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Scaled-Down "American Idol" Live! Tour Launches Tonight

American Idol season 14 ended in May, but now the top five contestants are hitting the road for the annual American Idol Live! tour. Yes, that's right: only the top five contestants -- champ Nick Fradiani, runner-up Clark Beckham, Jax, Tyanna Jones and Rayvon Owen -- will be featured this year. Previous tours have featured 10 or more finalists, but Nick tells ABC Radio he thinks it's a change for the better.

"Yeah, there’s five of us, which is different this year, which I think is gonna be amazing because the tour this year is gonna be much more intimate," he tells ABC Radio. "You know, we’re gonna really be able to sing a song and then maybe talk about our experience. If it’s a song we played on the show, maybe we can talk about why we decided to do that or, you know, a couple of original songs I might do, I can explain how I wrote [them]."

"You’re gonna see some stuff I’ve done on the show -- some, I guess, fan favorites and my favorites -- and you’re gonna hopefully hear some original stuff that I’ve written," runner-up Clark Beckham tells ABC Radio about what fans can expect from his own set. "I consider myself as much of a writer as a singer or a player."

If that all sounds a bit like VH1 Storytellers to you, you're not wrong. The tour is being described as an "up close and personal evening," presented in a "Storytellers-style" format that will allow the contestants to "showcase their individual artistry," all backed up by a live band.

"It was scary when we got top ten, we were all hugging like, 'We did it!' and they’re like, 'Uh, actually it’s only gonna be five this year,'" Nick says of his and his fellow finalists' reaction to the change. "So, it was a little stressful, but I can’t wait to be with those four for a couple months. It’s gonna be a lot of fun."

"Yeah, I mean, honestly it could have been any five and it would have been a blast," adds Clark about touring with this particular group of contestants. "We were all -- from the top 12 to the top 24, top 48 --we were all extremely close and we all still are and it could have been any five but I’m very excited for this five."

So is Nick, because he feels that he, Clark, Jax, Tyanna and Rayvon are so different musically that it'll make for an eclectic show.

"All different styles of music, all different personalities and I think it’s gonna be great. I mean, I’m excited that they’re gonna give us the opportunity to maybe do some duets with each other and like I said, you’re gonna see our personalities," Nick tells ABC Radio.

He adds, ""I think that’s the whole point of why they wanted five people. They didn’t want one person to only get one song. You’re gonna get a little set; you’re gonna see what these five people are gonna try to do with their careers after the tour is over."

And that includes Nick himself, who has been touring for years, but on a much smaller scale. He says he plans to take full advantage of hitting the road with all the big-time trappings.

"I think it’s gonna be a great learning experience for my future," he tells ABC Radio. "I mean, this is what I wanna do the rest of my life. I don’t wanna just be a guy that wins and nobody knows in two years. I’m gonna do everything I can in the next year to work as hard as I possibly can. So I think it’s gonna be a good start for me to figure out what life is gonna be like, or how I want it to be."

Also important to Nick is the opportunity the tour will give him for some face time with the folks who actually voted for him.

"It’s awesome on social media to meet the fans but to meet them in person would be just even that much better," says Nick. "‘Cause you want to thank the people...I’m not here without them. So, I think the Idol tour is gonna be really special this summer."

By the way, the top five won't be the only Idols you'll see on the tour. In select cities, other season 14 contestants will be featured as "special guest performers." The first six dates, for example, will feature Joey Cook. The American Idol Live! tour wraps up August 28 in Riverside, California.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 11:00AM Andrea Dresdale