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"American Idol" Recap

Aired May 22, 2009 - 21:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, there's probably people better than me.

SIMON COWELL, TV HOST: Your modesty is actually putting me off a little bit.


SEACREST: Their lives changed forever. What about the rest of the top 10? They're all here and Paula too. Right now. This is LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening, everyone, I'm Ryan Seacrest in for Larry King this evening. And this will be a stretch tonight, but we're going to interview everybody "American Idol" starting with the new American Idol, Kris Allen. Has it sunk in yet?

KRIS ALLEN, "AMERICAN IDOL" WINNER": No, it hasn't sunk in. All the way in. I think it's starting to a little bit.

SEACREST: The moment I will never forget and you won't forget it either. Let's take a look at the big announcement, Kris winning "Idol".


SEACREST: After the nationwide vote of nearly 100 million, the winner of "American Idol" 2009 is -- Kris Allen.


SEACREST: All right. So we see your mouth wide open. What was going through your head at that point?

ALLEN: The funny thing was is watching it back, it didn't seem like it lasted that long. But when you said -- it was like you said K -- forever, but I thought you were going to go K-Adam Lambert.

SEACREST: You thought I was going to fake you out.

ALLEN: Exactly but you didn't. I think I was completely shocked. Adam's amazing. Adam's great. And to -- I didn't have any clue I was going to win.

SEACREST: So you were surprised?

ALLEN: Yeah. SEACREST: I think the first thing you said was Adam's great. Actually on the air, you were complimenting him at the moment you should be complimenting yourself.

ALLEN: I think that's kind of how I am. Seriously, we're really good friends and he's amazing. He's been probably the most consistent performer this year. And just overall probably one of the best performers that's ever been on the "Idol" stage.

SEACREST: So aside from getting more votes, an incredible number of votes too. Why do you think you won?

ALLEN: I don't know. You know, I think it was, you know, a combination of a lot of stuff. It was maybe probably, you know, a little bit of personality, a little bit of - hopefully it was about the music, as well. I know that's not always the case on "American Idol". That's what I care about the most the music and how I portray it.

SEACREST: It's no secret that you're a man of faith, that you referred to the Christian thing as it were. The Christian thing. You didn't rely on the Christian vote. Do you think that played a part in your win, though?

ALLEN: I hope it didn't. Because I guess me and Adam were doing an interview before the show. Kris, do you think you're going to get the Christian vote now that Danny's gone? And that was rough, that was kind of upsetting, because the show's not about religion, we're not running for president. We are there to do music and there to sing and hopefully people vote on that.

SEACREST: Which is the hope. But it's so big, there's so many people involved, and I think there are a lot of factors that go into the voting. Like it or not.

ALLEN: Yeah, like it or not. I think that's the truth.

SEACREST: What was the toughest week for you, Kris?

ALLEN: I think for me the toughest week was the year of birth week. We - I had a hard time picking a song. And I think it showed, as well. I don't think the judges liked it very much. I was in that dang pit. The pit of death, don't do it.

SEACREST: When you talk about your home state of Arkansas, you say not a lot happens. Bill Clinton obviously from there, so there's a little bit of notoriety. But you're the next boy from home that's done good.

ALLEN: Yeah. There's like a lot of people who have done well from Arkansas. But this was on like a huge stage and Arkansas really rallies around what goes on in that state. And if someone from their state gets on the show, on any show, we go crazy about it.

SEACREST: What about strategy? I've seen the show 300 plus episodes ... ALLEN: Oh, really.

SEACREST: ... yeah, believe it or not. And i know that you have to develop some sort of strategy. So what was yours?

ALLEN: You know, I think my strategy throughout the whole thing was don't steer away from what you know how to do. And that's just go out there and be yourself. I went out there and I played my type of music. And I really wanted to change stuff up a little bit and be kind of bold in my music choices. And just do what I believed in.

SEACREST: People, some people don't know much about you. You're married to Katie. We talked about it on the radio the other day. Give us sort of the time line of how it all happened between the engagement, the marriage, and the "Idol".

ALLEN: Yeah, we got engaged probably a year before we got married. And then, you know, did all of the wedding plans and all that stuff and then got married in September and seriously we went to Jamaica and then flew back to Arkansas and then I immediately got on another plane to Hollywood week. So it was pretty nuts.

SEACREST: What has it been like for her not having you around?

