On the secret to looking like you're having fun out there: I am! This will never happen to me again and so I'm just trying to live it up and do what it is that I do and just enjoy this experience. It's "American Idol" and I'm in the Top 10.
On his performing roots: "I've been performing since I was a little lad. I've been singing in church since I was young, with my dad and mother and sisters and cousins and so it's a bit natural to me. I'm just trying to do what I've always been doing."
Could he have done "Idol" when he was a teenage or is he better now? "I'm way better now! I know some things that I didn't know. I've experienced some things that I hadn't experienced. So I'm just ready to grow as an artist, as a contestant, to be who I've been gifted to be."
What he knows now that he didn't know then: "I know that being true and authentic to self is what can keep me, or if I'm not true to myself, is something that can make me go away. It's with that mindset: I always just want to stand up as 100 percent of who Curtis is so America can decide if they want that or if they don't want that."
On "taking it to church" out there: "Gospel music is in me and so I can be singing a rock song and they'll be like, "I felt a little Jesus!" because what's in you will always come out. I'll never run from that. I'll always embrace it."
But is there a different version of Curtis we might see? "Absolutely. A lot of people don't know that I've been trained classically. I can sing classical music, opera music. I'm not a one-trick pony. I can sing anything. I'm so excited that I've been blessed to make the Top 10, because now the different things come and I can really stretch myself and let America see the different sides of me."