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Tim Urban Won’t Go Shirtless For ‘American Idol’ Votes

By Jim Cantiello

Tim Urban Won’t Go Shirtless For ‘American Idol’ Votes
‘I will not be performing shirtless at any point in the competition,’ Top 11 finalist says.

Shirtless photos of “American Idol” finalist Tim Urban are spreading around the Internet, and MTV News recently caught up with the “Idol” hopeful to find out why he was caught parading around a catwalk wearing nothing but a bathing suit and a smile.

“I was involved in a competition — it was for acting, modeling and singing,” Urban explained. “One of the competitions was a swimsuit competition. And, obviously, I entered a swimsuit competition and obviously there are photos from that. And they’ve definitely gotten out there.”

The competition Urban is referring to is a weeklong, biannual event thrown by Actors, Models & Talent for Christ (or AMTC), a talent-development company. Urban entered last July, when he placed top five in the “singer/songwriter” category, and received more than two dozen callbacks. (His performance of an original tune, “Still Almost There,” is easy to track down on popular streaming video sites.)

In fact, Urban did so well in the competition that Carey Arban, owner of AMTC, believes Tim was well on his way before Simon Cowell entered the picture. In an e-mail sent to MTV News, Arban wrote, “Tim was a standout at AMTC … Modeling may not have been his No.1 focus, but Tim certainly did well and got attention from modeling agents [in both Dallas and New York City]. He did not follow up on his AMTC callbacks immediately because he was just beginning the audition process for [‘Idol’] at that time.”

Urban’s swimsuit photos have picked up steam in recent weeks thanks to anti-“Idol” site Vote for the Worst, which playfully urged its readers to forward the pictures to as many young girls as possible in order to bait them into voting for the all-American reality star.

When asked if he thinks the ab-tastic pics may have helped him win votes on “Idol,” where he’s been knocked repeatedly by the judges for his singing abilities, Urban shrugged. “I don’t know what [the photos] did but I can’t get it back, so it’s out there,” he said, flashing a toothy grin. Meanwhile, Arban has a different theory. “If someone asked me what got Tim into the Top 11 out of 100,000 or so who auditioned this season, I would answer, ‘The cool factor, plus the favor of God.’ “ (Incidentally, season three runner-up Diana DeGarmo was also an AMTC alum.)

Last week, Urban landed in the bottom three after performing a reggae-tinged “Under My Thumb” on Rolling Stones night. And the judges were less than thrilled with his stage-sliding Queen performance on Tuesday night. But no matter how close to elimination the singer gets, Tim insists he won’t use his physique to win more votes.

“I will not be performing shirtless at any point in the competition. I’m sorry,” he said, before sarcastically adding, “I had to make this decision. It took a lot of time; it was tough but I’ve decided I can’t do that.”

A fully-clothed Tim Urban will join the rest of the Top 11 tonight for an always-dramatic results episode. Miley Cyrus, Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato are all scheduled to perform.


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