Despite winning the season eight "American Idol" title, Kris Allen remains modest about earning enough votes to put him in the same category as such musical successes as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and David Cook.
"I feel like Adam deserved it as much as I did," he says just two days after the finale. "Adam was the most consistent person all year. He was seriously one of the most gifted performers I have ever met. He is a great guy. We told each other that day, 'You deserve it.' I think it could have gone either way and America would definitely not have got it wrong."
Kris has already cashed in on his new-found fame, immediately filming an "I'm Going to Disneyland" spot. Next up for the 23-year-old from Conway, AR, is the "American Idol" summer tour and his album.
"For me, I felt like I did exactly what I wanted to do on the show and that I would want to do on a record ... maybe stray a little bit," he says. "When I did 'Ain't No Sunshine,' that is what I want to do, stuff that has that feel. [Music that] moves people. I do write my own music, but I don't know if we will be able to use any of that stuff on the first CD."
The new "American Idol" says he has been writing songs for about six years or so, despite his initial resistance, because he thought it would be "too hard."
"It is the way I express how I feel. I am not a man of many words or very expressive or emotional, but it comes out in my music. That is who I am. I don't know how great I am at it. But the more you do that, especially when you start collaborating with people you get better," he explains.
Kris is a newlywed, married eight months to his long-time girlfriend Katy, who he says believes in him and will stand by him through all that is yet to come as a result of his win.
"For me, I have been getting ready for this all my life," he says. "I have done a lot of things in my life and I been in a lot of places. Life gets you ready for what is going to happen next. This is everything coming into a culmination of everything I have been through. I don't even know. I think everything is going to be great."
Don't miss Kris when the "American Idol" tour comes to a city near you, beginning July 5.