Both boosters and detractors of American Idol's Anthony Fedorov have called him this season's answer to Clay Aiken. But don't expect the formerly bespectacled 20-year-old to record anything like "Invisible." Although born in Ukraine and raised in suburban Pennsylvania, Fedorov — dubbed a "miracle boy" for singing in spite of his childhood tracheotomy — prefers music with a Latin flair. Should he land a recording contract, look for his debut album to be less Aiken, more Marc Anthony.
"I want to put out a bunch of really nice, beautiful ballads," Fedorov tells TVGuide.com, "but I hope to incorporate some Latin aspect, because my whole influence comes from Latin music. I'm looking forward to maybe mixing [that] with a rockish thing — like Bryan Adams, Richard Marx and Michael Bolton — and see where that takes me."
Well, it certainly sounds different. Of course, what we really want to know is if Fedorov will keep following our advice or go back to the glasses. "I don't think so," he laughs. "I think I'll stick with the contacts for a while."
If Fedorov is bummed about making the Final Four only to get cut, he doesn't show it. "I did not think that I was going to [make it to] this point," he admits. "The competition is just so good. Every week, you don't know if you are going home or going on to the next round. I didn't have any expectations. I just went with the ride for as long as possible."
Last week, Fedorov's journey took an unusual turn when both he and country girl Carrie Underwood sang the same tune, "If You Don't Know Me by Now." What was behind that logic? "We did not know we were singing the same song at first," he answers. "This is one of my favorite songs of all time. I found out a little while after [choosing it], and we were really excited just to deliver two really good versions of that song."Actually, the judges gave Underwood flack for her lackluster version. "I felt like she did a great job," he says, "and I liked the arrangement. I don't think the comments she received were the right ones. They told me good things — and I appreciate it — but I wish they wouldn't have trashed her."
Is Carrie as his choice to win? "At this point," he shrugs, "it is up for grabs. It is just three different people and personalities, and America is going to decide. I honestly don't have a favorite."Hungry for more American Idol dish? Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez cohost Idol Chat on Thursdays at 8 pm/ET on TV Guide Channel. To watch an exclusive video clip of their sassy analysis, click here.