Elliot Yamin

Elliot Yamin (fox5sandiego.com / June 15, 2011)

SAN DIEGO -- Move over chocolate covered bacon! On Wednesday former American Idol contestant Elliot Yamin fans got a real treat at the San Diego County Fair.

Yamin, 33, was a fan favorite on Season 5 of American Idol, who ended up coming in third place,  He played for his fans on the fair's Paddock Stage.

“Just the smell of [the fair], reminds me of being a kid again,” said Yamin.

The singer/songwriter has come a long way from his days as a kid in Virginia. He’s now working on his fourth studio album -- still untitled -- which is set to drop at end of August.

“If you would’ve told me that we would be talking in these terms when I tried out for the show, I would’ve laughed in your face. That’s what Idol has done for me,” said Yamin.

As an artist battling 90 percent hearing loss and Type I diabetes, he urges his young fans to never give up on their dreams of making it in the music industry.

“I meet kids all the time, you know, diabetics or maybe people with hearing problems; obstacles they’re going through…and to be a poster child for them and say, ‘anything is possible,’  and to do it through music is really a sweet gift,” said Yamin.

His advice for future Idol contestants?

“Don’t be intimidated. There’s going to be people there in costumes; there are going to be people there not taking as seriously as you might. You have to stay focused. But also enjoy it, have fun. It’s the best thing I ever did for my career,” said Yamin.

If you’d like to follow in Elliot Yamin’s footsteps, make a plan to audition for Season 11's American Idol in San Diego on July 8.