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'American Idol': Will Malaya Watson's Tuba Fit on the Tour Bus?

The youngest finalist in the Fox series' history may have a surprise in store for fans this summer, she hinted during a Friday conference call.

American Idol Malaya Watson L
Michael Becker / Fox
Malaya Watson

This summer’s American Idol tour may be the first to feature a tuba, if eliminated contestant Malaya Watson has her way.

“I’m thinking about doing that,” she said to reporters on a conference call on Friday. “Hopefully I can.”

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Watson, a student from Southfield, Mich., revealed that she was hoping to play it live on the show next week, but alas it is not to be. Nor was she able to play the piano as often as she would have liked. The teen does not, however, regret her song choice of “Through the Fire” by Chaka Khan. “I am glad I picked that song,” she said.

Although she admitted there are current artists she loves — John Legend, Michael Buble, Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams — her heart is with the “throwback singers.” As for the finale, the teen is hoping to return to sing with one of her three personal idols: season three winner Fantasia Barrino, Khan or Aretha Franklin.

Watson is proud that she is “in the books” as the youngest contestant in the show’s history, and said she learned plenty from her Idol experience. She credited Harry Connick Jr. specifically for guiding her in the right direction and telling the teen she should focus more on her craft rather than stardom. She added that Connick’s notes about staying in tune while singing mirrored the same advice given to her by her father, a professional musician. “At first, I thought the music business was just about how you look, but it’s honestly about how you sound, too,” she said.

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While Watson’s immediate future includes finishing her school year and getting ready for the show’s finale and tour, the teen has another milestone to celebrate — losing her braces. “I started singing when I got my braces,” she laughed. “I was supposed to get them off three years ago!”

She also said that she may be looking at switching to either a performing arts-oriented program or a private school. Also on her wish list: acting. Broadway, she said, would be “kind of cool,” but she would have to learn how to dance first.

And while her swan song was “I Am Changing” from Dreamgirls, Watson said there is one thing that has not changed. “I haven’t grown height-wise,” she laments. “I am still 5’2.”

Twitter: @Idol_Worship, @MicheleAmabile