It’s a little after noon on Friday in Los Angeles, and Alex Lambert rolled out of bed five minutes ago. The American Idol season 9 castoff was up until 4:30 a.m. taking Twitter song requests live from fans as they watched him on If I Can Dream, the Web reality series that follows six people trying to make it in Hollywood as actors, singers, and models. The show is available in episodic installments every Tuesday via Hulu, but also offers viewers Big Brother-style access to the house with a 24/7 video feed. But much like BB‘s live stream, there are well-noted lulls in action. Large ones. Starting this week, the show pumped up the action a little bit with a new Idol-centric feature. Every week, the housemates will have the person voted off the show over for dinner the Friday following their elimination. Yesterday, they dined with Didi Benami.
Lambert’s followers, presumably a large portion of those who looked in last night, are the same ones who launched a petition to get the once-mulleted singer a spot on the show. (Yes, the hair has been chopped, but more on that later.) It got 20,000 signatures. No one was more shocked by the overwhelming support than Lambert. In a phone interview with EW.com, the still sleepy-voiced Lambert talked about his new gig and his surprise over the fan following that made it possible.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First, can you explain the show in your own words for people who haven’t checked it out before?
ALEX LAMBERT: If I Can Dream is pretty much: They’re going to follow me while I pursue my career. They’re going to hook me up with vocal coaches and co-writers to help me co-write my songs. They’re pretty much going to do everything they can to help me take my music to the next level. There’s five other people in the house, and it’s just showing us pursuing our dreams.
Why did you think this was a good post-Idol step for you?
Honestly, it’s like the perfect thing I could do right now. I went back home to Texas, and I’m really a beginner in the music business. I didn’t know what to do, who to talk to. All I was going to do was go out and play shows. I didn’t know what to do with like press, publicity, and all that stuff. So this is perfect. They’re hooking me up with the perfect people.
I know that you said before that the plan was to go back to Texas and finish high school. How did plans change so fast?
[Laughs] I kinda realized I could finish school online while I was out in California. It would hold me back if I went back to high school.
Tell me about the petition that helped you get on the IICD.
One of the viewers from Idol, her name was Jessica. [She was] just disappointed that I got eliminated from the show. I guess they thought it was too soon for me to go, so they started a petition. It was the first time a petition had been made for a castoff from American Idol. I guess they just realized that I had something to offer and had potential.
How’d you get wind of the petition?
One day, my mom was like ”Oh, there’s this petition,” but for some reason I didn’t think much of it because I thought that everyone had fans and everyone’s fans were making a petition when they got kicked off. I was like ”Oh, that’s cool.” But when someone told me this was the first time it ever happened I was like, ”What? This is awesome! That’s amazing.” I just really appreciated it so much. I didn’t know I was going to get this much support.
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