How was it up on stage [for the finale]?

It was a blast, it was really cool.  It was great playing with Kree of course and Travis and Randy. It was really special playing with Randy so I'm glad I got to do that.

Do you feel that America got it right?

Well I think for the top 10 they got it right. I mean whoever is going to win at that point is pretty darn good. And when you can hold your own against Jennifer Hudson, you are a serious singer. That's all I've gotta say.

Kree has said that she would love to work with you and she's going to be in Nashville is there any way you would swoop in and help her out a little bit?

Oh I'd be there in a heartbeat, yeah, absolutely. So um, it's real easy to sing with her she's such a natural. She is, absolutely.

What advice would you give to aspiring country singers?

I think the first thing I would say is there has to be a passion, it can’t be a hobby you gotta to be dedicated to it.  I guess everyone approaches things differently. You're just doing what you do, making music and if you're wanting to do it then you'll do what it takes.  So work at it as long as it takes, you know?

What did you think of Janelle and The Band Perry?

Oh it was fantastic, I loved all the choreography and I liked the show. I like the band as they put on a show and she fit right in.

What did you think of the judges video?

Oh it was great.  I didn't like my "O" face, you know. You don't wanna see that.  It's like 'look at this thing, awww dude.' It's like having a mirror on the ceiling or something, although that is pretty cool.  (Lots of laughter)

Who was Nicole rooting for?

Me I hope!  She thought it was going to be close between the two. She loves them both.  I mean, sometimes it sounds like a political thing to say, but they're both great singers.  They're different.  They both have different things about them and yet different an incredible amount of real life soul about them too.

When you look back over the season, what's the one thing that pops into your head first?  What experience, what moment?

I think for me just being reminded of how lucky we are to do what we do and I see it in these guys they've got that wide-eyed wonderment of becoming an artist who gets to record and tour.  It's just-you know, that's just an incredible thing.  You can never take that for granted.  That's one thing I've really gotten a good dose of through this is just being really grateful that I get to do what I always wanted to do.


Credit: FOX Photo: Kree Harrison, Keith Urban, and Randy Jackson Perform "Where the Blacktop Ends” on American Idol 2013 Finale Results