Dalton Rapattoni  

Dalton Rapattoni  

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File

Dalton Rapattoni doesn't seem to be slowing down after the breakneck pace of the final season of American Idol.

The third-place finisher is exhausted, yes.

"I cannot feel my legs," he said during a conference call last week.

Home is where Dalton Rapattoni's heart is. Here, he performs for fans during an 'Idol' visit to his hometown of Sunnyvale.

Home is where Dalton Rapattoni's heart is. Here, he performs for fans during an 'Idol' visit to his hometown of Sunnyvale.

Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News

But the musician from Sunnyvale is still moving. He was on Live With Kelly and Michael in New York on Wednesday. He was scheduled to be at the opening Friday of a new outpost in Plano for The School of Rock, where he was a vocal instructor and student. And he's scheduled to perform during the sixth annual Rockstravaganza, a School of Rock music festival starting at 11 a.m. Sunday at Trees in Deep Ellum (2709 Elm St., Dallas). 

Rapattoni performs at 3, with appearances at other venues throughout the day. 

"I'm always involved with School of Rock in some capacity," he said. "I think it's an incredibly important program."

A new record is always on his mind, too. Idol winner Trent Harmon, of course, signed with 19/Big Machine Records. Runner-up La'Porsha Renae was signed quickly by 19/Big Machine/Motown Records. But Rapattoni had not heard anything yet.

School of Rock's Rockstravaganza

“Right now,” he said, “we don’t have word back from 19’s people whether they’re gonna pick up my option or not.”

But Rapattoni's music is still striking a chord. “Strike a Match,” which would have been his single had he won American Idol, hit the Billboard charts this week. And he has big plans for it and other songs.

“I am fortunate enough to have a big team behind me and I’m able to do this independently if need be,” he said. “I’m going to the studio … to write and record a new record. It’ll be fun. We're definitely going to be able to produce some really good music.”

Along with music, one of the things he holds dear is home. And that will always be DFW, he says.

"North Texas is my home. Honestly, I can't relax anywhere else," he said.

'American Idol' says goodbye to Sunnyvale singer Dalton Rapattoni 

"I get stressed out everywhere else. I always have to come back to North Texas to get myself recharged."

He's not leaving Idol behind him, either. (And one probably imagines that if he did get a deal with 19, he'd be OK with that, too.) 

The judges chided him for singing his last song, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," in the wrong key. He says he practiced the song in a lower key to preserve his voice but intended to raise it for the show.

"It was my bad," he said. "I dropped the ball and I forgot to tell the band."

"It was a stupid mistake," he said of singing his last "Idol" song in the wrong key, "but everybody makes them."

He plans to stick with some of the advice he received from Idol judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban.

"One of the biggest things that the judges stressed to me was to do music that I connect with and that I relate to. And I feel like that's what carried me to the top three," he said. "That's probably what I'm going to take away from this experience the most."

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