While viewers might have remembered Allison Iraheta's flame-red hair from Hollywood Week, no one could have predicted the 16-year-old's powerful showing during Wednesday night's performance show. Her scratchy wail fit perfectly on the Heart anthem "Alone," formally introducing us to the Los Angeles teen and earning her a spot in the top 12, along with Adam Lambert and Kris Allen.
We caught up with Allison to talk about Simon's comments on her lack of a personality, what it's like to be the youngest contestant on the show and more.
Q: Were you concerned about singing "Alone" when so many past "Idol" contestants have tackled that song?
A: I did think about the fact that [artist id="1933910"]Carrie [Underwood][/artist] did it and past Idols that did that song and did it really well. But I really focused on me and how I would do the song. And give it a little taste of what I can do. Not change it, but we're different. Just give it a little of me.
Q: What did you think about Simon's comments that you had a dull personality?
A: He doesn't know me, because he said I was boring. Honestly, I'm not. I guess I was nervous a little. Who isn't gonna be nervous before they sing for the first time? I guess I'll just chill a little bit more, because the nerves got me.
Q: How did you feel when Paula compared you to Kelly Clarkson?
A: I have to take that compliment, because that's a big one. It's [artist id="1231768"]Kelly Clarkson[/artist]! She's amazing. And I really admire her a lot, so I thought that was pretty great.
Q: What genre are you most comfortable singing?
A: I'm really trying to go down one lane of, I guess, rockish pop. Something that can really show my style.
Q: Did you ever think about waiting a few years before auditioning for "Idol," or did you want to just jump right in?
A: I've been wanting to audition since 9, since I was that little. I had my face by that TV screen and wishing I was on the show. It would have been the same. I would've still wanted it as much as I do now.
Q: Are you worried that it's a disadvantage to be the youngest on the show?
A: I think it doesn't matter what the age is, or if I'm the youngest, or whatev. I think it comes down to the same thing. We're all here for the same thing. It depends on how much we want it and how much we prepare.
Q: Since you're from Los Angeles, you didn't have to travel too far for the competition. What's it like performing in your backyard?
A: It's pretty awesome! It feels good to be here. I know a lot of the other contestants are like, "I want to go back home!" They miss their home. But I'm like, "Yay, I'm already here!"
Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' "American Idol" page, where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.