ALLEN: You know, it's been rough. This is our first year of marriage. And I think this is -- I don't think a whole lot of people have gone through anything like this in their first year of marriage. And it's rough on us, but she's great and she's really understanding. And she's really supportive because she knows what this is what I wanted to do forever. And so ...

SEACREST: Does she ever get jealous?

ALLEN: No, absolutely not.

SEACREST: But you're a heart throb now, Kris, like it or not.

ALLEN: But she knows she has nothing to worry about, though. I don't think she's ever gotten jealous.

SEACREST: Who pushed you to audition?

ALLEN: It was actually my brother. It was a couple days before, and he was like, I'm going to go try out for "American Idol", I want you to go with me.

SEACREST: He made it through one of the producer rounds.

ALLEN: Yeah, he made it pretty far. And did some flips and stuff. But, yeah.

SEACREST: How does he feel about you winning?

ALLEN: He's ecstatic. It's so funny because I was always known as his brother. His name is Daniel, I've been Daniel's brother. And now he's known as Kris Allen's little brother. SEACREST: Idol's brother. I want to remind you about Danny Gokey's (ph) exclusive commentary, it's only at Danny and the rest will be here in just a bit. After the break, Adam Lambert joins us. Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This show, season eight has been remarkable.

COWELL: The whole idea about doing a show like this is you hope you can find a worldwide star.

RANDY JACKSON, TV HOST: We're down the wire, this is it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are an incredible artist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was one of your best performances ever.

PAULA ABDUL, TV HOST: That was the best I've ever heard you sing, ever!

JACKSON: We've got ourselves a real live duel competition going on here, and I love it.


SEACREST: That is right, my dawg. Back with Idol Kris Allen, joining us Adam Lambert, the runner-up. How you doing?

ADAM LAMBERT, "AMERICAN IDOL" RUNNER UP: I'm good. Trying to stay awake.

SEACREST: You guys have been through it. The question everyone wants an answer to. Finally I get to ask you. What kind of guy-liner do you wear?

LAMBERT: I don't know, whatever the make-up artist puts on me, you know.

SEACREST: Let's go back and take a look at the winning moment one more time. Watch this.


SEACREST: After the nationwide vote of nearly 100 million, the winner of "American Idol" 2009 is Kris Allen!


SEACREST: All right. In that beat before I did the consonant Kuh, what were you thinking?

LAMBERT: I kind of figured, OK, it's anyone's game at this point. I knew it was going to be a close race. And actually in my head, believe it or not, I went, that's so Kris, it's so going to be Kris. I felt it.

SEACREST: You're human, so you had to be let down a little bit.

LAMBERT: You know what? I honestly mentally prepared myself for any possibility. And we kind of kept telling each other, you know, it's such an honor to be here. We had so much fun last night. And tonight we got to sing with Queen. The point is not a title. The point is the opportunity. And I feel like we got that opportunity.

SEACREST: So what do you think happened with the voting? The judges called you the darling throughout the course of the season. And then you didn't get the first place votes. What happened?

LAMBERT: Well, I'm sure that when Danny was out of the competition, I think his fans probably would be more apt to go for Kris' style.

SEACREST: That's what a lot of people talked about. Is that something you thought about?

LAMBERT: Yeah. Of course I thought that.

ALLEN: I think a lot of people thought that too.

LAMBERT: I wasn't worried. I just assumed that would be the case.


LAMBERT: Kris' appeal is more like Danny's appeal than mine. I just kind of figured.

SEACREST: You know, knowing Kris he probably felt guilty about it.

ALLEN: You know I did.

LAMBERT: Honestly, I keep saying it. It wasn't about winning, it's about just staying on the show as long as possible.

ALLEN: Does the fact that the judges pick you out early in the season, does that hurt in the long run? Or can that hurt in the long run?

LAMBERT: I kind of think it helped me because I think that because I'm something a little bit different, it allowed people at home to feel it was OK to root for me.

SEACREST: Did you think Kris was the one to beat? And Adam, did you think Kris was the one to beat?

LAMBERT: I had no idea. I had no idea how it was going to be. I was just kind of riding the wave as it was going.

SEACREST: Kris, how did you size up the rest of the competition?

ALLEN: Well, I think Adam and Danny were, I mean, very -- I think they were the front runners for a long time. And they're amazing. So kudos to them. I think they deserved it completely. But I never went out there to beat anyone. We talk about that a lot.

