LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tim Urban, the “American Idol” singer nicknamed “Teflon Tim” for his ability to weather blistering critiques and survive week after week, said on Thursday his constant smile comes from his “solid grounding.”
The 20 year-old contestant with shaggy brown hair from Texas, was voted off on Wednesday during the “Idol Gives Back” benefit show, finishing seventh in the contest.
Some commentators, including “Idol” judge Simon Cowell, had suggested Urban should have been booted off earlier. But through it all, Urban seemed to have an everlasting smile.
“I smile because I have a really solid grounding and I know who I am, and I know that regardless what happens around me that will always be there,” Urban said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.
Urban even stayed upbeat last month when “Idol” judge Ellen DeGeneres told him after his performance, “You were walking like you’re sneaking into a bedroom.”
“That kind of made me smile,” Urban said. “I was like, ‘Wow, I hadn’t thought that you would take that out of my performance,’” he said.
Urban said he sought to learn from the judges’ often harsh critiques, but that he also guarded his feelings.
“I realized that if I took it all really, really personally and really let it eat at me, I wouldn’t want to go out the next week,” Urban said.
Urban and his nine siblings were homeschooled, and he said that his Christian faith is central to his life.
Urban called his version of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” called a highlight because the judges praised him for his progress.
An Internet report this week speculated that Urban could be a good fit for the Disney Channel or Fox network’s high school musical “Glee.” When a reporter asked Urban if he would like to try such roles, the Texan seemed to welcome the idea.
“I always had a desire to act and just be in that side of the entertainment business as well (as singing),” Urban said.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant