Allison Iraheta Still Learning To 'Shut Up And Rest' With New Album

'There was a point towards the middle of the tour where I was starting to lose my voice,' she says of her busy post-'Idol' life.

Even though she finished fourth on the last season of "American Idol" -- winning over millions of fans and drawing comparisons to a young Kelly Clarkson in the process -- Allison Iraheta still couldn't believe it when her debut album, [article id="1627477"]Just Like You,[/article] hit stores earlier this week. So she had to see it for herself.

"I really couldn't believe it, so when it came out, I was like, 'I guess I'm gonna have to go buy it myself.' So I went to Best Buy, very disguised -- glasses, fake nose and mustache. Walked around. It was crazy, buying my own album," she laughed. "It was behind a couple of people's [albums], but it was there. I put it in front of, like, the R&B section."

More proof that, yes, Just Like You is really here and that Iraheta -- still just 17 years old -- has officially taken the first step on her path to superstardom. It's a journey she's still getting used to. After all, she never thought she'd even get a chance to make the trip in the first place.

"It just feels awesome," she said. "At first I didn't even think I was going to pass Hollywood Week, and here I am, releasing my own album, getting to do what I've always wanted to do. It's crazy."

Crazy, and a lot of hard work. No one ever said becoming a star would be easy. Since finishing "Idol," Iraheta has toured the country (with her fellow contestants), recorded songs for her debut on off days and promoted the album with reckless abandon. And things don't show any sign of letting up anytime soon. It's a grueling schedule she's still trying to adapt to, and it's required a good amount of sacrifice -- especially for a motormouth teen firecracker like her.

"Well, at first, it was all gravy. My voice was 100 percent. But there was a point towards the middle of the tour where I was starting to lose my voice, and I think I was not singing correctly," Iraheta said. "And I got some good lessons, got me on track, and towards the end was when we started cutting many songs, on days off, and it started getting better from there. And, not only when I sing, but I'm very loud, and I scream for no reason, so I had to be on Allison freaking rest. Just shut up and rest."

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