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‘Idol’s’ Tim Urban wants to sing, pursue acting

He came, he sang, he smiled. In the end, the 20-year-old proved to be the best of sports in a tough "Idol" arena. He talks to PEOPLE about what he hopes may come next.
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He came, he sang, he smiled. In the end, Duncanville, Texas, resident Tim Urban, 20, proved to be the best of sports in a tough "American Idol" arena where he was called everything from Teflon to Turban to, most recently, soup of the day by Ellen DeGeneres. PEOPLE caught up with Urban about his "Idol" experience and what’s next.

Your exit came on "Idol Gives Back" night. Was there a small comfort in that? What would you have sung if there had been time?

Yeah. It really did make a difference for me. We had been hearing a lot about "Idol Gives Back" in the last couple of weeks and I really wanted to be a part of it and to know I got to be a part of it, it made going home not quite as hard. I was planning on singing “Hallelujah” just one more time. I think that would have been a good song to go out on because it’s a song that’s special to me.

You were mentored by Alicia Keys — was it good to see her perform? What else did you learn from the past mentors?

She was amazing! We were on our feet, just standing and watching her and it was an incredible performance by her. The mentors all had pieces of the puzzle. Like Usher, for instance, was about connecting with the music, connecting with what you are doing, and then Adam Lambert with different ways to make music interesting and make people really want to listen and to showcase who you are as an artist, and Alicia Keys with her encouragement and letting me know that there is an avenue I can go down.

What kind of artist do you see yourself as?

If I was going to do an album right now, it would be sort of the singer-songwriter, Jason Mraz style, but with a little bit of the soft-rock leaning as well. I want the songs to be really relatable. I want songs that people can go, “All right, I can see that in my own life, I can see that happening around me.”

You’ve expressed an interest in acting, too. Do you see yourself on "Glee"? On Broadway?

That’s something I really want to do. That’s something I would really love to pursue and if possible I will be doing that. I would really be excited if I got the opportunity to do ["Glee"] as well, but I’m kind of just waiting to see what happens but I am open to anything at this point.

You have a lot of female fans, which must be a plus!

It’s been really cool because they are really energetic, which is really encouraging to me, because I’m like, “All right. These are people really excited about what I’m doing.” It’s such a crazy thing, though, for me, having that many people supporting me. I never thought it would happen.

You’ve also seen some detractors on the Internet. Do you avoid blogs or how do you handle negative comments on the Web?

I don’t go looking for it, and I don’t want to read that kind of thing, but if I do, I don’t let it affect me that much. Every year, people are going to pick somebody they don’t like, or they’re just going to decide to write stuff about someone and it happened to be me this year. I can deal with it. It’s part of the game, and it’s one person’s opinion, or a couple people’s opinions, and I will take it as that and not worry about it.

With your parents and nine brothers and sisters, you’ve been on your share of road trips. Was that great preparation for being on a tour bus with the Idols this summer?

It really was! I also went on a mission trip to Europe for seven weeks and I was on a big tour bus with 45 other people, so I have definitely had quite a bit of prep for this kind of thing!