Jordin Sparks says she "did vote for one more than the other" when Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox faced off on this season's "American Idol" finale. But the 2007 "Idol" champ won't say who she favored -- even though DeWyze's win preserved Sparks' standing as the show's last female winner.
"I'm kind of like, 'OK, what's going on here?'," Sparks, who bested Blake Lewis for her "Idol" crown, tells Billboard.com. "When Crystal and Lee were in the finale, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, there hasn't been a girl-guy finale since me and Blake,' so I was real excited to watch it. I just hope they do really, really well, and I think they're both going to be fine, no matter what they do."
Sparks has certainly been doing a lot since her time on "Idol." After opening stints for the Jonas Brothers and Britney Spears she's in the midst of a headline tour supporting her sophomore album, "Battlefield," which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 last July. While on the road, however, she's also priming for her Broadway debut, a 12-week run in the Tony Award-winning "In The Heights," which starts on Aug. 19.
"I'm beyond excited," gushes Sparks, who will take the role of Nina Rosario. "It's going to be a while new challenge for me. I'm going to do something I'm familiar with, which is singing, but I'll be doing it in a while different way, which is fun. I like to keep challenging myself and growing and learning new things, so this is going to be a really cool experience for me."
Sparks has the show's script on the road with her and she's planning to insert at least one of her songs from the production into her concerts. Mostly, however, she says "the tour is definitely helping me with the stamina part, because being on Broadway is going to be totally different. It's a two-hour show every night, eight times a week, which is gonna be super-insane. It's not like a regular tour where I can do my show and sing for an hour and then I have a day off...It's every single night, and it's going to be pretty intense, so I'm trying to prepare myself now."
But, Sparks adds, "I think I'm gonna love it" on Broadway. "I did a lot of community theater and stuff in school before 'Idol,' and I had a lot of fun doing that. And Broadway will be a lot of fun because I'll be in one spot...and you start building relationships and the cast becomes your family and everything. I'm not opposed to doing Broadway again after this, but I guess we'll see after I do this run."
Sparks has also recorded a new version of the theme song for Walt Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" for the Blu-ray version of the movie -- "I grew up watching Disney princess movies," he notes -- but plans for her own third album are up in the air right now.
"We don't really have a set date," Sparks reports. "I haven't been in the studio for awhile, really. I'm pretty sure after Broadway I would love to take a vacation, and then hopefully I can work on a new (album). So maybe some time next year, but you never know. The Broadway shows are at night, so maybe during the days I can get into the studio and start writing. We'll see what happens."