A lot of kids your age are getting ready for school, so what are your plans for this year? I’ll be doing school on the road, my mom is a certified teacher, and she won’t cut me any slack. She’ll be my tutor, but I’ll still be enrolled with my school back home. So I’ll turn in papers with them. Once the tour is done, I’ll head back, because it’s my senior year, I don’t want to miss out on any memories.
College plans? I’m hoping to go into college right out of high school like any normal kid, hopefully Belmont in Nashville so I can study music while I’m doing the career. I’m young, so I have a lot to learn.
Video: We shot it in LA, but found a piece of country out there. So it’s nice, it’s like a summer barbecue feel, good ole country loving,’ July 4th feel, just a good old time. I kind of broke the stage the first time I got on it, but other than that, it was smooth sailing.
I Love You This Big: We picked that song on elimination night for Top 3, I listened to two songs, thought it would be good for the moment, and it’s now taken off on radio, so it’s cool to see that reaction. But I can’t wait to get the new stuff out. I was just listening to some of it today on the way here, and I’m excited about that.
Working with Carrie Underwood’s producer: He knows what he’s doing, I put trust in him, he used what worked for Carrie and other stuff as well.
Picking songs: I’m looking for a song that relates to me. There’s a lot I can’t sing because I’m so young, I can’t sing about going to the bar with my friends on Friday night, but there’s a lot I can sing, so I think we picked those songs and I’m looking forward to getting y’all to hear it.
Move to Nashville? We’ve talked about it. Right now I’m living in Carolina, but if things work out and I stick around I’ll move out here, but I wanna make sure I have some staying power first.
Love interest? No I’m living the single life, so nothing right now, I’m a little to busy now, lot to focus on.
Pranks on the Idol tour: Oh yeah, definitely been doing pranks, the funniest, as far as I’m concerned, was the first night in Salt Lake City, Jacob was taking a shower, before the tour, we got an ice bucket and we came in where he was showing and dumped it on him, it was funny, he screamed pretty high pitched.
Have they got you yet? They’re threatening, so I’m locking my bunk before I go to bed at night.
Change in life since winning? My best friends haven’t treated me different, they still slap me around when I need it, still joke around, but I’ve been home six days since February, but I was back in Raleigh a few days ago, and nothing unusual happened, because they treat me the same. At home they do, otherwise it’s craziness. I still can’t get over people crying. If I saw the cutest girl, I don’t think I’d cry, but it’s been pretty humbling.
Any advice from Josh Turner? He told me to stay true to myself and don’t change. It’s something Josh has done a good job doing, he’s got a family he takes on the road, and that’s something I hope if I get to that point I can do that also. He’s been a great guy to ask questions to and pick his brain.
Are you picking songs with more low notes? Me & Josh have two totally different voices. He’s got a deep voice of a 30 year old man, and I’ve got a 17 year old deep voice, it’s not fully developed yet. So on the record there are a couple songs where I get down there, but I’m mainly singing up there a bit and having fun with it.
Does this exceed your expectations? It’s definitely overwhelming. When I tried out I didn’t expect to win, I wanted to see what they’d say and get some advice to take back home and develop my craft. I’ve made it this far, Nashville’s been great to me, and it’s definitely a business, but it’s been fun, I’ve been enjoying every minute.
What do you say when people suggest you were pre-determined to win? They have no idea. It was the roughest road, 7 days a week, all hours of the night, and if you saw on the finale, I had a doctor taking care of me, so it wasn’t easy.
What do you miss? I’m missing a lot of stuff with my friends, when you’re a kid you go to the pool and have teenaged memories, and I skipped that this year, but I had a good life before that, so I’m starting my career early, I’m grateful to be where I’m at, I miss the boys back home, but this is definitely worth missing that for.