|Updated: 2/24/2012 9:25 am
||Published: 2/24/2012 8:28 am
LITTLE ROCK, AR - After making it to the top 42, American Idol's Lauren Gray knows what it's like to deal with a range of emotions.
"It's a mixture of relax and stress." Lauren says.
FOX16 caught up with her this week in her first TV interview since getting her golden ticket.
Idol contestants are allowed to come home for quick visits in between tapings and this time around, Hardy is being super supportive of Lauren with a lot of signs on windows on Main Street. Lauren is front page news all over the state. But her new idol fame comes with a price.
"Now, though it's kind of limited to what I can do at home,” Lauren says. ”I have to go through somebody [for] everything I do. It's a little strange. I mean, I'm doing it pretty well. Every time somebody says 'hey, can you...?' I tell them, 'You have to talk to this lady first.'"
That’s because Idol has Lauren under contract, which also means she can't have a Facebook profile or MySpace page.
"My mom and dad and everybody that's on Facebook has to tell me everything all the time,” she says. “So and so said this on Facebook. I'm like, I don't even know how to work Facebook."
"I want people to feel what I feel, and if someone doesn't like my voice, that's fine. That's your opinion."
Another rule: during free time in Hollywood contestants always have to tell the Idol producers where they're going. Off-camera, Lauren says there's isn't much drama.
"Nobody's been real competitive or anything. At this point, everybody feels like a family because you've been this far together. You've cried with each other, you've held hands, you've prayed, you know. Everybody kind of feels like a family,” she says. “There might be one or two that you can really tell that don't, that are really more competitive about it that don't really care as much about other people."
Lauren says they give you a personality test when you get to Hollywood and match you up with a roommate who shares your values.
"I was lucky enough to get a very good roommate for most of my time and her name is Chelsea Sorrell and she's a sweetheart. We couldn't have gotten along better."
Now that she's back home until this Sunday, Lauren has a lot of work to do at her mom's dress shop.
"This is a dress that I used to wear around here just for fun to try on. I love it. It's like a Beyonce dress for me," she says laughing
And while she may like Beyonce's style, anyone who saw Lauren’s Saint Louis audition knows there's another celebrity Idol producers likened to Lauren – Carrie Underwood.
"Oh yeah, they did do that. They kind of did do that. It was a little odd because, I mean it's great. But I'm nothing like [Carrie Underwood] as far as our voices, our styles of singing. But, I think she's amazing. She's one of the best Idols that they've ever produced."