Kelly lists his hobbies as soccer and photography and his musical influences as Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, and Celine Dion.
Kelly participated in the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly known as Disney-MGM studios) at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. At the end of the day he was the highest vote recipient in the finale show, which entitled him to receive the dream ticket, which got him to the front of the line for the real American Idol auditions in Orlando in June 2009. Kelly is the third contestant from Pennsylvania, and until American Idol season 10 (with Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and Thia Megia), he was the youngest contestant to make it through to the Top 12 on American Idol, while semifinalist Haeley Vaughn is currently the youngest ever to be selected for the semifinal rounds. Kelly is also one of two contestants from Pennsylvania to be selected for the Top 24 in season 9 of American Idol.