'American Idol's Aaron Kelly: The contestants are 'one big family'
He tells us about wanting to record country music, kind words from Simon Cowell, his "Idol" family and how much he appreciates his aunt and uncle who adopted him.
On the upcoming "American Idol" tour:
I'm really excited to be a part of it and interact with the fans and the supporters. It's going to be nice to connect with the fans and to be able to go out there and not have to worry about impressing the judges. It's going to be good, clean fun.
On how he grew in the competition:
I think the judges wanted to see a little more charisma. I got my confidence up and I was having a good time, I just needed to believe a little bit more. I felt the more I went into the competition, the more I was gaining ... I was still learning to add all the extra things to my performances.
On wanting to record country music:
Country music is what I've grown up listening to and it's what I feel I fit most comfortably. Simon said that country music is where I really shined. The people that inspire me most are Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban. They have such great, honest music. I have a great time performing country music and I see myself hopefully going down that road.
On his fellow contestants and Big Mike's parting words:
Mike was saying, "You made it this far and good things are going to come out for everybody." He said, "No worries, man, it's a good place to go and you're gonna do good things." I'm good friends with everybody on the show. It's one big family because we're all stuck in the "Idol" bubble. Contestants and the people behind the show are all we've got, so we stick together and we're all very close.
On his family and adopted mother who is actually his aunt:
My mom is a great support. She gave up so much to make sure all of her kids got what they wanted out of life and that we had a good life ahead of us. She's always encouraged us to follow our dreams. My dad as well. They both put out a lot for me to be able to do this so I'm very thankful for both of them. I love my mom very, very much for the things she's given up for me.
I've had a great life and I love getting to share all this with my family. My mom and dad put out a lot to make sure I have my dreams and I'm glad that it's my aunt and uncle who adopted me because if it hadn't been them, I wouldn't get to see any of my real mom and dad or any of that side of the family. They didn't want us getting taken away to some foster parents that would never let us see our real families, so I'm really glad to have that.
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Photo credit: FOX