Life after American Idol

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POSTED: Monday, January 24, 2011 - 7:57pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 12:34pm

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) -- They all wanted a shot at stardom, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. Many of the American Idol contestants walked away from the New Orleans auditions empty-handed, including LSU student, Gabriel Franks.

Even though he didn't get that golden ticket to Hollywood, Franks made sure he went big before going home. We caught up with Franks before he met the judges back in October. He was convinced they'd like him. "I feel like they're going to adore me," he said.

Franks decided to sing "Bad Romance," by Lady Gaga at the audition. The choice is unusual for him. He says his mom helped him pick it out. She thought it would give him the best chance of making it to Hollywood.

Unfortunately for Franks, the judges gave him the ax. "I didn't say they'd love my singing," he says. "And they did like me."

Franks says he isn't disappointed by the outcome. Instead, the experience has made him stronger. "I love singing," he says. "That will never change. If i get to be a recipient of strong criticism, that just gives me the incentive to up my game."

In fact, he enjoyed his few minutes of fame. "I found it very entertaining, and its gotten a lot of hits on youtube so far. I'm just glad people think its worth watching."

Now, he's back in school studying at LSU. In the meantime, he's still doing what he loves. "I often go downtown and play on the streets just to see what kind of reaction I get." And he's definitely getting some interesting reactions. "A few people recognize me, and ask to take a picture."

Still, Franks says he was disappointed about one thing when it came to Idol. "If i have anything negative to say about the experience, its that i'm still a little bit let down that I didn't get to meet Ellen." She's his idol, but he's not giving up just yet. Franks says he's ready if he ever gets the chance to meet her. "I've composed songs just in case that ever happens."

As for his singing days, Franks says they're far from over. He'd even consider giving American Idol another shot, but next time around, he'd choose a different song.

"It's inspired me more than anything," he says.

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i enjoyed this interview, but then i enjoy Gabriel's music and his personality. i wish he had been allowed to do another song. he does songs by elliot smith, crosby, stills, nash & young, jethro tull and even joanna newsome. of course he sings songs by the Stones and many other artists.

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