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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 8

Kris Allen "really, really shocked" to make 'American Idol's Top 12

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/02/2009 

Kris Allen claims he was "really, really surprised" to make it as an American Idol eighth-season Top 12 finalist due to all the talent he was competing against.

"When I made it through I was really, really shocked, because this group two that we have was just really, really good and a lot of talented people," Allen told reporters during a Friday afternoon conference call.  "I felt like anybody had a shot, so I felt really, really lucky to actually make it through with all those other people."

The 23-year-old from Jacksonville, AR advanced to the Top 12 finals along with Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta after the three received the most home viewer votes for their performances during Wednesday night's broadcast of the season's second semifinals group.

Allen performed Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" on Wednesday's show, and  -- despite previous contestants being criticized for singing the "King of Pop" -- Allen said he wasn't too worried.

"I was really confident in what I was doing," he said.  "I was just really, really happy that I didn't get any comparisons to him, because that's exactly what I wanted.  I didn't want anybody to compare me to Michael Jackson, so I'm glad that I accomplished that."

Making it even more surprising that Allen was confident was the fact that he was performing sans guitar.

"I usually do stuff with a guitar, I usually perform with my guitar, and so I really had to learn not to do that this past week.  So it was tough, but I learned a lot from this past experience," he explained.

"I felt like I picked a song with an energy to it that maybe didn't need that guitar or whatever, and so you could dance around and kind of get into it.  You know, it was kind of a lot of practicing in the room by yourself and making sure you don't look like a retard or an idiot on stage in front of a million people."

Another problem Allen had to overcome was his lack of screen time during the eighth season's audition and Hollywood Week broadcasts, which he was aware of prior to Wednesday night's performance.

"I think that went through my head maybe a little bit, but in the back I was just trying to stay grounded and be like hopefully that doesn't matter -- it doesn't matter so much and I can go out there and do my thing this week on live TV and more people are watching that then even the Hollywood stuff," he said.  "I think that I showed myself this past week and I think people liked it."

In addition, Allen said he likes it when the spotlight is shining on someone else.

"I love like being the guy that's kind of in the background.  I wasn't like looking for the cameras and trying to put my face in there.  I'm totally, totally cool with that, so, yes, I didn't have any problems with it," he explained.

"I do think how much time you get on TV it probably helps out a lot.  But in the end I think it's how good you do on that live show, obviously, because I didn't hardly get any TV time and I'm here.  And I probably have a lot of good friends."

Allen said he plans to fix his lack of face time the only way he knows how.

"Really the only, only thing you can do is be exactly who you want to be and be yourself, and then hopefully that people like that, and that's all that you can do," he said.  "And that's all that I think us, as musicians, can do, and go out there and do your best."

Allen said his Idol journey had an odd start since he wasn't the reason he initially found himself at an audition.

"My brother actually wanted to try out, and I went with him.  And we both tried out and I ended up making it a little bit further than him," he explained.  "But he's really, really supportive of what's going on and he's really, really excited."

Allen said his first goal was to make it to Hollywood, which he achieved before his Idol dream continued to take off.

"Every other step it's just another big hurdle, and this was a huge one," he said of making the Top 12.  "I cannot tell you how excited I am."

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