Yeah, Bo Bice technically lost American Idol's title to country girl Carrie Underwood last week. Still, she isn't America's only Southern sweetheart; Bo has scores of boosters, too, including us! When TVGuide.com got the 29-year-old Alabaman on the phone for a post-Idol debriefing, the poor dear sounded as if he'd just awoken from a much-needed nap. Maybe his whirlwind week has caught up to Bo, but we couldn't let the runner-up rocker's exhaustion keep us from quizzing him.

TVGuide.com: When can your fans expect an album?
Bo Bice:
Not too long. Should be out soon, hopefully. I'm still in the dark about it... haven't found anything out about it. But as soon as I know, you guys will know.

TVG: Will we get to hear you play guitar?
Bice:
Oh, yeah. Without a doubt.

TVG: Was it hard to perform without an instrument on Idol, since you're so accustomed to playing guitar on stage?
Bice:
It took a little bit of getting used to, just having a mic and mic stand. [Yawns] Excuse me. But like anything else in this business, you adapt, move on and make the show better.

TVG: Were you surprised by America's response to you?
Bice:
Without a doubt. I wasn't expecting people to really take to someone like me, just for the fact that I am not the mold of what American Idol is about. I am very grateful that people took time to get to know me and grateful to the fans that voted for me because, without them, I wouldn't be here.

TVG: What were you thinking when you initially tried out for Idol?
Bice:
It was all a joke. It was a bet between me and my mom, and it just got way out of hand.

TVG: No doubt she's happy about that!
Bice:
Sure, she is and, obviously, I'm happy.

TVG: Heading into the finale, did you think you'd win?
Bice:
I think Carrie's the best one for this. She did a great job. America chose her and I wish her the best of luck. I know she's going to have a great career and she knows that I love her to bits. I'm proud of her, and proud of all the people that voted for me. There was no loser. I've got everything that I ever wanted and I am very happy to be where I am today. There is not a bothered bone in my body right now.

TVG: What was it like performing with Lynyrd Skynyrd?
Bice:
It was one of the most honorable moments of my life. I looked up to the guys in Skynyrd my whole life. They didn't just live the rock and roll life, they wrote the book on it. I'm honored just to get to stand in the shoes of the late Ronnie Van Zant who is one of my favorite all time songwriters and, to be honest, just one of my favorite all-time Southern gentlemen. If I could be like anybody out there, it would be like Ronnie. He would always treat people like they wanted to be treated, and you never had to ask him what was on his mind because he would tell you. The opportunity to meet them was great. To perform with them was... beyond words.

TVG: Your past drug charges came up in the news during the competition. How were you able to ignore all that and still perform?
Bice:
Because I really don't care. If you take a good hour and look into any person's past, they've got something that they are not quite proud of. Everybody has got skeletons. Unfortunately, I don't really care if people know about mine. Every mistake I made got me to the point where I am at today. I am honest with people and I tell them the things that I want them to know. I don't feel like there is any other way to be. Every good day and bad day has led to this day. I'm grateful for every mistake that I made.

TVG: Are you prepared to tour stadiums full of thousands of screaming fans?
Bice:
Man, I've played bigger gigs in front of 10,000 people before, just obviously not an every night thing. I'm appreciative of it whether there are two people in the audience or 20,000. It is just a little bit easier when you are out there with a huge group because, when you are playing for 30 people, you are wondering, "How many of these people are really digging me? Do I have three or a whole bunch?" But playing for 15,000, its like, "At least 500 of these cats like me."

TVG: What about the rest who don't?
Bice:
You just try to win them over. What you see is what you get from me. If you want to come hang out and eat some barbecue and drink some Heineken and pet my dog, that's cool, man. If you want to sit and talk about fishing, that's cool, man. I'm here to get in touch with the real fans that are in the trenches with us. The people that pay anywhere from 15 to 100 bucks just to see our ugly faces. Or at least my ugly face because Carrie and the rest of the girls are beautiful. It'll be a good tour, but I'd have to muster up some strength to by a ticket with my face on it.

TVG: There are quite a few female fans who'd disagree with that.
Bice:
Aw, shucks.

TVG: What did you think of the "rocker" competition between you and Constantine?
Bice:
He and I are friends; we were roommates for a while. They tried to play us against each other. We stay so busy and we're locked in a cocoon. I don't check message boards or anything like that. You are focused on doing your job; that's the most important thing. Anything I got out of this was winning something. The only thing I was trying to get was better gigs around town where I live!

TVG: Did fight to keep your long hair and the beard?
Bice:
I wouldn't really call it a fight. This is who I am and I want the people who are going to buy my album to know they are getting the genuine product. I gave the hair and makeup team a lot of fuss. I did have to stick to my guns. The management would come up to me and say, "Did you go to hair and makeup?" "Yeah man, I was in there 20 minutes." They finally figured out I was just sitting in there talking and then I'd split. That's when they went with the flat ironing. But they were great — and they helped me get my frizz out. Mostly, it was just pranks between [me and the makeup people].

TVG: What sort of pranks?
Bice:
One day, I took all their hairspray bottles and super-glued them together. I took hair paste and put it all over their phones in the dressing room, so when they answered, they'd get it all over their ears. It's awful because my two favorite people to pull jokes on were the hair and makeup people and Anthony Fedorov.

TVG: Anthony seems like an easy target.
Bice:
I cellophaned his toilet on his birthday. I sent him a dozen roses from Carrie Underwood [with a card] saying, "I can't wait 'til our love blossoms." All these mean cruel things that you have to be a real twisted, sick person to get any kind of gratification or enjoyment out of. Apparently, I'm that person, but I love it. I know their little minds are planning on how to get Bo back.

TVG: I'd be careful on tour if I were you.
Bice:
I am making sure that I do not sit on any toilet seats without checking. I'd end up super-glued to cellophane to a toilet seat.

To read our exclusive interview with American Idol winner Carrie Underwood, just click here.