"American Idol" Bo Bice may have been the runner-up, but he's ready to show the world that his talent is for real.
The Alabama native hopes to follow Clay Aiken as the also-ran who actually runs away with it. His first CD "The Real Thing" is now in record stores.
"I'm obviously very excited about the album, to see what people think of it," he told The Birmingham News. "I had quite a bit of creative control, and I was extremely pleased with that. I had a lot of input."
Two of 11 tracks on "The Real Thing" were co-written by Bice. "[The ballad] Valley of Angels is about the idea that things aren't perfect," Bice said. "Everyone fumbles and falls and makes mistakes. When you're down, you might not feel there's any place of serenity you can find. It's about finding peace."