Katy Stevens performs at the Shoreline Amphitheatre during the American Idol Tour on Aug. 14, 2010

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ca. – Katie Stevens walked out on the Shoreline Amphitheatre stage during the American Idol Tour last Saturday night and it was hers.

Talk about stage presence. There is no disputing the fact that the 17-year-old has that part of a musical career under control.

She sang a couple of songs and then was whisked away. And that was the only bad part. The AI powers that be should show some flexibility with this performance. If they would have had Katie singing Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” the entire place would have lit up.

“I remind you of Katy Perry, huh?” she said prior to the concert with a somewhat quizzical look on her face. “I wouldn’t mind it, being like Katy Perry. I am going more along the lines of Christina Aguilera and her music genre. But I wouldn’t mind that, Katy Perry is cool.”

Following is a Q&A with Katy prior the Tour stop here:

Q: Have you signed a recording deal yet?

A: “No, we aren’t allowed to do that until the Tour is over. Hopefully, that will happen when the Tour is over.”

Q: Are you approaching this Tour as a learning experience?

A: “Definitely, you kind of grow and learn more about yourself as a person going through the whole thing. You learn how strong you are as a person and as an artist. I learned a lot from the judges, from simply getting up early and being able to sing at 8 o’clock in the morning. So, I learned a lot about myself while I was on the show too.”

Q: In your wildest imagination did you ever foresee something like this happening for you?

A: “I never thought this would happen. Right now my friends back home are worried about going to college and what color to pick for their room. I’m worried about performing in front of thousands of people every night.
“It’s definitely been a learning experience and has made me realize that this is what I want to do the rest of my life.”

Q: It’s been about a year since you tried out, hasn’t it?

A: “I tried out in Boston. Yesterday (Aug. 13th) was my Idol birthday. It was exactly a year ago yesterday that I got my Gold Ticket to go to Hollywood.”

Q: How has the experience been for you?

A: “The whole thing has been surreal to me. I can’t actually believe it is happening. I feel like someone needs to pinch me. I dreamed about this my whole life. To actually be here is a blessing.”

Q: You mentioned how you perform in front of thousands of people every night. Prior to Idol, what was the largest crowd you ever performed for?

A: “Before Idol probably about 300 people at my high school talent show. It wasn’t difficult adjusting to this. I am always excited to perform for the audience.

“Granted I have some nerves going out there, but it’s never really hit me too hard. I think it’s awesome to be able to go out there on stage and see so many people supporting me and cheering my name. I just look at it as a supportive environment other than something I could stress about.”

Q: Surely you have heard the critiques of this season’s show. Does all of that bother you?

A: “Yes, I have heard that criticism. But I think they saw it from a different perspective. The majority of the people we had on the show this season were singer/songwriters and that is something that most people weren’t used to.

“Obviously, last year they had Adam Lambert and he was, well, he was amazing. And he was somebody who was very different. So, it’s hard when you have a standard like that. But in my opinion I think we did well and we are all talented.”

Q: What will you do at the end of the month when the Tour and your affiliation with Idol end?

A: “I’ll go home and be with my family. Then I’m going to Los Angeles and write and meet with my agent and kinda get my career kicked off and started.”

Q: You realize that after this Tour there is a lot of hard work ahead of you, right?

A: “Definitely, that’s what I will do (work hard), whether the venues are small or in a restaurant, wherever. I’ll have to get my name out there and hopefully be able to put out an album at some point.”

Q: During the show you talked about your grandmother (Rita Francisco who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease). Is she still alive?

A: “Oh, yes, my grandmother is still alive and she is 81. She can recognize me and while I was on the show, she knew that every Tuesday and Wednesday I would be on.

“In a way, I think it kind of helped her keep her memory. I still call her every day and because I missed so much time when I go back home I’m gonna move in with her when I go back home. She lives with my uncle so I’ll move in there.”

Q: Is it true that you are fluent in Portuguese?

A: “Yes. When my parents would go to work I would stay with my grandmother, who doesn’t speak English, and I learned it that way. She kind of raised us speaking that.”

Q: Were you involved in any sports in high school (Pomperaug HS in Southbury, Conn.)?

A: “I swam the 50 and the 100 freestyle. I made it to the local championships but that’s as far as I got.”