After beating out thousands upon thousands of would-be stars to make it to The X-Factor USA's final eight competitors, Seattle's own LeRoy Bell was eliminated from the competition on November 23. The good side of this is that Bell's back in town, playing his own songs with his own band, Only Friends. And for the blowout homecoming party that he more than deserves, LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends will be playing the Moore Theatre on New Year's Eve. Seattle Theatre Group hasn't made an announcement yet, but I spoke with Bell on the phone last week, and he was excited to tell me that "the NYE show is a welcome home from the X-Factor celebration, reuniting with my band, and NYE party all rolled into one!!" We'll get you more details on ticket prices when we find out.
Bell was famously the oldest X-Factor finalist, a 60-year-old who looks about 30. I asked him about his fountain of youth. After the jump, his answer.
I think it's just genetics. But I take care of myself. I work out, I try not to get fat. I haven't eaten beef or pork in 30 years. I've never been a real vegetarian though. I eat chicken and fish and turkey, but I just quit beef and pork. I was having stomach problems, and I went to a couple of doctors, and they couldn't find anything wrong with my stomach. So one doctor suggested being a vegetarian. So I tried that for a couple weeks, and I couldn't take it. So I just left out the beef or pork and I had no problems with my stomach after that.Bell's assigned coach on The X-Factor was ex-Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, who is 27 years his junior. He says he was pleasantly surprised by her tutelage:
It was quite pleasant working with Nicole. She was way more organic than I thought she was going to be, and she had a lot more knowledge about past music and music in general than I thought. I was surprised! I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I just thought since she was the youngest one, that she might not have the catalog as far as going back and understanding the different styles and all that. And she did! So that was really nice. She was trying to get me to open up and feel comfortable with being myself. I felt like LA Reid wanted me to dance around or something, and it was going to make me look ridiculous. But she got me to be more comfortable, to block out the judges and just pretend like it was my own concert.
To read more about my talk with LeRoy Bell, pick up the December issue of Reverb Monthly, which hits newsstands this Wednesday, December 7.
**UPDATE: LeRoy Bell's NYE show at the Moore is at 8 p.m., is 21+, and tickets are $32.50-$47.50.