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Allison Iraheta: Backstage At L.A.’s Staples Center

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

American Idol runner-up Allison Iraheta may be barely 17, but she's already a total pro.

She's got a big record deal with 19 Entertainment. On the Idols Live Tour, she holds her own (and often steals the show!) night after night, rocking out alongside singers 10 or more years older than herself. She's able to perform on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on a moment's notice (the evening before this interview took place, she filled in on Conan for Kris Allen--who had to bow out due to a death in his family--and her impromptu performance of her Heart tour song "Barracuda" further cemented her star status). She's somehow managing to record her sure-to-be-awesome debut album while still juggling a full schedule of tour dates and promo appearances.

And, of course, she's capable of totally charming the bejeezus out of interviewers like me. That's the sign of a true pro.

So last week I got my second sitdown with Allison, backstage at the Staples Center before the big L.A. Idols Live concert. And although it was way too short, every second of our interview was as enjoyable as my previous chat with her. It of course started off with the subject all flame-tressed ladies love to discuss when they get in a room together: hair. (I was digging her new Smurfy-blue streaks, courtesy of her blue-streaked tourmate/"Slow Ride" duet partner Adam Lambert's hairdresser.) It then segued nicely into chitchat about Conan O'Brien and the most important subject of all: Allison's upcoming album.

Below is the video of our cute conversation, along with a handy transcript:

REALITY ROCKS: First of all, your hair looks awesome.

ALLISON: Well, I should run a comb through it...but okay, thanks!

REALITY ROCKS: The blue is new?

ALLISON: Blue, purple, green...and pink!

REALITY ROCKS: Are you still going to Adam's hairdresser?

ALLISON: Yeah, I am. She's amazing!

REALITY ROCKS: She does a good job; I gotta get her number from you later.

ALLISON: Oh yeah, I will!

REALITY ROCKS: So a lot of your fans want to congratulate you on your Conan appearance last night.

ALLISON: Thank you!

REALITY ROCKS: I understand it was sort of a last-minute thing?

ALLISON: It was, because of Kris's loss in the family. Yeah.

REALITY ROCKS: But I suppose after being on American Idol as much as you have, being on Conan O'Brien probably is not that big a deal...because it's a smaller audience.

ALLISON: I don't know! For me it was a really big deal! I mean, I'm a fan of Conan, just watching the show. And then they tell me I'm going to be on the show, and I'm like, "WHAT????" I always watched him, you know, and I was like, "I'm a big fan, I'm a big fan!" when I met him. He's a hilarious guy and he's pretty awesome.

REALITY ROCKS: How tall is he?

ALLISON: He's frickin' tall. You're tall, Conan, you're tall! It was funny because I was, like, wearing heels, and I was still [tilts head back as if staring up at a giant], "Wassssupp?" You know? But he's awesome.

REALITY ROCKS: Very cool! So I know you're working on an album right now. I don't know how you have time to do it, when look how busy you are!

ALLISON: Yeah, it's crazy!

REALITY ROCKS: How are you scheduling that?

ALLISON: I don't know. It's really hard on Kris, Adam, and I. Pretty much when we have a day off, or any time at all, they pretty much take us to record, writing sessions, photo shoots, or whatever. Just as soon as we get a day off or some time.

REALITY ROCKS: There IS no "day off" for you!

ALLISON: There's a couple...and those days off are no longer days off, 'cause we're recording! So, yeah.

REALITY ROCKS: I guess because you're young you have a lot of energy, but how are you keeping up with that pace?

ALLISON: I don't know, I'm just going with the flow! [laughs] It's like, I think if I stop, then it'll mess everything up, so I'm just going with it, going with it, and...that's what's keeping us all up!

REALITY ROCKS: Is there a concern that you won', if you're trying to squeeze in making an album between doing all this other stuff, like, how are you going to make sure you do it right? You know what I mean?

ALLISON: Um, I don't know, that's a hard one. 'Cause you know, not a lot of people do record an album while they're touring! They pretty much focus on the album. But it's pretty much, like, we're just trying to make the best of it, 'cause this is our opportunity. It's my opportunity to do an awesome first album, and I'm just gonna give it my all!

REALITY ROCKS: And when's it coming out?

ALLISON: This fall!

REALITY ROCKS: In time for Christmas!

ALLISON: [funny voice] Christmastime!

REALITY ROCKS: [19 Entertainment persons summons Allison for next!] Okay, I've got to let you go. Our interviews are always too short. But one day I'll get a longer interview with you.

ALLISON: All riiiight!

REALITY ROCKS: This is just a little taste right now!

ALLISON: Thanks!


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