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Coming Up Ace

In a critique of the current American Idol tour, Miami Herald reviewer Howard Cohen had fairly nice things to say about Boulder's own Ace Young, who finished seventh in the competition. Still, Cohen couldn't resist noting that "there's too much crushed testicle" in Young's "lightweight vocals." So, dude -- are your testicles okay?

Young, speaking from a Columbus, Ohio, tour stop, laughs at the question, then avoids answering it one way or the other. "Well, that's my business," he replies. "It's my personal life."

Your personal life? Maybe if someone's fondling your testicles. If they're crushed, though, isn't that another story? Hell, Lance Armstrong talks about his all the time, and they're not even there anymore.

Nevertheless, Young won't venture below the belt -- and he steers clear of other potentially embarrassing destinations as well. He prefers to stick to such benign topics as his love for Colorado ("It's one of the most beautiful places in the U.S."), his bemusement at his sudden pinup-boy status ("I have four older brothers who'd love to beat me up if I believed I was a hunky male celeb"), and his lack of regrets about anything he did on Idol. For instance, many fans believe he sealed his doom on the show by slicking back his long, oh-so-sexy locks for the performance that immediately preceded his ouster. But Young says, "I had my grandparents there for the very first time, and long hair doesn't really make sense to them. So I pulled my hair back to let the brand-new suit I spent $2,000 of my own money on speak for itself, and also to look classy for them -- and I got their vote. So I wouldn't change it for the world." He adds that if he'd stuck around longer or perhaps even snatched the championship from ultimate victor Taylor Hicks, "I don't think one more person would know about me than already did. So I was truly blessed."

Maybe so -- but thus far, BMG, the mega-corp with the right of first refusal on all Idol finalists, hasn't handed him a recording contract, as it has already done for Hicks and also-rans Katharine McPhee, Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler. That doesn't worry Young, who insists that he has numerous deals "up in the air" and says it's inevitable that he'll sign with a label before long. In the meantime, he's enjoying the perks of Idol fame, including a July meet-and-greet with President George W. Bush. Young, an inveterate self-promoter, took the opportunity to give Bush an "Ace beanie" of the sort he tosses out at concerts. Bush didn't model it, but promised to set it aside for the winter -- and Young feels certain he'll don it once the weather cools. "When I met him, I said, 'Mr. Bush, you're a good guy. Just from everything I've seen today and all the stuff you've undertaken, you're a good guy,'" Young recalls. "And he is."

Clearly, Young's testicles are fine -- because complimenting Bush in this political climate takes a lot of balls.