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He played several instruments during his performances, including the acoustic guitar, the electric guitar, the keyboard, and the piano.

His performance of "To Make You Feel My Love" as part of the Top 11 earned praise from the judges, with Simon Cowell commenting, "I am genuinely beginning to think you have a shot of doing well in this competition." In the finals, he performed his own arrangement of "Ain't No Sunshine" on a keyboard, with a few musicians on stage, which earned praise from the judges.

He accompanied himself on all of these songs with his guitar.

During the final performance show, Allen performed a reprise of "Ain't No Sunshine", Simon Fuller's choice of "What's Going On" and the coronation song, "No Boundaries".

Only several seconds of his first audition (and neither of his Hollywood Week solo performances) were shown, although his group performance with White Chocolate (including fellow finalist Matt Giraud) was aired in its entirety.

Throughout the competition, Allen received many compliments for his folk-inspired interpretations of modern pop songs.

He played his first gig at a local bar in downtown Conway during his sophomore year, and he went on to drop out of college in the middle of his junior year to follow his dream of becoming a professional musician. The album's lead single, "Live Like We're Dying", was released on September 21, 2009, and peaked at number eighteen in the U. Allen released his fifth studio album, Letting You In, on March 18, 2016. He began playing the viola in elementary school and went on to play the instrument in the Mills University Studies High School orchestra, eventually winning a spot in the Arkansas all-state orchestra. Allen's second major-label album Thank You Camellia was released on May 22, 2012, and the lead single "The Vision of Love" was released March 26, 2012.Allen's Idol coronation song, "No Boundaries" and his version of "Heartless" both charted within the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, he taught himself to play the guitar at age 13, and also plays the piano.Allen's post-Idol self-titled album was released on November 17, 2009, by Jive Records. His musical influences, as stated in his Idol confessionals, include the Beatles, Jamie Cullum, Jason Mraz, Pat Monahan, John Mayer and Michael Jackson.

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