A new season of American Idol is practically around the corner, but we’ve still got lots of love for former Season 11 contestant Colton Dixon, who’s set to release his debut album on January 29.

The blond, faux-hawked heartthrob spoke to the media at a special Idol screening party on January 9 of the Season 12 premiere, where he dished on whether his talented sister, Schyler Dixon, will be making another appearance on Idol this year and his new girlfriend.

Wetpaint Entertainment: Have you heard anything through the grapevine about the new season, or what cities were better than others?
Colton: I haven’t heard anything about cities or tonight’s episode so it will be brand new to me.  I have heard that they’ve done a couple of things different with Hollywood.  I don’t know what’s true and what’s not but I’m excited to see that.  I know they’re still not to the live shows yet.  I’m sure there are going to be a couple of things different about the year, especially with the new judges and everything like that.

Did your sister audition? [Note: Schyler Dixon auditioned last season and was seen heavily in audition episodes with Colton but didn’t make it]
[Smiles] I’m not allowed to say.

Ooooh!
I don’t know how many cities they traveled to. We might find out tonight, I don’t know. That’s all I can say. Gotta leave it a mystery!

How excited are you about the new judging panel?
Very excited. I hate to see Steven and Jennifer leave but I think they did a good job filling their shoes. I’ve been a big fan of Keith Urban over the years and I’m still a little intimidated by Nicki Minaj, haven’t put my finger on her yet, but Mariah is great and Randy’s going to keep down the house like he always does. I heard the chemistry’s great so it’s going to be cool to watch.

People thought you should have finished higher last season.  What have you taken out of the whole experience of Idol?
When people ask me to give advice for the new contestants, I say think twice before red leather pants.  The week I got eliminated — I don’t know if that had anything to do with it.  Um, but, there’s always something you wish you would have done more of or less of, whatever, but I’m very content with the way everything played out. I was able to immediately start writing after I was eliminated and got some great songs because of that so I am definitely happy and content with the way things played out.

We know you have a new gal in your life.  How’s that going?
I do.  It is phenomenal, actually.  She’s here with me tonight somewhere wandering around.  Her name’s Annie.  She’s great.   She keeps me on the floor which is more than I can ask for.

Is she musical?
Colton: She is, actually.  She graduated college for piano and voice so that was definitely one of the things that kind of intrigued me at first.  She hasn’t sang for me yet, though.  I’m dying to hear her sing.  It’s so strange because we’ve been dating for two months and I still haven’t heard my girlfriend sing so I’m going to get that out of her sometime soon.