Get to know Kris Allen

Last Friday, we revealed that this year's True Spirit of Christmas tour would be hosted by American Idol winner Kris Allen.

As Kris and the World Vision team get ready for the journey to Kenya, we had a chance to ask Kris some questions. Read on to learn more about Kris -- and be sure to follow the tour, starting November 25, to hear stories of how the lives of children, families, and communities in need are being transformed by gifts donated through the World Vision Gift Catalog!

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What are you looking forward to most about the True Spirit of Christmas tour?

Considering that Kenya is a place I’ve never been, I’m excited to learn about the culture there. It’s always exciting when I go to another country -- meeting the people, meeting the families, seeing everyday life, and learning about the good things that go on there.

Do you have anything specific you want to do while you are in Kenya? Any foods you want to try or adventures you want to go on?

I’m not sure what the options are, but I am always excited to try new foods, even if they are terrible. I’ll try any food once.

How did you hear about World Vision?

I heard about it when you guys came to me for this trip. I kind of heard about it and then I researched it and saw what you guys do, and I have done similar stuff like this, and I decided to jump on board.

What do you hope to gain from going on the trip?

Just the knowledge that I can bring back here, and let people know what is going on and let people know how they can help. I think the great thing about us as Americans is that people want to help, but most of us don’t know how to, or what they can do. The point of this trip is to go over there to gain knowledge about what is going on and to let people know that they can help, and we can make a big difference, even though we are far away.

Is there anything you are nervous about?

Nervous? No, I have done a lot of trips before; not that this is like the other ones. But I’m not nervous about sleeping arrangements, or bugs -- but maybe I should be? I don’t know (laughs).

When did you know you wanted to be a singer/songwriter?

I started playing the guitar at about 13, and I think from then on out, I knew that I love this -- I love playing music and I feel like this was the only thing I was good at, so I am gonna work at it.

Tell us about someone who has influenced you. How have they done so?

My parents have been so amazing throughout me growing up, and wanting me to pursue my dreams. They never stopped me. They were always buying me instruments, or getting me into music programs, telling me that I should be doing this. I don’t know if all parents would go that route, because this is a very unconventional job. They are so cool. It's just cool that they have really supported me.

What is your favorite song to sing at karaoke?

When we go out on the road and we are singing karaoke, "Bohemian Rhapsody" (by Queen) usually comes out. It's pretty classic. Everyone gets a part, and it sounds incredible.

Does your family have any fun holiday traditions?

The one thing we do every Christmas Eve is that my mom buys the whole family pajamas. We all get in our pjs -- we have to put them on, even if they are terrible-looking -- and we play a board game, which she has bought as well.  That is our Christmas Eve tradition.

Do you have a favorite Christmas present you have ever given or received?

I remember my parents got my brother and I a basketball hoop one year, but they sent us on an Easter egg hunt kind of deal to find it. There was this pathway through the house of this yarn, and it took us like an hour to get to this basketball hoop that was just right outside our front door. Yeah, thanks, Mom and Dad!

Do you have a fun memory from your tour?

So far, we’ve only done a couple of shows. Maybe this is a little involved, but we were driving back from the show one night and we saw this guy broken down in his van. We went and pushed his van to a gas station. And when we got to the gas station, it started flaming up a little bit. And so we were running away. And all I hear is our driver yell, “It’s gonna blow!”

I run away, and our tour manager grabs a fire extinguisher and tries to put the fire out, which only makes it worse. Then we proceed to watch the van blow up. It literally was like the movies. The flames were like 10 feet high, coming out of the windows. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it.

What do you look forward to most about the Christmas season?

I like food a lot, and my mom is a pretty incredible cook. I always look forward to eating at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and going over to their house and hanging out with my family. I don’t get to do that very much, and it’s nice to take some time off from what I do and hang out with them.

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    Hey MJ,

    Kris will be meeting families who have been affected by World Vision's work, as he mentioned when I asked what he is most excited about. Kris has been great to work with in preparation for the tour, and has been so enthusiastic about educating people in the United States on how they can help others.

    Lindsey, WV Blog Manager

    This is such fantastic news! I'm looking forward to all the updates along the way & best wishes to everyone involved.

