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'American Idol' Contestant Tim Urban on Acting, Going on Tour and His Shirtless Photos

by Andrew Scott, posted Jun 17th 2010 2:00PM
Tim UrbanHe may have been criticized by the judges and the champion of Vote for the Worst this season, but with the 'American Idol' tour just weeks away, Tim Urban is still smiling.

The 21-year-old Texan and SomethingPitchy favorite spoke to TV Squad late last week to give us an update on preparations for the Idols Live tour, which officially kicks off July 1 in Auburn Hills, MI.

In our exclusive interview, find out which song Tim will sing on tour, plus read his thoughts on his upcoming album, Vote for the Worst and those infamous shirtless pictures.

How are preparations for the tour going?

They're going great, absolutely.

Can you tell us one song that will be in your set?

I'm going to be singing 'Better Days,' the last one I did on the show. It's one of those songs that the minute-thirty version you can do on the show really doesn't do it justice at all, and so, I really want to sing it on tour.

Are all of your siblings going to see you on tour?

They are. They're all gonna pack in there, which will be cool. Except for the one in Afghanistan. He won't be able to make it.

Tim UrbanAfter the tour is done, do you plan to start working on an album?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right now, I'm writing songs. I'm also figuring out the songs I've already written that I want to be on my album, and looking at those, revamping them and figuring out how I want them to sound. So hopefully, as soon as the tour is over, I'll have 10-12 songs ready to go that I can just go start recording.

Do you know what you want it to sound like? Because I know on 'Idol,' you had kind of a singer-songwriter vibe.
It will kind of be that vibe. I'm still trying to figure out exactly the genre it's gonna fit into. People like to compare me to the style of Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson, but the music that I write, it's a little more soft rock than that, so I don't know. I'm still figuring out exactly how it's going to sound. Probably somewhere in the Jason Mraz meets a little Lifehouse area.

You didn't get to perform a solo or a duet during the 'Idol' finale. What happened?
Time. It was Simon's last show, so they had to do a lot of special stuff for him, different things like that, and so basically, me, down didn't get to do a solo or a duet. I think originally we were supposed to, or they were going to try to do that, but time-wise, we just couldn't ... Maybe they'll bring me back next season. That'd be cool.

Towards the end of your run on 'American Idol,' you had a string of really good performances, which came after a lot of criticism from the judges. At that point, was there a conscious effort on your part to prove everybody wrong?

Kind of. Basically, near the end, I was like, "Well, I've made it farther than I think anybody thought I would," and I was working really, really hard behind the scenes. I think what really got it for me was just that the different genres that I got torn up for weren't really my style, like Rolling Stones or R&B. I wouldn't make an album that sounded anything like either of them. [Laughs] So when they tore me up for singing a song like that, I was like, "Well, OK. I'm not surprised by that. It's not really my style." So when it came around to something that was more my style, like Beatles Week or Elvis, then it was kind of a sigh of relief, because I realized, finally I can go out there and do something that was my genre and show them, the judges and everybody, that this is more my avenue, and this is more where I fit. So for me, I was just really excited that I got to actually be on one of the genres that fit my voice.

Related:
A Farewell to Tim Urban: A Turbanite Mourns


Do you feel that you were accurately represented on the show? Did we get the to see the real Tim Urban?

Kind of. I think more than maybe some others, I had the opportunity to kind of show my personality and just stuff like that, maybe even just because of how I handled what the judges were saying. That gave me kind of an opportunity to -- I don't know. I feel like it was a pretty good representation of who I am. I mean, there's obviously more that I didn't get to show, and there's different sides. But all in all, it was pretty accurate.


I know that you're probably sick of talking about Vote for the Worst, but is there anything you'd like to say to them now that the dust has settled?
You know, it's funny. I actually got a letter from someone. I don't think that they're officially with Vote for the Worst, but they actually mailed it to my house, which was weird. After I got off the show, I haven't had really nice things to say about them. I didn't care what people said about me. That doesn't bother me; it's totally fine. I mean, people talked a bunch of crap, which was cool. It's what you get yourself into when you sign up for it. But I hated how they were portraying other contestants. That's why I was like, I really don't want to be associated with this, because I think that's horrible what they're saying about certain people, and I let people know that I really didn't want anything to do with that site. And I got a letter from somebody. It was totally anonymous -- there was no return address; it was typed up; and it was just them explaining to me that I should grow up, and should've handled the situation better and should thank Vote for the Worst for keeping me on as long as I was on the show. And I was like, "[Laughs] That's awesome." I'm kind of hoping the whole thing blows over. I thought it was kind of retarded, but I guess they have to pick somebody every year and it happened to be me. Which I wasn't really excited about, but that's OK.

Early on in season, Ellen kept saying that you should be on TV. Have you received any acting offers since the show ended?

I haven't yet, but that's because -- I actually don't even know for sure, because all that stuff gets vetted through CAA or 19 [Entertainment]. They're the ones still handling all that until the tour is over. That's what we're all focusing on, is the tour. And then after that's over, I'm hopefully going to be able to pursue some of that. I haven't heard anything specific, so I'm just kind of waiting to see and trying to focus on the tour. But then as soon as that's over, I'll definitely be trying to do some acting if I can.

My coworker had a brilliant idea that you should star in the 'Footloose' remake.
Oh heck yeah! I'm down. [Laughs]

You received a lot of attention for your hair. During the show, did you ever feel pressure to keep it long?
[Laughs] It's kind of funny. Basically, I was told that I really should not cut my hair while I'm on the show [laughs] after the start. What's funny for me is, I've had my hair long, I've had it short, and I don't care either way. I just happened to have it long when I auditioned for the show originally, and so I figured that was part of the reason -- they liked the whole look, and so I should keep it. But for me, it doesn't make any difference. But it became kind of my signature, so I guess I have to keep it. There's actually a Twitter called, like, "Tim Urban's Hair" or something.

Do you see it becoming an official look, like the "Tim Urban"?

Not really, because everybody was like, "Oh, he's stealing from Justin Bieber" or something like that. And I'm like, "Whatever." I don't even care, though. I think we all stole it from the Beatles, personally, but that's just me. [Laughs]


You also received a lot of attention for your shirtless pictures.
You know, when that picture was taken, I was working out five days a week for, like, two hours a day. So my goal is, by the end of the tour, I'll look like that [laughs] and maybe that'll help when I'm auditioning for roles. [Laughs] It's actually so funny, because I'll post something on Twitter about hanging out at the pool with whoever, and I just get a ton of responses, like, you know, "Post a picture!" And I'm like, "That's awesome. All right."

The last question I have is just a plea for you to come on our show, SomethingPitchy.
Oh I'd love to!

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Annette Ciattarelli

Tim is awesome. I wish him the best.

June 17 2010 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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