SEACREST: I can't believe that totally. You never went out there to beat anyone ever?

ALLEN: No, how do you compare me or Adam or me or Danny or me or Matt or me or Allison.

SEACREST: At some stage when you have a large number of contestants, there is a similarity. When we have the top 13, top 10, there's a little bit redundancy in terms of style.

ALLEN: I guess, was there anyone like Adam?

SEACREST: I've done the show for eight seasons and we've never seen anyone quite like Adam. That's great. That's the beauty I think in the show. It can continue to reinvent itself with the contestants.

LAMBERT: That's why I felt it wasn't a competition thing. I knew it was apples and oranges. The people are like, I like that guy, I like that guy, or I like that girl. To me, it was like go out there and do your best. That was the goal for me every week. Do something new, do something new to get people talking.

SEACREST: It never seemed stressful for you.

LAMBERT: You know, the only time I really had like a stress attack was in rehearsal for the final show. Because there were ...

SEACREST: Meaning the Wednesday night? Or was it Tuesday ...

LAMBERT: Tuesday.

SEACREST: The competition Tuesday night you had three songs each.

LAMBERT: It was just you know, there's a lot to get done. And we were in a new venue and that was different. The sound was different, the lighting was different.

SEACREST: People who don't know, the set moves to the Nokia Theater which is a huge theater in downtown Los Angeles with 7,000 people in the audience as opposed to 500 people at your normal soundstage which is a typical Hollywood soundstage. So you're thrown off a little.

LAMBERT: Yeah. We had gotten really comfortable at the sound stage we'd been working at. We got into the Nokia and we started rehearsing and there were a lot of elements out of our control. So I kind of started feeling a little bit like panicked and i had to talk myself down off the ledge.

SEACREST: Now, on Wednesday night. There was a rumor that one of your boots was flown in via private jet because -- check this out. Talk about -- I don't know if it's a diva moment. You weren't even responsible for it. It's a great diva story.

LAMBERT: It's a great diva story. I wish -- I didn't even know what boots I would be wearing. SEACREST: Two left boots came to you and the right boots was flown via private jet from Antwerp.

LAMBERT: From Belgium, yeah, exactly. And it came moments before the beginning of the show.

SEACREST: In a recession, it seems a bit wasteful.

LAMBERT: Me too. I wasn't responsible for any of that.

SEACREST: That wasn't your fault.

LAMBERT: No, the stylist was like you're wearing these shoes. OK, I'll do what you say.

SEACREST: Let's take a quick look back at the paths of these guys. Their journey on "American Idol."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you the best singer out there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are probably people better than me.

COWELL: Your modesty is actually putting me off a little bit.

SEACREST (voice-over): But the humble college student grew as an artist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kris blew me away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this whole thing don't work out, we can do something my man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are truly a dark horse in this competition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you our next idol?




SEACREST: And from the beginning, Adam was focused on his mission.

LAMBERT: The reason I want to be on the show is because I have a lot of ideas. I want to take a song we've heard a million times and twist it. And I will surprise you.

SEACREST: Keeping his promise, he astonished many.


SEACREST: What's your reaction to that when you watch it back?

LAMBERT: It's surreal.

ALLEN: It seems like you're watching the first audition and it seems like that was three years ago. It seems so long ago.

SEACREST: How much do you see yourself changing when you watch that back? You changed quite a bit both of you.

ALLEN: Absolutely. We've changed a lot.

SEACREST: Wardrobe budget.

ALLEN: That's true.

LAMBERT: I look at it. When they asked me are you the next "American Idol". I thought to myself, they're testing me to see if I'm confident. I look back on that and like I guess I said what I was supposed to say for the package at the end of the show.

SEACREST: It fits in nicely when we edit it back together at the end of the season.

LAMBERT: Yeah, that's very cool, yeah.

SEACREST: Coming up in 60 seconds, the one and only Paula Abdul joins us. Don't go away.



JACKSON: That song was a train wreck for me. For me, not the best performance for me for you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're not a good singer, sweetie.

Sweetie, the music was not for you. It is paved with heartache.

Agility, substitutions, brilliant. Balladeer. Vocabulary.

COWELL: I actually need a translator on this show. What did you say? What? Pardon? What? What? No idea what you just said there.


SEACREST: It was so much fun to watch those tapes back when we edited them together. Paula Abdul, judge of "American Idol" joins us.

