Kris Allen
Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

EW caught up with American Idol season 8 winner Kris Allen on the Trevor Live red carpet this weekend, and the singer told us that he is hard at work on his second album, a follow-up to his 2009 self-titled release.

“We’ve moved past the writing process mostly and have moved onto the recording portion,” Allen says. “I’ve been working a lot with Tim Pagnotta, who produced and wrote some of the last Neon Trees album.”

The singer says that he’s particularly excited about a new track called “Out Alive,” which he believes “has possible single potential,” though it’s too soon to tell.

Allen has a quite a bit to prove with his sophomore post-Idol record. The charming but decidedly low-key songster’s debut sold about 329,000 copies (less than half of season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert’s For Your Entertainment), and it only spawned one real hit: the Script cover “Live Like We’re Dying.” (Although, if you ask me, his reggae-tinged Idol coronation song could have been pretty popular if they’d actually released it as a single.)

Other Idol winners who have earned lackluster sales — like Lee DeWyze, Ruben Studdard, and Taylor Hicks — have been unceremoniously dropped from their labels, but RCA/Jive must see something in Allen to give him this second chance. Recording a full album is not a cheap affair, but I do have to wonder whether Allen’s sales will justify the financial commitment.

What do you think? Has the buzz around Kris Allen worn off, or are you still excited about the onetime champ? What do you want to hear on his new album? And will he ever be able to achieve sales on the level of say, fellow Idol Scotty McCreery?

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