All rights reserved. Kris Allen was born the eldest of two sons to Neil and Kim Allen. The unassuming kid from Central Arkansas who'd married his high school sweetheart and knew what real cheese dip tasted like was atop the music world. "In my mind, he wasn't in top shape, but when you're that good, even when you're not at the top you will still be better than nearly everyone there," he said. Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' "American Idol" page, where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions. I was that kid, for sure.". "My daughter is 4 and she says that she wants to be a rock star. The stage is a great teacher, he found, especially in one humble enough to know how much he didn't know. "You guys who were watching, it's 'The Hunger Games' for you guys and it felt like some joke to me," he says. "None of it ever felt real to me. And if I'm not experienced, then no one's going to care about that. I never thought about that until one time, afterwards. "I was a bad student. “I forget that I was on the show all the time. This is some weird joke that everyone is playing on all of these singers.' No one's going to buy that from me.". What are you talking about? Allen wasn't too far into his musical journey when "American Idol" entered the story. That was probably one of the things that made me most proud.". That was when I made my first record and started playing shows and things like that.". "My parents had to work during the day, so me and my brother were just at home. And if personal bliss doesn't always translate into chart success, it beats trying to be someone you're not. They told us to do whatever we wanted to do and that was incredibly inspiring. When I was in front of the TV cameras, I never thought about millions of people watching. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. He likes good music.". 'It's a miracle we even got there,' says Cale Mills, who tried out along with Allen and his brother. Happily married and the father of three, he doesn't sing things that he can't personally relate to. And he is still the down-to-earth kid from Jacksonville who just happens to be a gifted singer-songwriter. MTV AND ALL RELATED TITLES AND LOGOS ARE TRADEMARKS OF VIACOM INTERNATIONAL INC, Kris Allen Almost Missed His 'American Idol' Audition, Check Out Kris Allen Before He Was On 'Idol,' Right Here. “I forget that I was on the show all the time. Kris Allen's pals will tell you they always thought he was destined to be on (and win) "American Idol." "But I think once I learned a little bit about how I wanted things to go, and that was probably around 2012 whenever I released my second record, I won't say that I fought a lot with the record label. We were both feeling all of that. "That was one of the things that I just went wow! What are you talking about? Allen's authenticity is reflected in his song choices. I'll be like, huh? I never thought about that until one time, afterwards. "Man, when I'm very present with my kids, I'm very happy," he says. It was competitive, but for the most part, it was competitive with ourselves. Allen has spent the pandemic as many musicians have, listening and recording. He regularly helped other contestants with their arrangements and still considers some castmates as good friends, including runner-up Adam Lambert, his roommate throughout the show. He was scheduled to be a live performer at the Nov. 7 Opus Ball XXXVI for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like, It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. I never got nervous. "I was just kind of blown away.". He makes it back to his Pulaski County roots when he can. "He was doing a lot of resting and probably didn't warm up or sing until 6 p.m. that night, when he started singing Donny Hathaway's 'A Song for You,' which he sang in the audition [shown on TV].". It was like, 'I want to do the best that I possibly can do.' Like, insanely shy," he says. College professors were less impressed, at least as far as Allen's academic performance was concerned. I have to shut them down all the time because I just don't connect with it. No! There's an old saying that you should never meet your heroes for fear they won't be as advertised, but that doesn't apply to anyone who looks up to Kris Allen. But I've changed in a lot of ways, hopefully, for the better.". Maybe I'm putting my whole career on a 7-year-old, but I feel like he knows what he's talking about. That is a testament to them. They set me up with songwriters and record producers and all sorts of stuff, and it was all good. "My son claims he doesn't want to do music, but I hear him sing all the time and he does have some sort of musical ability. This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. Material from the Associated Press is Copyright © 2020, Associated Press and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. If I'm singing something that's not for me, I think people can feel it. I was playing at places like Jim's Razorback Pizza in Maumelle where I'm background music. "With music -- in my head, I just didn't know how to make it a reality. "Right