ABDUL: Hello.

SEACREST: It's so strange sitting here asking you questions.

ABDUL: You fall perfectly into place.

SEACREST: I'll be proper then with you. Was this the most surprising outcome ever for us? Or not? ABDUL: Ever? No, I think it's not about America getting it right or wrong. I think these guys got it right when they got the path to their future got delivered week after week.

SEACREST: Were you surprised personally?

ABDUL: We as judges were happy with the outcome either way. Because we knew that their futures are totally theirs for the making. And that's the best thing is I talked to these guys. And it's like I usually have to impart wisdom and give advice. These guys go, Paula, we know we're both winners.

SEACREST: They don't need to hear it?

ABDUL: It's like we're both winners and we're going to go on and sell millions of records. And I went all right.

SEACREST: Here's the bracelet, see ya. They are obviously very different. Was it hard to judge them because it's apples and oranges?

ABDUL: You know, the best type of finale is when you have two complete separate and distinct kind of artists. And you're critiquing them already as winners. In a sense. For us judging on Tuesday night, it was very simple. You know, simple's great.

SEACREST: Adam you'd called early on to be in the finals. At what point did you see Kris coming on strong?

ABDUL: The last month. The four weeks leading up to I saw. And I love rooting for the underdog. I do. But I remember early on the belief, you know, do you believe when you came on the first group of eight. When you were in the small studio at CBS, Randy gave you a harsh criticism, Kara (ph) gave you harsh criticism and I said I happen to think it's pretty good.

SEACREST: Someone said Randy was a bit rude.

ABDUL: And then I remember Simon going, I'm going to agree with -- Paula.

ALLEN: That's a really good memory, Paula.

ABDUL: Do I have a good memory?

SEACREST: She is by the way like an elephant.

ABDUL: Like an elephant.

SEACREST: More with Kris, Paula and Adam. Stick around. The top ten coming your way too. We'll be back.



SEACREST: I don't know which pair to call the odd couple. Adam and Kris or Kara and Paula dancing to "We are the Champions". Back with you, there they are, your Idol and runner-up and Paul Abdul here, too.

After Tuesday night's big sing-off, the judges delivered their final verdict. Here's what they said.


COWELL: I loved the song, but if I'm being honest with you, it was like three friends in their bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye.

JACKSON: Only thing is it's a little bit light for this big old room at this point in the competition. You sang it great, it was just a little bit light for me.

ABDUL: You did an amazing job to end up where you are right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have been an incredible person to watch week to week, you've come into your own, and I congratulate you for an incredible season. And I hope people vote on the season.

COWELL: And you have thoroughly, thoroughly deserve being on this stage tonight. Congratulations.

ALLEN: Thank you, Simon.


SEACREST: That's how they summed it for Kris on the final Tuesday night. Here's what they said to Adam.


ABDUL: That was the best I've ever heard you sing, ever, ever, ever!

JACKSON: You can sing your face off. And that was unbelievable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is amazing when someone with your level of talent sings a song that we've written. Adjectives can't express what you've brought to this show season eight. It has been truly remarkable.

JACKSON: Dude, you can sing anything. You can sing the phone book.

COWELL: The whole idea about doing a show like this is that you hope you can find a worldwide star. I genuinely believe with all my heart that we have found that with you. Congratulations.


SEACREST: So that was the final moment before the phone lines were open and the voting started, and we named the winner. What was different about that Tuesday night for you? Obviously, a lot more people. But there was a different energy that night.

ABDUL: It was a little more subdued to me. It felt like ...

SEACREST: Really? Like there was a calm before the storm? ABDUL: Yeah. We were talking about, wow, the show's over now and just went by really quickly.

SEACREST: Yeah. I mentioned this earlier, the fact that you point out somebody early in the season that could be a favorite. Do you think that that is, it's risky and do you think that it hurts the contestant or could hurt the contestant?

ABDUL: I think you just call it as it is.

SEACREST: Can't overthink it.

ABDUL: You can't over think it. You say what's on your mind and how you feel. And, you know, it's -- something strikes you in a chord of your heart, that makes you feel like you have to say, that was brilliant, that was fantastic.

SEACEST: Kris, how did you feel about the love Adam was getting from the judges during the season?

ALLEN: I thought he deserved it. I think he's amazing. I think he was probably one of the most original and one of the most -- seriously one of the best singers that's been on "American Idol".

