Aaron Kelly Sees Country Road Leading From `Idol’

Aaron Kelly says he’s ready to put the pressures of “American Idol” behind him and focus on a country singing-songwriting career.

Kelly, who was eliminated from the Fox contest Wednesday, told a teleconference Thursday that he stayed true to himself but felt he gained in confidence and charisma.

Photo: AP Photo
In this publicity image released by Fox, contestant Aaron Kelly performs on “American Idol.”

The 17-year-old from Sonestown, Pa., said he sees country music as a good fit for him and admires Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban.

Kelly’s favorite mentor on “Idol” was Harry Connick Jr., who steered contestants through the songs of Frank Sinatra this week. Connick would be a good replacement for judge Simon Cowell, who’s leaving after this season, Kelly said.

The four remaining “Idol” contenders are Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Casey James and Michael Lynche.