after the show, I was as green as green could be," he says. He was definitely more talkative on stage, but he would kind of be the guy that maybe you might know for a long time and not even know what he could do.". I don't deal with the fear of playing in front of crowds of people. Along the way, he leveraged his classical training to learn the guitar. To them, it felt real and it didn't to me. None of it," he says. I’ll be walking around Nashville, and people will be like, ‘Hey! Allen, 35, laughs at the idea of living with the pretension and star-strut of a TV singing competition champion, something that has never fit the soulful kid from Jacksonville. "I don't know how they did it, but they did such a great job," he says. I think my heart is the same and my demeanor, in some ways, is the same. Mills went first, singing Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved," followed by Kris and then Daniel. I know that I'm not inept when it comes to school stuff. "So, I signed up for the orchestra and I played viola. This probably isn't going to happen in whatever way that you think it's going to happen and you might have to get a normal job.' "I'm writing with somebody and they are like, 'Hey, what about this idea?' Kris Allen Almost Missed His 'American Idol' Audition 'It's a miracle we even got there,' says Cale Mills, who tried out along with Allen and his brother. But it was hard," he says. It's not that I try to be genuine and authentic, it's just who I am. "I think the environment was really healthy. I don't think any of us were comparing or competing against anyone, specifically.". "We were both from New Life Church and they had a lot of amazing singers. "I forget that I was on the show all the time," he says from his home in Nashville, Tenn. "I'll be walking around Nashville and people will be like, 'Hey! For all of his acuity with musical instruments, Allen had yet to tackle singing with the same gusto, and for good reason. And, we listened. A lot of my friends were like, 'I don't think I want to do this.' Copyright © 2020, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing. "Not that I didn't take it seriously, because I took the song choices and the performances seriously. We wanted to be in it. See, back in June, Allen, 23, told his pal Cale Mills that he was planning to try out for the show. When I was in front of the TV cameras, I never thought about millions of people watching. "I wasn't putting any weight on any of it. "I don't know if I'm the same. And then, I freaked out.”(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Cary Jenkins), COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with the Democrat-Gazette commenting system. Kris Allen has taken his ‘American Idol’ win in stride. "I knew that I loved it, and I knew that I loved playing. "My parents were always insanely supportive of me and my brother. He wasn't a big loud personality. I would stay at home and the whole day, while he was gone, I would quietly learn how to play. That semester, I made all A's. I saw all of my other friends on the show put all of that weight on it and I was like, 'What are you so worried about?' I just didn't know how to do it. Usually, I would have gotten nervous. He's in this just to see how it lands, but he's not going to separate himself from everybody else. Hardly the residue of a hotly contested career-making competition. You're, like, whatever from "Idol"!' Looking at the daunting, half-mile-long line of singers who had now begun shuffling into the arena, Daniel Allen said there was no way the guys were going to walk to the end again, so Mills said the elder Allen somehow convinced the gruff bodyguard near the front of the line to let them in early using some concocted story about how their guitars could not stand being out in the sun all day. My whole thing was, I want you to pay attention to me, and I'm going to make you pay attention to me in my own way. I didn't have one yet," he says. The first problem was that Allen couldn't make the nearby audition in St. Louis because of his impending wedding, so he decided to aim for the Louisville, Kentucky, audition in July instead. I'm just going to go out there and try. But for me, that was the best thing that I could have ever done was be background music. But while there is no dark chapter that accompanied his fame post-"Idol," it wasn't necessarily an easy adjustment to make either, he says. "Daniel is a talker, so he went up and told them how we came all the way from Conway and we had our guitars and I don't know if they were messing with us or what, but after saying we were too late, they laughed and let us sign up," Mills said. One has him making up his mind well ahead of the audition, another has him as ride-along moral support for his younger brother's audition and deciding to try out on the spur of the moment. If I'm going to show anyone a song first, it's going to be him. That would have been fine, but it definitely wasn't what I was hoping for. My brother would ride his bike to the pool, Stonewall Pool in Jacksonville.

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