LAMBERT: (Inaudible)

ALLEN: I'm sorry. What do you want me to say.

ABDUL: He really is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're so surprised.

LAMBERT: This is why we're friends. It's real.

ABDUL: There's a bromance going on here.

But the truth is, you can marvel at both of their talents. But they're truly gentlemen, they're just really class act gentlemen.

SEACREST: That is true. Speaking of the bromance. Let me ask you this. The speculation about your sexuality, do you think that had anything to do with coming in second place?

LAMBERT: No, I think if anything, I think it -- I think my lifestyle is just I'm different. I'm a little bit -- I'm not your typical guy next door. The guy next door versus the guyliner. I think sexuality aside, I think it more had to do with maybe my appearance and my -- what songs I gravitated towards and my performance style. I think that had more to do with it.

SEACREST: Kris, when I asked the question, you were nodding your head, why?

ALLEN: Because I agree with him. It's not about who he is or who I am. It's about -- what we want, we want it to be about the music, you know. ABDUL: Talent is color blind. Talent has no prejudice.

SEACREST: True, but do you think the audience across America thinks that way?

ABDUL: Really to me -- like I said, it matters what -- that America votes for their favorites. But in these two's case, it doesn't matter because they're artistic choice and who they are is going to transcend everything.

SEACREST: Well you guys certainly owned who you were each and every week this season. I want to remind you we'll be back Monday. As a matter of fact, we're staying, we're not leaving. You're going to camp here. Monday, LARRY KING LIVE answering your questions. More with the idols after this.


SEACREST: All the Idols are here. Back, Ryan Seacrest, in for Larry King tonight. Paula Abdul, Kris Allen, the Idol, Adam Lambert, the runner up, with us. Do you guys have any idea what the margin was between the two? Obviously, Kris, you won. Do you know what the difference was?

ALLEN: No idea.

SEACREST: Did you ask?


SEACREST: I don't know either.

ABDUL: I don't know either.

SEACREST: Did you ask?


SEACREST: I failed to ask, as well. I should have asked, and then I could tell you. But I didn't, and so I don't know.

ABDUL: I would say it was less than a million between.

SEACREST: That's an unofficial statement.

ABDUL: I'm just saying.

SEACREST: She's guessing.

ALLEN: It had to be close.

SEACREST: Let's have a little bit of fun. Paula, she took the Idol spotlight earlier in the month with the performance. Let's watch some of that and then we'll chat about it.



SEACREST: Gentlemen, turn about is fair play here. We want you to judge Paula. Kris?

ALLEN: I think we were watching it and I was like, that was really fun. It was a lot of fun to watch it. I loved it.

LAMBERT: We were up in the audience and we were in the very back. And it started and I went, dang. I got so excited. I was like, no she didn't. They were tossing her around. She jumped. And I was like, no, this -- the microphone was --

ABDUL: You liked that?

LAMBERT: We all got really excited.

ABDUL: And they were like -- when I was backstage, that was so cool.

LAMBERT: I mean, I think everybody knew it was going to be good. But nobody knew it was going to be that good. It was such a great surprise.

ABDUL: Thank you.

SEACREST: And tell me about the wardrobe choice. It was very sexy. Were you worried about that?

ABDUL: I was very worried about being sexy.

SEACREST: Why were you worried? I saw it up close and there was a lot of risk in things not remaining where they were set.

ABDUL: No, everything was set in place. Nothing was going to --

SEACREST: Locked and loaded?

ABDUL: Locked and loaded.

SEACREST: One of the most talked about Idol wannabes this season was bikini girl. Let's take a look at her audition and her revealing return to Idol on the finale.


ABDUL: Honestly, you don't have to chop to sing that song, sweetie. You're a beautiful girl. But that was a big song.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But your demonstration wasn't any better.


(END VIDEO CLIP) SEACREST: I can't tell, in this shot, if the camera was cropped at her head or not. But it almost looks like the camera was sinking down there on "American Idol."

ABDUL: Men, naturally where heads go.

SEACREST: What was your reaction, Paula, to Kara coming up there singing. First time a judge has sang on the show. Randy and Simon certainly won't do. And then she took off her dress.

ABDUL: She was very nervous. And I was talking to her beforehand. And I grabbed her pinky and we locked. I said, go out there and have a blast. Have fun. This is a moment that will go down in history. Have fun. And I go, and then you can eat again.


