Five years after coming in second to Kelly Clarkson — even in this very sentence — Justin Guarini is still singing American Idol's praises. We gave Rosanna Tavarez and Kimberly Caldwell's affable new cohost of TV Guide Channel's Idol recap series Idol Chat (Fridays at 8 pm/ET) a chance to do some chatting of his own.
TV Guide: Do you and Kimberly gang up on Rosanna because she's from the WB's Pop Stars and you guys are Idols?
Justin Guarini: Well, Rosanna won on Pop Stars... so she's what we call reality-TV royalty. [Laughs] Kimberly and I are simply the jesters. I'm just there to fawn over Rosanna, tell her how good she looks, and maybe make a few comments if she points her scepter in my direction.
TV Guide: Have you even followed past Idols?
Guarini: I haven't! It's kind of like sausage — once you know how it's made, you don't want to eat it. But I came in on the end of Season 5 and even went to see some of the tapings. What a great, great season that was. And now I'm intimately involved with Season 6.
TV Guide: Any early favorites?
Guarini: Lakisha [Jones]. I really like her.
TV Guide: When the Corey Clark scandal hit, did you feel jealous that Paula Abdul hadn't hit on you?
Guarini: [Laughs] I was just hoping that because of the hair thing, people wouldn't get us confused. Corey even tried to drag me into that... but fortunately I'm not a [creep] and have a good publicist, so I was able to get the truth out there.
TV Guide: As Kelly's runner-up, do you get to assume the duties of the American Idol if her sales start slipping?
Guarini: [Laughs] I'm still trying to get over the fact that we agreed to drink the Kool-Aid if From Justin to Kelly didn't do well and she totally reneged on that deal! But I'm working on my third CD, and this one is going to be the album I wish I had made the first time.
TV Guide: Who knows, From Justin to Kelly could become the Rocky Horror of this generation.
Guarini: Oh, my god. It'll be the "Beach Horror"! People can [sing along] and wear those afro wigs from the party store!
Idol Chat and Reality Chat air exclusively on the TV Guide Channel. Click here for complete listings.