You spent the whole time with David Cook. What’s he like?
Yeah, I did. He's amazing. He's one of the most down to earth people. Really concerned about how you are doing. He'll try to help you out. And I think he's a great guy. He's like, the definition of an ‘American Idol.’
What was your favorite personal performance?
Well, with “Imagine” it was kind of like my last performance where I wasn't being viewed as [a frontrunner]. After that my expectations were raised higher than anything I can imagine. I'm just going to have a great time with the song. [At the time] I felt people weren't really watching me and I felt really comfortable. So then everyone was like ‘David, David, David.’ I felt very awkward, because I was like, ‘I don't get it.’ I didn't even do anything fancy with ["Imagine"]; it wasn't very energetic or anything. I was like, ‘This might be the end of it for me.' I'll at least feel good about what I needed to do. Then [with] “Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," I felt like I was really able to be myself.
That one was picked for you. You were happy with that one?
It was a good thing because so many other songs didn't work for me. It was hard to get songs cleared. I mean, there were like six songs I was trying to get cleared and then I ran out of time. So I had to do a song I had already done, unfortunately. I did “Imagine.” But it was good being able to do “Imagine” again. I think that is a great song.
Had you always wanted to be on American Idol?
I had always wanted to be on it until recently. And I started to think, ‘I don't think I could do that. I don't think that's the right direction for me. I don't think I'm good enough.’ And I almost didn't go because I had to quit my summer job. It's hard to find a job! It was just, ‘I've always wanted to do this, so let's see what it's like.’ And it was worth it, I guess. I'm here now touring, being able to do that. And it's just so great. What other opportunity would I get to tour the country and being able to perform to all these crowds? To hear that cheer and to feel the support the people have built on you? It's weird because you think that once they get to know me, they'll get annoyed by me. It's neat to see that they really appreciate what you are doing.