SEACREST: When you watch that tape back, guys, you obviously take it very -- bikini girl, like it or not, I think she takes herself quite seriously, took the moment seriously. But when you watch that back, what do you think, Kris?

ALLEN: The last performance?

SEACREST: Just when you see a contestant like that on a show that you won.

ALLEN: I thought she was a funny part --

SEACREST: Entertaining or making it a joke?

ALLEN: I thought it was entertaining. The fact that she got to Hollywood I was a little surprised. I'm not going to lie.

ABDUL: Really not when --

ALLEN: Not when --

ABDUL: When Simon and Randy say yes.

SEACREST: Do you want to roll your eyes when you see someone like that strutting across the stage in a bikini during the finale of the show?

LAMBERT: It's all in the name of great entertainment. I have no comment.

SEACREST: All right.

Danny, Allison, and Matt, they're standing by. They'll be here when we come back.





SEACREST: That is not a clip from "So You Think You Can Dance" or "Dancing With the Stars." That is "American Idol." Back with our Idol special.

Danny Gokey joins us, Allison Iraheta and Matt Giraud.

All right, let's start. By the way, Danny, you did a web blog, right? Do you know about this?


SEACREST: Let me tell you.

GOKEY: I've done so much, I can't remember.

SEACREST: It's exclusive commentary from Danny on the Larry King blog at You should check that out. Danny doesn't remember he did it.

GOKEY: I actually do remember it now.

SEACREST: OK. Who do you -- when you sit here and look at these two, think back to that night, who did you think was going to win?

GOKEY: I said it on the blog, did I not? I called Kris the winner.

LAMBERT: You jerk.

GOKEY: I didn't mean to. Sorry.


GOKEY: Just because --

SEACREST: Not to create an uncomfortable moment.

LAMBERT: It isn't uncomfortable at all.

GOKEY: The way the competition goes, a lot of things just affect it. You know, like I was listening back to what you said, that you said you felt that helped you, the judges. I felt it hurt him, the judges, you know, complimenting him so much. I felt it hurt him. I sometimes feel like -- maybe I'm wrong -- that people don't like that. And I thought it would work out in his favor then, because maybe they felt he was -- they didn't give him enough credit.

So people were like, you know, I want to give this guy a chance, so they'll vote in.

SEACREST: So you made it to the top three and then you're eliminated. So close to the finale. So it had to be tough for you.

GOKEY: It's funny because it was a little tough. I'm a competitor by nature.

SEACREST: You're the antithesis of Kris Allen.

GOKEY: I just basically am a -- but I was relieved at the same time. Because I felt like I did very well. I got a lot of exposure on the show. And it was just a great year to be a part of. The competition was thick. And I felt like I did a pretty good job.

SEACREST: And Allison, who did a tremendous job on our show, just a teenager, and the only girl left in that final group. What was it like being in the boys club for you?

ALLISON IRAHETA, "AMERICAN IDOL": Well, they did pick on me a lot.

SEACREST: Who the most? Especially Gokey?

IRAHETA: You're 12 years old, get away. No, it's all good because I'd always beat him up later.

GOKEY: It was recorded on TV.

IRAHETA: Oh. That was great.

SEACREST: I look back at the tapes of when we first saw you. You've changed a lot. You've become much more comfortable with yourself.

IRAHETA: Yes, I have.

SEACREST: And with being in front of other people.

IRAHETA: It's true. I was anti-social and scared of people.

GOKEY: See the quick wit, there it is.

IRAHETA: Definitely. I can totally see that change. When I first walked into that audition room, I was just scared, you know. And it was definitely a confidence boost being in this whole competition.

SEACREST: You had a chance to perform with the legendary Cindy Lopper during the finale. Tell me what you were feeling and thinking sitting there on that stage in front of 28 million people and next to Cindy Lopper.

IRAHETA: I was scared. I was very scared because I'm like, I'm singing her song that's an amazing song. I hope I don't mess it up. Otherwise she's going to beat me up. She's so amazing, though. She's like you do what you got to do, and you've got to feel it. And I remember in dress rehearsal, I wasn't getting the words right. She's like, don't worry about the words, just sing. She's so amazing --

ALLEN: Don't worry about the words.

IRAHETA: I'm like, oh my god, the words.

SEACREST: Once the voting stops, you have to worry about the words. And Matt Giraud, he was a recipient of the judge's save. A tweak to the new season. Take a look.


