Here's what Casey told reporters about his time on the show...
How are you feeling after the elimination?
"I'm feeling fine actually! Maybe later I'll break down in tears but right now I feel good about today and what's happening right now."
Did you have a feeling going into last night's results show that it would be your time to go?
"Yeah, I mean, I don't know what it was. Maybe it's just because everyone was so good that time. I feel like my performance was pretty good but seeing everyone kill it just made me feel like, you know, these guys are incredible and can carry the show. I don't really need to be here and if I go home tomorrow, that's fine."
Did you expect to get this far after the judges used their save on you?
"I was really afraid and that's why I knew I had to work hard. I knew it would be embarrassing if I got cut the next week so I worked hard. I didn't expect to make it to the top, I expected to make it about this far. It was exactly what I expected so I can't be mad at that."
You sang to Haley on your way out... was there something more behind that?
"No, there was nothing, that was just me saying goodbye to my very special musical friend. We're not [a romantic couple]. We've never dated."
What was going through your mind when you were eliminated?
"What was going through my mind was just 'Make this good!' I was completely on random mode. Nothing was planned. That's what I think is sometimes the best performance. Sometimes in jazz, you improvise and play a different solo every time and it's the best feeling in the world."
You've played a few different instruments on the show. Do you play any more?
"Yes, actually. Guitar I've played in the show and piano and melodica. But I also like playing the drums, the sitar, the accordion and the clarinet. I took lessons for a month on the sitar but everything else I was pretty much self taught. I've had vocal training in Colorado and I've had some singing lessons over many years in the past, but you know."
You introduced some new music on Idol that wasn't mainstream. Was that one of your goals?
"I couldn't feel anything less than amazing because I feel that I've done something pretty cool in this competition. But the thing is, so has everyone else from the Top 13, like with Paul bringing the folky stuff and Jacob doing gospel. I think we're all doing our part to make Idol different this year and to vary the genres."
What has Idol done for your confidence levels as a performer?
"Everything! Every single thing! I used to not like singing in public and now I feel like I'm singing too much, like in hallways to people I don't even know. I feel so much more comfortable on stage and like I could do anything. I just try to look at random strangers and try to get them to feel my pain or happiness. I want everyone to walk by and look me in the eye and know my story."
You had some health problems early in the season with ulcers. How did you get that under control?
"I just kept getting injections of that good old medicine that really helped me out and I learned to deal with the stress a bit better than I had. The show has been helping me because I learned how to talk to people and communicate. Talking to Jimmy Iovine and standing up for myself relieves stress. I usually just hold it in but the fact that I told people how I felt just made me a different person so that's going to mean less ulcers."
If you'd gone to the Top 5, did you have some songs in mind to sing next week?
"Yeah, I was thinking from the '60s maybe 'Eleanor Rigby' with the acoustic guitar and maybe from now... I'm not really sure what 'now' meant so I was going to try 'Hue' by Santana or maybe a Blink 182 song."
What would a Casey Abrams album sound like?
"That's a really good question! It could be rock, it could be jazz or it could be a mixture of both and I have a feeling it's going to be that, just rock'n'roll with some jazzy chords."
What inspires you to get into the "angry mode" that we sometimes saw from you in your performances?
"I don't know! I feel like I laugh at everything and I'm a happier person than most but maybe it's just my acting skills or I have this aggression that I keep inside me, so I don't know. I feel like I'm very laid back. I take things easier so I think maybe it's not aggression, but I want to do something else on stage than be all chill."
You've said before that the show was a stressful experience. What got to you most?
"I guess I was just scared of looking stupid on stage because I didn't know a certain song. I wasn't stressed this week [even though] I didn't know both of the songs. I think I had more fun with Haley 'cos I fed off her energy. I just had to make myself relax a little more. It's something you have to do in your brain and it's pretty hard."
Do you feel that Idol will hurt your reputation as a serious musician?
"I have sort of worried about that but it was one of my goals to get some of that lesser known music into popular culture. It's not that serious musicians need to take me as a serious musician, I just want to get them better known. I wanna be the middle man, I want these guys to be heard by the popular crowd."
American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox
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