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Jack Blocker Reflects on Advice He Received From ‘American Idol’ Judges on Season 22: ‘Be You’ (Exclusive)

Jack Blocker may not have been crowned the newest champion of American Idol, but he’s leaving with some valuable lessons from the judges.

“Just the confidence of them kind of encouraging me to do what I do as an artist. It’s tough in Nashville ’cause you watch people climb the charts and you’re like, ‘I want that to be me. Should I be doing something that they’re doing?’” Blocker, 25, exclusively told Us Weekly at CMA Fest on Saturday, June 8. “And over and over they’re just like, ‘Hey, do what you do well. Do what makes you unique. Even if it’s weird facial expressions by the end of it. But just lean into that and be you as an artist.’”

He continued, “And so I’ve just taken that and kind of ran with it for the show. Really believed it more than ever. So yeah, it’s been cool.”

Blocker noted that he and judge Katy Perry are “close” now — and even called her “a good friend.” Their bond, however, was “definitely not” what he was expecting when he left the room for the first time because he thought they didn’t get off “on the right foot.”

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“Once we got to LA and the shows were live and she’d come up after a show and she’d kind of gimme a look, like, ‘What are you doing?’” he said. “And then at the end … she came up to me and she was like, ‘What happens if you win this thing?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know. I have no idea. I haven’t gotten that far yet.’”

Blocker placed second runner-up during the season 22 finale of the reality singing competition in May. Speaking with Us, he noted that the love he’s received from fans has been “so cool.”

Jack Blocker Reflects on Advice He Received from American Idol Judges
Jack Blocker Monica Schipper/Getty Images

“The songs I wrote, I wasn’t really ever anticipating singing them … I mean wrote ’em for soul healing for the most part,” he said. “And so getting to watch people sing them back and really connect with the words and have them apply to their own life, I mean, that’s why you do it. It’s so cool and just reinvigorating to make me want to keep going.”

He continued, “[American] Idol is go, go, go. It’s exhausting and coming off of it, it feels like you want to break, but doing something like this, it’s like, ‘Let’s keep going, man.’ This is awesome.”

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Blocker, who performed at the CMA Fest, noted that the milestone moment was a “dream come true.”

“I’ve been wanting to do what I love to do as a career for a long time and it’s always felt like a distant dream,” he said. “It feels real right now. A little bit, at the same time, doesn’t feel real ’cause it’s happening so fast. But it’s like, this is something that I can actually do and I’m more inspired than ever to make it happen ’cause it just feels like it’s right in front of me.”

With reporting by Jeremy Parsons

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