SIMON COWELL, "AMERICAN IDOL": Matt, Matt -- we've made a decision.

Matt, it's good news.


SEACREST: How did you feel about that save, Matt? It had to be incredible.

MATT GIRAUD, "AMERICAN IDOL": Well, it felt great, after I got tackled by all these people. No, it felt amazing. I felt a lot of love in the room. I remember I don't think the producers expected it to be that loud in the room. It's a cool thing to be a part of. Everyone was like save. The security guards was like --

SEACREST: When you look back at it, you look back at what you did, Matt, why do you think they saved you?

GIRAUD: I think I had ups and downs, a lot of ups and downs. Kind of like a roll coaster for me on that show. I think they saw something in me from the beginning. that meant a lot to me in the end. I think it wasn't my time yet to go. So definitely got me to jazz week, which was a big dream of mine.

SEACREST: It was a fantastic moment for the show. We're still taking your questions, by the way, for our second big Idol show on Monday. You can go to and ask the top ten whatever you want. More in 60 seconds. We're back.



SEACREST: It is the "American Idol" exclusive. All of your favorite Idols are with us right now. Joined by Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds, and Scott MacIntyre here on the set.

Let me start with Anoop, who found out he was the 13th contestant, got the wild card nod, when you thought we were only going to have 12. What was that night like for you, Anoop?

ANOOP DESAI, "AMERICAN IDOL": It was -- it was surprising, definitely. I remember you sort of saying all right -- I thought the show was wrapping up and then you sort of grabbed me by the shoulder and Simon told me I was in. It was really surprising.

SEACREST: You're saying we're good actors?


SEACREST: That's a first.

DESAI: The cool thing is I was talking to some of the PAs and the producers afterwards. And they were like, we didn't know that was going to happen either.

SEACREST: You all should know that "American Idol," even though we've been on for so long, I don't know what what's going to happen and the judges don't know what's going to happen half the time. We fly by the seat of our pants.

DESAI: Which is surprising. We always sort of -- I know I do. You sort of look at everyone and see if they're being extra nice to me that day.

SEACREST: I can see what's going down. Lil Rounds, your proudest moment on the show?

'LIL ROUNDS, "AMERICAN IDOL": I think my proudest moment as a mom was my baby getting to hug Randy.

SEACREST: I remember that night.

ROUNDS: Oh, gosh, I cried like a baby. I felt my family was really getting a chance to be involved in this experience with me. So it was good.

SEACREST: And Scott, what was special about this for you? What do you think you learned after being on this show?

SCOTT MACINTYRE, "AMERICAN IDOL": I learned to be a more productive and more organized and efficient than I ever thought possible. I remember they told us once, you guys have the busiest schedules in all of Hollywood. And I never dreamed how involved it would be just following the show from home. And so much has happened to me.

I remember the first day that the piano rolled out on stage. That was the whole reason I auditioned and came here. And that was like a huge dream that was realized for me.

SEACREST: You learned a little bit of dancing, as well. I saw.

MACINTYRE: I did. And I need a recommendation for "Dancing With the Stars" as my next career move.

SEACREST: Is that where you're going next? We'll be right back. Stay with us.





SEACREST: Back with your "American Idol" special. Don't forget, on Monday we'll be here taking your Tweets, taking your e-mail questions. Make sure you send them into us so we can answer all of them.

All right. Let's talk about this family, this group, for a second. You're going to be practically living together. And I guess you did for a while in that mansion. Scott, what was it like to be a part of this group when the cameras weren't rolling?

MACINTYRE: You know, it was amazing. We had a great time, you know. Nobody really fought this year. There were no -- you know, no arguments or anything like that that really took hold. And I don't know if they put us in the mansion, you know, waiting to see if that would happen or what. But it never did.

Yes. Well, it didn't work. But it was -- yes. Matt kept trying to start something. No.

SEACREST: Not to cross any lines, but opposite of feuding, was there any in-mansion romance?


GOKEY: Before I go to sleep, I have to stuff my face full of food. And then I could finally go to sleep.

SEACREST: You had a chef there?

MACINTYRE: I actually roomed right off the kitchen for a while. I ate very discreetly. But I had a little romance going on with the chocolate cake for a while.

SEACREST: How do you sneak around in the middle of the night in the mansion? That's what I want to know.

