A mere four months since the freak accident in which he broke a vertebra in his neck while rehearsing a stage move, forcing the cancellation of his world tour, Jason Derulo is miraculously fit and back in performance mode. American Idol viewers witnessed that last night when he performed the aptly named “Undefeated.” The single is the result of collaboration with fans through Coca-Cola’s Perfect Harmony Program. Derulo’s girlfriend, season six Idol champ Jordin Sparks, was in the audience to cheer him on, as she’s been doing throughout his recovery. BET.com caught up with him after the show.
So how are you feeling, Jason?
I feel amazing. It’s been a four-and-a-half month process and I’m two weeks removed. Tonight was invigorating for me. It was like a second chance at life. I had a great time up there.
Did Jordin help you out with the song at all?
She helped me out with rehearsing for tonight, just by coming to the rehearsals. She has this photographic memory that’s crazy. If I forget a move, she’s like, “I think it was like this.”
Do you plan to record with her for your next album?
I’ve been in the studio, we’ve done about four songs so far, but I’m sure she’ll be on the record.
Are you going to make up the tour dates you had to cancel when you were
It was up in the air whether I was going to reschedule the world tour or was I just going to start a new one and I felt like that tour was in the past. I thought we should just start a new tour.
When will you go out?
I’m not sure. As soon as the record is out we can plan on some dates.
What was it like writing “Undefeated” with input from fans?
It was a lot harder than you would think because we had to go through thousands and thousands of submissions a day. The fans got to vote on the lyrics they wanted to be in the song and they got the chance to submit lyrics as well. It was kind of a rough process, but I had a lot of fun.
How did going through the trauma of a close call and then recovery make you view life?
This experience was crazy because I literally could not be standing here right now. I could be in a wheelchair or not be here at all. It’s taught me to love life and live every day like it’s your last. A lot of people say that, but I live that right now. So life has really, really changed from that perspective. I work a lot and I’m learning every day how to say, “That’s enough, I’m going to go home and be with my loved ones.”
How did Jordin help you through your recovery?
It was a rough process and really lowered me to crazy depression and all that, but when you have somebody, it makes everything so much better. Just her being there, when she could have been anywhere else in the world, was the backbone I needed.
So who’s your Idol pick?
Jessica [Sanchez]. I’m Team Jessica. I think she has a brilliant voice. I could listen to her all the time.
Will Jessica succeed even if she doesn’t win?
I believe so. She just needs to be in the right hands, somebody who can nourish the amazing talent that she has and take her to the next level whether she wins or not.
Who is Jordin rooting for?
Jordin is actually Team Phillip [Philips], so we have a wager going on right now. If she wins, I have to cook her a nice meal, and I can’t even cook hot dogs let alone an actual meal so I have to get a recipe book and do it right. That way I don’t have to do it more than once. And if I win she has to give me a foot massage, and she just hates feet. A 10-minute foot massage!
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(Photo: Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)