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Tim Urban, American Idol’s most lovable singer this season, told reporters in a press conference call this morning about his elimination, show experience and future plans.

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Judge Simon Cowell blasted Tim early in the top 12 competition for being a singing lightweight and he was dubbed “Teflon Tim” for his ability to get voted through despite the harsh criticism. But in the past few weeks, the always-smiling and well coiffed Tim started getting good reviews and judges praised him for improvement.

His journey ended with elimination last night during the all-star Idol Gives Back charity show. But Tim is grateful to have made it to number seven on the FOX reality hit. “It’s been this crazy roller coaster,” Tim said. “I didn’t even think I’d make it past the [Idol audition] stadium. This whole thing has blown me away. I was excited for how far I got.”

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In fact, although the 2o-year-old Texan made it to Hollywood week, he wasn’t set to move on to top 24—until producers decided to dump contestant Chris Golightly. Tim got the magic call to replace Chris and a new Idol star was born.

He took a lot of knocks and the notorious web site “Vote for the Worst” even recommended people vote for him. Today, Tim sighed, “I didn’t like being on there. I’m kind of sad I was on that web site.”

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But Tim stayed focused through it all. “My goal on the show was to be a good contestant, to take what they [the judges] were saying and work from it and improve.” And that he did, with perhaps his best Idol moment being a moving rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

Tim said of his approach to the competition, “I tried not to think about the millions watching. I didn’t have a problem with Simon’s critiques.” Or anybody else’s! “You have to shrug it off,” says the genial singer, who was home-schooled and comes from a large Christian family.

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Now he’s thinking about the future. “The last couple of weeks, I showed America what type of artist I want to be. I would love to do music but I’ve always had a desire to act as well. I’m waiting to see what happens.” The main thing is that he has “a desire to impact other people in a positive way. I grew up in a Christian home and that upbringing has shaped me musically.”

Tim loves working with the disadvantaged and revealed he went to South Africa last summer on a ten-day relief trip to help orphanages. For that reason, the singer was particularly glad that even though he was voted off, it was during Idol Gives Back. He was greatly moved by the videos and performances and said, “I almost lost sight of the fact it was a results show.”

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