MACINTYRE: I learned my way. I can find chocolate from a mile away.

SEACREST: Let me ask you, being a mom, and being isolated to a degree, talk about that dynamic, because we don't get to hear too much about it.

ROUNDS: Well, let's just say I was asked, you know, was I getting a little bit of a break, you know, with having three kids and being on the show. And I was, like, uh, actually, no, you know. This here, I can take it on all day long, and go home and want to pull my hair out when I get to those three babies.

You know, they are my life. They are my joy. You're right, being isolated from them is hard.

SEACREST: How old are they?

ROUNDS: Five, three and two.

SEACREST: So the five-year-old kind of --

ROUNDS: She kind of gets it. She kind of gets it. But the two-year- old, let's just say he knows mama and that's it. Like when I got home, everybody's like, so they're like -- you know, Lil Rounds, Lil Rounds. And as soon as I walked through the door, my son goes, OK, so I want orange juice. It's like Lil Rounds out the window. Mama, you're here. I mean, it's really great. They're enjoying it. They watch me all the time. They tape every episode. And my daughter has learned to sing "I Surrender" and "Be Without You."


SEACREST: Anoop, you were one of our more honest contestants, even in the middle on the show. Some of the contestants that we've had in years past find that to be a bit risky, dangerous, and they don't always show their true colors.

DESAI: That was funny. No, you know --


DESAI: Let's take a moment for that to sink in for everyone. No, you know, I mean, I can't change who I am. I can't -- you know, I have to act like me. I don't know how else there is to act. And, I mean, you know, the few times, you know, I got, you know, visibly, I think, miffed on stage, it's, like, that happens to me.

SEACREST: Did you regret it?

DESAI: I did regret it after the fact because I felt like it came off wrong.

SEACREST: Can it affect the voting?

DESAI: Sure. This show, it's a music show, but if it was purely a music show, it would be on a radio or on a podcast or something. This is about finding a star and finding someone, like Simon said, who's going to be an international star. Part of that is personal.

SEACREST: How close are you two? Now that the voting is closed?

DESAI: No, no, we have a very good -- like, we have a very good rapport. We get along with each other. And I'm always sure to go up and shake his hand and thank him for what he does, because it's an opinion that, you know, a lot of us sometimes don't want to hear if it's negative, but it's necessary.

SEACREST: You have to, especially to grow. All right, Megan and Michael round out the top ten. They will join us when the "American Idol" special on LARRY KING LIVE continues.


SEACREST: Idol winner Kris Allen will talk Monday, when we're back with the top ten for the full hour, about the single, "No Boundaries," also answer all your questions. Joined now by Michael Sarver.


SEACREST: I'm great. And Megan Joy rounding out our top group here. Let me start with you, Megan. Do you feel like going, leaving the competition earlier than the rest, that you have more to prove when you get out on the road for the "American Idols" tour?

MEGAN JOY, "AMERICAN IDOL": I guess that might be true. You know, I might have to work a little bit harder. I'm just always going to be myself. And I think that opportunities are always going to be open. And it's about making the right decisions to see them and get on in there.

SEACREST: And ride the wave. Sarver, how has life changed for you?

SARVER: Oh, gosh, dramatically. It's been incredible.

SEACREST: What was it like when you went home?

SARVER: People were incredible. Back in my town, there's less than 10,000 people. So it didn't take long for the news to get around.

SEACREST: And what about work? Did you go back to work?

SARVER: I did not go back to the oil rig.

SEACREST: Did you resign?

SARVER: Yes, I did.

SEACREST: How did they take it?

SARVER: They were very supportive, actually. Some of them pick on you, but most of them -- I get a lot of texts and a lot of response from them, just encouraging me. To watch somebody's dreams come true coming out that area, it gives them hope.

SEACREST: Megan, would you say that most of you are competitors or friends?

JOY: I would say that we're definitely all friends to the core. Some of us have more competitive personalities than others. I'm not competitive.

SARVER: Who? who?

JOY: Danny's pretty competitive.

MACINTYRE: It's really been an amazing year for that. The producers told us, the last group, the group before that never joked with each other as we were walking on stage.


SEACREST: I'm going to give you a chance to make fun of each other on Monday. We've got a lot of ground to cover with the whole group. Monday we're back with another special "American Idol" edition of LARRY KING LIVE. The Idols will be answering your questions from Larry's blog and Twitter. Do not miss it. Time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."