Return of the Idol
updated 04/17/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/17/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Kevin Covais may not be the next American Idol, but the 16-year-old dubbed Chicken Little by fellow contestants knows how it feels to get the star treatment. Upon his return to Island Trees High School in Levittown, N.Y., on March 31—nearly two months after leaving for Idol in L.A.—the junior was greeted by the sight of his face plastered on lockers and water fountains. And then there was the pep rally featuring a marching band, cheerleaders and the thunderous hoots of his schoolmates. "Being back and seeing all you guys again, you don't know how much it means to me," Covais told the nearly 930 students who packed the school gymnasium. "Thank you for caring enough to be here for me." To which the crowd responded with shouts of "We love you, Kevin!" Despite the hero's welcome, Covais admits, "I was more nervous out there than being on American Idol. "