not get it, but then there were a lot of people who were, like, 'Whoa, that was different. We weren't expecting that. That's not 'Idol'-ish. We've never seen anything like that.' The lyrics are great, I mean, they're sexy and they're kind of universal and they don't feel like country lyrics to me. They're actually very dark and kind of powerful. So, thanks, Johnny Cash."
"I think Lady Gaga is great and is changing pop music and bringing back a certain rock 'n' roll spirit, swagger to the game. This new song 'Speechless' I think is just great, because I think it's a departure from what we're used to hearing from her. And I think it's definitely, it's a throwback vibe. It's like Carol King, Elton John, very, like, 70s singer-songwriter, which I think is a good look on her, because we hear all this really contemporary dance music from her, so it shows her range."