What’s next for “Idol” finalist Allison Iraheta?

At only 17 years old, Allison Iraheta stunned America with her strong vocal performances on American Idol. Lasting up until two weeks before last night’s finale, the high school student from Los Angeles was the last woman standing with her three male counterparts, who she referred to as “big brothers,” wishing them all the best of luck before Kris Allen eventually won the title.

Iraheta has an impeccable knack for nailing rock tracks, and her raspy-tinged voice and bright head of red hair show she is one of those women just born to be a rock star.

Born of Salvadoran descent, Iraheta previously won the Spanish television talent show, Quinceañera before auditioning for American Idol. However, she did not receive the record contract she was promised after winning the show, so she was eligible to compete on AI.

Iraheta performed classics and modern hits while on the show, including renditions of Heart‘s “Alone,” Kelly Clarkson‘s “Because of You” and Janis Joplin‘s “Cry Baby.” On last night’s finale, she performed a duet of “Time After Time” with Cyndi Lauper, in which she definitely held her own next to the timeless pop star.

Watch Allison perform “Alone”:

So what’s next for Allison Iraheta? She told Reuters that she will not be returning to home schooling, as she had a tutor while on the show and she’s “pretty much” done. Instead, she hopes to follow in the footsteps of past AI contestant Chris Daughtry who has managed to maintain a successful solo career in alternative rock.

“I hope I do as well as he does,” she told Billboard. “He’s done so much, and if he didn’t have to make it all the way to the top … it gives me a chance, hopefully.”

First, though, she’ll have to join the rest of her American Idol finalists on the road for the American Idol summer tour, which kicks off July 5.

What do you see in Allison’s future? Do you think she’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood?

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