Willis Earl Beal: "I put my heart into it. Well, I initially put my heart into it. I felt that and by the time it was time for me to perform, I drank a few beers because I smuggled them in in the backroom downstairs, I was hiding out from people.
"People were everywhere, singing songs and dancing and shit. It depressed me because I didn't have background music and I wasn't prepared in any conceivable, any feasible way. By the time it was time for me to perform, I was kind of drunk and a little depressed.
"I went out there, tried to remember the words to my song and I couldn't. I just ended up slurring the words. They didn't say anything right away but I eventually ended up in the group of people that were eliminated from the competition out there in Pasadena.
"I was with this one cat, standing next to him and when they announced that all of us weren't going to make it, he started yelling about some inspirational shit, about how we're not going to stop. Everybody clapped for him, I clapped for him because it was pretty gutsy of him. For some reason, he kept calling me Woody Guthrie, I don't know why.
"But on the way out he said, 'Woody Guthrie I'm not gonna make it.' I said, 'It's gonna be fine man it's okay, you're not gonna stop singing.' Then all of a sudden I hear this: 'My life is over, I can't live, I can't take it.'
"He's on ground just bawling, his whole face and arms are red, he looks like a lobster. He got the camera on his back, I got the camera on my back because I'm standing next to him and he's on the ground. I leaned out to him and I said, 'Man, you gotta get up. The cameras are on you.' I hope that cat is still alive because he was fucking depressed."