Bo Bice will be among the legions of fans tuning into the ninth season of American Idol, which begins Tuesday.

My, how life has changed for the Alabama native, 34, who placed second to Carrie Underwood in 2005.

Along with wife Caroline, whom he wed one month after Idol wrapped, Bo will welcome his third son this month into a home that already includes Aidan, 4, and Caleb, 1.

Will they keep trying for a girl?

“Yeah, if the Lord blesses me with a little girl, that would be cool, but I’d be the stereotypical dad sitting on the porch with my shotgun and it’s not even duck season,” he tells me. “But whatever the Lord throws at me right now, I think I’ve been given more blessings than I ever deserved. If he wants to top it off with anything – boy, girl – I would love either of them.”

For now, Bo and Caroline have their hands full with Aidan and Caleb. When Aidan was 3 1/2, the little boy liked to peel off his clothes.

“The most exciting time of the day is naked time, which of course I tried to put a stop to, but I’m told by my mother that I had naked time, so I can’t say anything, so now I go with it,” Bo says of life with little Aidan. “I fully clothe him and he’s in his room and the next thing you know, he streaks through the house and I go ‘ahhh!’ and he goes ‘naked time.’ There’s crazy stuff about being a dad and a husband. I like getting to take them on the road and experiencing all this stuff – him being part of the industry.”

The tykes hope to follow in Bo’s footsteps career-wise.

“They both play music,” he says. “I think my oldest is going to be a drummer, and my youngest is really into the guitar and singing when I pick it up and sing to him. Hopefully that will work out.”

Would he encourage them to pursue music as a full-time gig?

“Yeah, I do actually,” he says. “I’ll tell them whatever they love to do – if they want to be a doctor or a lawyer or a musician – whatever they want to do, they can do it, as long as they finish school and go to college. Which I did. It doesn’t mean I finished college or finished some of those things. But those are the things to me. Whatever they want to do, I’m going to stand behind them and wish them the best because that’s what’s important.”

Making couples time is key for Bo and Caroline.

“I try to be a better dad and husband than I do pretend rock star,” he says. “It’s hard. We hadn’t touched in our own bed in a couple of years because our oldest is 4 and we have a one-year-old. But we try to have date nights. That’s important to do. You really have to take time with your husband or wife. I think that’s the secret to a lot of the success of our grandparents and in this generation that’s in America, it’s really getting overlooked.”

Caroline is certainly Bo’s dream girl.

“My wife’s favorite saying is ‘if that lady loves you so much, let her spend ten minutes with you and wash your laundry,’” he says. “That’s about it. We’re perfect for each other because I think when you meet someone that you know the strongest part of your life is your faith and you share that, you can lean on that for anything. And I’m not #1 in my family, and I don’t try to be. Bo Bice gets left on the stage and on the road, and when Bo walks in, I’m the least of the family and not the most. I get catered to a lot at my house and everywhere else, but she definitely puts me and keeps me in line. Not because I feel like I need it, but I respect her and I love her and I appreciate her for it.”

Does Bo feel that American Idol has held him back?

“Yes and no,” he says. “I don’t think it’s held me back. I’m not trying to be evasive, but when I say yes and no, I say ‘yes’ because there are narrow-minded people that won’t look past the logo and ‘no’ because American Idol put me in front of millions of people and I would not have a career without Idol. Therefore I don’t ever bash it – not because I’m politically correct, but because I love everyone involved. And if I’ve gotta take a wrap on chin from some narrow-minded person who can’t look past the end of their nose, I don’t really care. They’ve got bigger problems than me.”

Catch American Idol Tuesday at 8/7c on Fox.

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