    To the interviewer: so glad you were able to meet Kris Allen. He is an incredible person with a heart of gold and a golden voice. Looking forward to hearing his stories from Kenya. I just received the World Vision USA catalog in the mail and am looking forward to ordering from it.

    Thanks for the awesome interview! Kris seems like such an easy going, nice guy!

    So let me get this straight ... he's going to Kenya but he doesn't know yet what he's going to be doing there? He's so inarticulate. He always sounds so unintelligent when he speaks. No one would ever know he has a college education.

    OK Now we really need to hear Bohemian Rhapsody when he tours in 2013! Thank you World Vision for including Kris on this trip. I'm sure we'll have a blast following along.

    MJ, when you said Kris was "inarticulate," I think what you meant is that you are "Illiterate." Kris stated very clearly what he is going to be doing there. But, I suppose you are too busy going around to every post about Kris so you can be sure to post nasty things about him. It's a shame that you are so bitter and hateful towards someone who is volunteering two weeks out of his time to help contribute to such a great cause.

    I am really excited to see more of these Spirit of Christmas blogs as the trip progresses! I am a longtime World Vision contributor, and am thrilled to see Kris partnering with you to bring light to how my contributions help those in need.

    Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    bohemian rhapsody is the song that i always close karaoke with when i go out :) can't wait to hear more about the true spirit of christmas tour!

    I'm thrilled to see Kris Allen on these pages! Looking forward to hearing about Kenya and the World Vision #TrueSpiritOfChristmas tour from Kris!

    Kris you are an awesome guy and you make some great points about Americans, and how we do want to help, don't always know the way to help. You are a guy who tries to help and people love you for being that guy - and being an awesome musician of course.

    To the critic: Don't criticize the guy's interview, acknowledge him for doing this charitable work for others.

    MJ - Judge much.

    Kris is such a nice guy and an awesome singer/songwriter! I recently attended a concert and had a wonderful time. Kris has a big heart and does a lot of charity work. I did notice he didn't mention his wife, Katy. :(

    Wow, MJ. You have a real knack for bringing the ugly to a site with a beautiful purpose. Kris ably expressed his desire to assist in providing help to those in need (which clearly fits in with his history) as well as a willingness to experience cultures which differ from our own. What did you not understand?

    Kris seems to be a classy guy, and I think he's an inspiration.

    It is inspiring to see someone like Kris Allen who seems to be truly sincere in reaching out to help others. He cares more for other people in need than his concern for his own success.

    And to MJ, I've a feeling you're a bully coz I believe you've been harassing or insulting Kris by commenting in every article that commends Kris. Criticizing Kris as inarticulate is kinda shallow. But then, it's better to be inarticulate than to be callous, ill-mannered and a bully like you.

    And if you are aiming to get our attention, congratulations you got it though not in a good way.

    I loved Kris's answers to these questions! Kris is so real and heartfelt when he gives an interview and he does not have to be pretentious and erudite in his reply. That's what Kris's fans love about him!
    Good luck to Kris on the True Spirit of Christmas Tour!!!

    What an incredible musician and a great, down to Earth, fun Person who believes in sharing and in humanity. Good choice for collaborating with him World Vision. Can't wait to see what happens in Kenya.

    I love Kris Allen as a musician, songwriter and humanitarian. Smart of you world vision to team up with him. Kris is such a warm, giving guy. I am looking forward to hearing more about his trip and how we all can help.

    Thank you for this great article on Kris Allen. He is such a sweet, caring, giving sort of person, to take two weeks out of his holidays to go where there is great need is such a really wonderful, selfless thing. That's part of why I am such a big fan. Not only is he talented and has such a beautiful voice and okay have to admit easy on the eyes, he's also such a thoughtful guy who thinks of other people before himself. I will be following along and hope to get updates on his trip to Kenya!

    Hi Aiden,

    Thanks for your kind words- we definitely consider ourselves lucky to have him coming on the tour! Have a great day! :)

    Lindsey, WV Blog Manager

    Ditto! Looking forward to the updates about this trip. I was wondering when Kris Allen would be doing something with World Vision, since this is right up his alley having hands on experience from trips before he was ever on TV. All it takes is a good and willing heart to help.

    I am soo delighted to learn of your trip with Kris to our country Kenya . KARIBU KENYA WORLD VISION AND KRIS .

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