As Paula Abdul once put it, "American Idol" runner-up Bo Bice is the competition's first true rock star. The 29-year-old from Helena, Alabama, was unlike any contestant before him, and with his strong voice and compelling stage presence, he proved to be far more than a novelty — and his a capella rendition of Badlands' "In a Dream" will go down as one of the show's most memorable performances.
MTV: How are you feeling?
Bo Bice: I'm stoked, dude. I just got off stage playing with Lynyrd Skynyrd a minute ago. It was a great show. Got to meet some incredible guests. This is the bee's knees.
MTV: What were you thinking as Ryan Seacrest was about to announce the winner?
Bice: I just remember coming back from [auditioning in] Orlando and sitting on the couch, watching TV, petting my dog. I never in a million years dreamed this would get so out of hand.
MTV: Simon thought you struggled with the original songs on Tuesday night. What did you think of them?
Bice: The original songs were great. I think the songwriters did a great job. Being a songwriter myself, I love their profession. I just went out there and gave 150 percent.
MTV: What can we expect from your album? Will you be recording with your band?
Bice: Man, there's no telling. It's too early. Obviously everybody knows that I'm an original songwriter and I got my band. And the guys in Sugar Money, no matter what, are part of my family and they always got something to do with me, and I don't care if they just hang out with me. Those are my guys, I love 'em. I'm just going to work my hardest to put out a CD that captures what I do. I'm just stoked to be here. It's all gravy.
MTV: Paula Abdul said coming in second might be better for your credibility now that you are going into the rock world. How do you feel about that?
Bice: I think America did a great job. I think Carrie Underwood fits the bill of American Idol. She's a wonderful girl, and she's gonna have a great career. I'm stoked because no one's really even seen Bo yet. It took me half the season to get used to not having a guitar wrapped around my neck. So I'm anxious for the fans to see what Bo's really about. I guarantee that if you watched the show, what you saw and what you heard, that's what you're going to get an album full of. It's gonna be true rooty music that's honest.
Check out MTV News' full finale report, "Carrie Underwood Wins 'American Idol.' "
For post-decision reaction from Carrie Underwood, head to " 'Did He Just Call My Name?' — Carrie On Her Big Win."