"American Idol" has made Bo Bice a hot property this year, both for his music talent and for his long-haired sex appeal. Now he hopes to cash in.

Bice, 30, finished the TV show's fourth season as the runner-up, but the Alabama native hopes to follow Clay Aiken as the also-ran who actually runs away with it.

He's releasing his debut disc "The Real Thing."

"I'm obviously very excited about the album, to see what people think of it," he told The Birmingham News. "I had quite a bit of creative control, and I was extremely pleased with that. I had a lot of input."

Two of 11 tracks on "The Real Thing" were co-written by Bice, and one, "Valley of Angels," is a ballad he wrote several years ago that was given a new instrumental bridge by producer Cliff Magness.

"`Valley of Angels' is about the idea that things aren't perfect," Bice said. "Everyone fumbles and falls and makes mistakes. When you're down, you might not feel there's any place of serenity you can find. It's about finding peace."