By People Staff
Updated February 20, 2008 12:00 AM
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Sure, he loves the music, but Zac Efron says he tunes into American Idol for its star-making potential. “The show deals with regular who really have a dream and like to perform,” the High School Musicalstar tells MTV.com. “I have such admiration for those guys — they go literally from zero to 60 in a matter of days and they handle it like champs … I couldn’t have done that: go to the peak of your fame within a month of starting.”

Not just a casual viewer, the L.A. resident says in past seasons he’s gone down to check out the show live. “A few years ago, I went, like, almost every week,” he says. “It’s a completely different experience live. You really get to see who is a good singer, and who can really captivate a crowd. And you can tell it’s really influential on the judges’ decisions.”

As for those judges, “I tend to agree with Simon most of the time,” he says. “But my favorite judge, just because I know her, is Paula — she’s a real sweetheart.”

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