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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO BLOG: Finalist Kimberley Locke Says New American Idol 'Absolutely Fantastic'

Jan. 20 2011, Published 11:05 a.m. ET

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American Idol is back, and has none other than second season standout Kimberley Locke blogging for us as Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler get comfortable in the chairs that once belonged to Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.

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“I thought tonight’s American Idol was absolutely fantastic,” she said. “It reminded me of the days when I was on American Idol, and the innocence of it all, and how we were just kids trying to make our dreams come true.”

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Locke said she thought the chemistry between the new judges clicked from the get-go, and said she felt for J.Lo in having to tell people “No,” an art Cowell had down to perfection.

“I can only imagine it’s a difficult task, and a difficult thing to do,” she said.

The Tennessee native, 33, impressed judge Randy Jackson so much on her American Idol stint, she was the very first artist inked to his Dream Merchant 21 label after her six-year deal with Curb Records expired last year.  In 2004, she scored a hit with her song, 8th World Wonder. 

Nigel Lythgoe

The top-three finalist has also appeared on VH-1's Celebrity Fit Club.

American Idol returns Thursday on Fox at 8/7c; check back with for more news on American Idol.

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