Here is what Tim Urban had to say in his conference call on Thursday (April 22, 2010):
Can you expand a little bit on your religious background and the fact that you were home-schooled and you never drank liquor and how that shaped you?
TU: “My personal beliefs have pretty much shaped every aspect of my life. I grew up in a Christian home and that set of morals and upbringing have shaped me musically and as a person. It’s pretty much who I am.”
What about the relief work that you did?
TU: “I went to South Africa and Swaziland. It was last summer. I was there on a relief trip to orphanages. I was there for 10 days and we went to 20-some orphanages. It was a really amazing, gut-wrenching experience. That’s part of the reason that I enjoyed Idol Gives Back.”
What is your feeling about being on the Worst Contestant Website?
TU: “I really have no comment on that website. I’m not excited I was on their website. I really don’t think it’s anything that anybody should be proud of. I really didn’t like being on there. Basically, I was working my hardest to get off of there. I was actually kind of sad that I was on that website.”
Couple of weeks ago the judges complimented you for the way you handled yourself. How did you feel about that?
TU: “That is actually something that is a goal while you are on the show. Just to improve as an artist and to be a good contestant. Not to let what they are saying get me down. To take what they are saying and improve and not to complain and talk back. It’s something that I am proud of (the way he handled it).”
How did you deal with the pressure of all the people watching every week?
TU: “I didn’t focus on all the people watching on TV. I just focused on the crowd in the room. The energy was so great in the room everytime you stepped out there on that stage. It’s just hard to connect to the people looking at a camera and the people back home.”
If you could turn back time and show America one thing that they could have seen about you what would it be?
TU: “Kinda hard to say. Last couple of weeks I think I showed America what kind of an artist I could be. I went with what I wanted to be. When I finally settled down I think I showed them. Looking back I really feel like I did what I wanted to do.”
Seemed like Simon was very nice to you the last couple of weeks.
TU: “That’s funny cause I never really had a problem with Simon’s critiques. I just felt like he was speaking his mind and I just tried to take what he said and tried to apply it.”
Did you get the opportunity to meet Carrie Underwood last night?
TU: “I didn’t. I actually walked right past her. As I was walking off the stage she was coming on. I had to do the after-show stuff and didn’t get to meet her.”
Are you going to keep wearing the necklace she (Underwood) gave you?
TU: “I am. I love that necklace. There is a lot of sentimental value. I’ll definitely keep wearing it.”
Are you thinking music for your future, or the possibility of TV or what are you thinking for the future?
TU: “I would love to do music and pursue that. I hope that door opens up. But I’ve always had a desire to act and I would pursue that as well. I would be really excited it I got that opportunity as well.”
We have talked a lot about your smile this season. Have you gotten any comments from sponsers like Colgate or anyone like that?
TU: “At this point, I haven’t. But you never know. I’ll love to do that.”
Have you seen all the support you have gotten on Twitter?
TU: “I haven’t, but I’ve heard about it and it’s amazing to me. Cause you are in the American Idol bubble you just don’t realize how big the show is. So, it’s incredible and enouraging to see that support.”
How do you respond to the critics out there who said you only remained on the show because of your charisma, your charming smile and your sex appeal?
TU: “I don’t think I want to respond to that. There are people who just like to find something wrong about somebody and then talk about it. I get that. It’s part of being in the spotlight. People are going to say that about pretty much any artist out there. I have to deal with it, shrug it off. I don’t perform for the people who don’t went me on stage.”
The intense scrutiny you got about your looks, especially about the shirtless photo, how did you react to that?
TU: “I kinda knew about the photo but I didn’t expect it to be as big as it was. It blew up really fast. I just took it in stride. Everybody was looking for an extra back-story. It was just one of the stories people decided to run with.”
Do you think it helped or hindered you?
TU: “A little bit of both. Probably helped more than it hurt.”
Who were your closest friends among the contestants?
TU: “Tough question because we were around each other 24/7 and we got to know each other. We all are really close. I was close to Casey James and Big Mike and Lee and Andrew are great guys. Aaron is like a little brother. They are all really good friends in different ways.”
When you first started in Idol did you have any vision of where you wanted to end up and did you think you would get this far in the competition?
TU: “Honestly, I auditioned and I didn’t think I would get out of the stadium because of how many people were there and how many were getting through. At the stadium, I thought I’d go up there and sing and they would say I wasn’t what they were looking for and I wouldn’t get any farther than that. I didn’t have any grand plans. Then I got to Hollywood Week and I said OK, then I went home for one week and then they called me back. It’s been a crazy roller-coaster journey.”
What motivates you in life and music?
TU: “To impact other people in a positive way. That’s why I have that happy outlook on life. I want people to be really encouraged. Put a smle on their face with my music.”
What has your mindset going into last night’s show? Did you think you were going home?
TU: “Honestly, I went back and watched my performance and I was OK with it. I thought if I did go home I wouldn’t be disappointed with my performance or anything I did up to that point. And if I did go home, I was there for Idol Gives Back and it lightens the blow a little bit.”
Was the wait difficult to endure last night and do you wish you could have sang one last song?
TU: “The wait wasn’t that bad because it was such an awesome show and you almost lost the fact that it was a results show because of how awesome the performancese were and how touching the videos were and how it was a great experience. For me, I almost lost sight of the fact that it was a results show. I was a little sad I didn’t get to sing one last time on that stage, but it’s a part of it. You don’t always get what you want. I hope I get to perform on that stage one last time.”
What about the “slide” that you did during one song earlier in the season?
TU: “It was kinda odd cause I was just goofing off during rehearsal and someone said slide and I did it and the stage manager and someone else said I should do it during the performance. I thought it would be great and a lot of fun. It was a last minute joke that I wanted to do in the performance.”
What advice that the judges give you that you will take forward?
TU: “Just to be true to who you are as an artist. Kara said that to me a couple of times. Not to try to fit into some other mold.”
What are you going to miss most about the show?
TU: “Being around the other contestants constantly. You turn into this family.”
OK, just why do you smile so much? You might have the greatest smile in American Idol history.
TU: “I think I smile because I have a really solid grounding of who I am. So, even when I get criticized I am still happy because I know who I am. It’s just a blessing to be here and I can’t help but smile. You gotta enjoy it as much as you can. I didn’t want to get depressed about the comments so I just decided not to let them affect me.”
Who do you think will be standing at the last episode?
TU: “I don’t know. I’m excited to see who will step up and amaze America.”
Have you thought about doing some sort of a family thing eventually, an Osmonds sort of thing?
TU: “I have thought about that. And we did a little bit of that at home. My family is musically-talented. I have one younger siser who plays the piano and sings and an older sister who does that too and a brother who plays the African drum. I think that would be cool. I’m up for that. I don’t know if they would want to do that.”
What was the high point of the show for you?
TU: “Just stepping on that stage every Tuesday night. And getting that feedback after singing that Elvis song. It was really good to get that feedback.”
Tell us some more about your family.
TU: “Ten of us total, 5 boys and 5 girls. I am No. 6, the third boy. Right in the middle of everything. I was home-schooled as well. So, we are all really, really close. Being a middle child you kind of look up to your older siblings, but you are looked up to by the younger ones. It’s a very interesting place to be. But my family is really supportive and encouraging. That’s really shaped me, that family support. That love and appreciation will always help me.”