Francisco Martin revealed the best advice he received from a celebrity judge on American Idol in a new uInterview.

“I remember I didn’t even want to do Idol because I thought I wasn’t even that remotely good. I was kind of forced into it. Not forced, but I was encouraged by parents to just do it, and then I was like ‘No, I don’t think so,’ then they were like holding this grudge on me, and it was going to be a burden if I didn’t do it, so then I just did it for the hell of it,” Martin told uInterview’s Erik Meers.

After the first rounds of auditions, he found it “kinda cool and kinda fun.” But soon after the season started, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and all of the contestants were sent home. “It went virtual around March,” he said.

“So we were actually in L.A. for the live shows already, we were all in L.A., had our own apartments. It was super exciting,” the singer said smiling. “I was like, I never moved away for college, I went to community college, so I was like this is going to be my time to like actually experience my semblance of college.”

“It was a complete 180: cause it was like here we are just contestants on the show all you have to do is sing, practiced our songs, sleep, eat and hang out with friends, now we’re just full on producers, set designers. It’s just crazy how many things go into making a show, and we were kind of the root of that during the live shows, and it was crazy for us cause it was like this new experience,” he said. “We didn’t even know if it was going to turn out good … It was super weird because all of us got super overwhelmed to the point where it kind of stopped feeling like it was like a show,” he explained, “it started feeling like it was like this weird little Bermuda Triangle type deal.”

Another good thing? Being under the tutelage of some of the most successful pop stars ever. Martin said he got the best advice from Lionel Richie during Hollywood week.

“He was basically telling me I was born to do this,” Martin said. “That actually struck a chord in me because I just had low self-esteem, I was going through a mental headspace that was just negative overall, and I always thought that I didn’t deserve to be there in the show, and didn’t deserve to actually have a career in music. And so I keep that kind of in the back of my mind almost every day.”

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