Tulsa teen talks about life after American Idol

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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 2/14/2013 10:44 am Published: 2/13/2013 10:37 pm

From the Hollywood lights, back to the comfort of Green Country, the spotlight is still on former American Idol contestant Kayden Stephenson.

The 16-year-old Tulsa native's journey in the competition ended after the Hollywood round. He tells FOX23 life after Idol is pretty great.

“I haven’t taken it in a negative way at all,” said Kayden, “I’m just happy I got the chance.”

Kayden’s parents, Rick and Stephanie Franklin, say they are still trying to digest the experience.

“It was fun for us to share with the world what we get to be part of on a daily basis,” said Stephanie.

Kayden says he receives frequents texts, Facebook messages and letters from fans. He says that support is humbling, but he is enjoying his time in the limelight.

One of the most touching opportunities to come from the experience was an invitation by Wayne Rooney, a soccer player with Manchester United, to fly to England and watch a soccer game.

“He messaged me to say that he would pay for all of the plane tickets for us to go to the game and watch in England,” said Kayden.

The soccer player and thousands of people across the country have been inspired by Kayden’s personality and his battle with cystic fibrosis.

“It’s been pretty heartwarming to receive messages and calls from families who deal with what we deal with every day,” said Stephanie.

His parents say they know that there are so many children across the country with similar stories like Kayden’s.

“Any person with a difficult health issue or deals with a lot of hospital time or doctor time that has missed out on so much knows,” said Rick, “It’s just nice to have something positive come out of all of it.”

The family is happy Kayden has his chance to be a ray of hope for anyone who is chasing their dream, because he is not done chasing his.

“I’m not taking any of it for granted,” said Kayden, “Being able to sing in front of those four judges who are huge celebrities was an honor for me and I’m ready to go back.”

Kayden tells FOX23 that he hopes to re-audition for American Idol next season.

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