Rick Rowell/Disney
February 19, 2010 12:00 AM

What are Kris Allen‘s words of wisdom for the new crop of American Idol contestants? “Don’t be nervous. People can tell, so just go out, be comfortable and be yourself,” the season 8 champ says. “Jumping jacks always help.”

The reigning Idol, who visited Radio Disney recently to record a spot for the Take Over With Ernie D show, has been watching season 9 and has already formed an opinion about the current top 24. “I thought Andrew Garcia was really good,” he says. But this year he predicts, “It’s going to be a girl, maybe a country girl.”

But the girl power should stop with the winner, he suggests. When it comes to who should replace Simon next season, Allen says he was a fan of Katy Perry‘s guest-judging skills, but says, “that might be a little too woman friendly. Maybe it should be a guy.”

Don’t get him wrong — he loves Ellen. “She has a really great personality,” he says. “She’s a lot of fun. She’s really quick and is really good for live TV.”

He’ll witness her live quips next week when he pays a visit to the Idol set. “I’m going to be on the show after my trip to Haiti with the U.N.,” he says. “I’m going to help to raise awareness about what’s still going on in Haiti.”

In the midst of his “insane” schedule, Allen says there’s one thing he’s been able to keep in order, his new home, which is “completely furnished now,” he says.

Well, not quite. That doesn’t include a nursery. “No kids yet,” Allen says firmly. “We are thinking about getting a dog.” But poodles need not apply. Says Allen, “We need a dude-looking dog.” –Jessica HerndonRick Rowell/Disney

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