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'Idol's' Kimberley Locke has 'Gospel Dream'

  • Story Highlights
  • Singer Kimberley Locke finished third during season two of "American Idol"
  • She is co-hosting the fourth season of the talent competition "Gospel Dream"
  • Locke has worked steadily since "Idol" as a spokesperson, host and performer
  • She says she'd like to appear on "Dancing With the Stars"
By Lisa Respers France
CNN
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(CNN) -- Kimberley Locke knows a thing or two about singing competitions.

"American Idol" finalist Kimberley Locke is the new co-host of "Gospel Dream."

"American Idol" finalist Kimberley Locke is the new co-host of "Gospel Dream."

Having placed third during season two of "American Idol" -- just behind winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken -- the singer is back in reality show action as the new co-host of "Gospel Dream."

The Gospel Music Channel's talent search is going into its fourth season, and Locke joins fellow host Mike Kasem (son of Casey Kasem) and the judges -- gospel artist J. Moss, Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams and industry executive Mitchell Solarek -- on the show.

Locke has worked steadily since she first burst onto the "Idol" scene in 2003.

She has modeled, served as a spokesperson for plus-sized clothier Lane Bryant and Jenny Craig and appeared on VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club."

All the while, she has continued to pursue her music. Her "8th World Wonder" was a big hit, making the Top 10 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary charts. She's had three dance chart No. 1s.

Locke recently spoke with CNN about the "Gospel Dream," life after "American Idol" and the one reality show she really wants to appear on next.

CNN: How did you get involved with "Gospel Dream?"

Kimberley Locke: Funny enough, I've been wanting to do more hosting, and I had been talking to my manager about it. They contacted me out of the blue, and I was like "Oh, I put it out to the universe, and here it is."

CNN: Are you a gospel music fan?

Locke: I am a gospel music fan. Of course I grew up in the church singing gospel music. I don't listen to as much as I used to, but I used to sing in a girl a cappella group and that's how we started, performing in church.

CNN: Why do you think so many performers in the music industry come out of the church?

Locke: I think a lot of people become stars in their church. ... The church environment is so supportive.

When you are first starting out and learning how to sing in front of an audience, that's the kind of audience you want to be in front of.

Even if you mess up and you sound horrible, they kind of let you stand there and collect yourself while the pianist keeps playing. Then they plow through it with you.

That's a part of the business, a professionalism that really comes in handy when you get to this level.

CNN: You've had some experiences with singing competitions. How is "Gospel Dream" different?

Locke: It's different in that the contestants are very focused on where they want to be and the type of music they want to sing.

When you are on "Idol," you are forced to fit into all of these different genres you may or may not want to do and you may or may not even be familiar with them.

The "Gospel Dream" contestants' direction is really clear and defined, so they are picking songs that really speak to them on a personal level. Video Watch Locke talk about the show »

CNN: How has life been for you post-"Idol?"

Locke: Life has been great post-"Idol." So many opportunities, so many things I would have never imagined. Things that I didn't even associate with singing, like modeling, hosting, being a spokesperson, owning a restaurant. It just opened so many doors.

CNN: You were a plus-sized model and spokesperson for Lane Bryant, but now you are way too small to do that.

Locke: That really opened me up to bond with my fans. I tell people I'm still a big girl at heart.

CNN: When is your next album coming out?

Locke: I just started working on the next album. We are in the very preliminary stages of putting together the concept of the record and we just compiled a bunch of songs to start listening to.

CNN: Are you planning on doing any other reality shows?

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Locke: I'm not really a big reality show fan. I did "Celebrity Fit Club" because there was a purpose behind that in my wanting to lose weight.

There is only one reality show I really, really want to do, and that's "Dancing With the Stars." I want to be on that show because then I'd lose the extra 10 to 15 pounds I want to lose.

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