We caught up with Colton to talk about his Idol experience, his plans for the future and more...
You apologised last night following your elimination pretty profusely. What was that all about?
"You know, first of all, seeing the way I came across after going backstage on Wednesday after 'September', I was kind of disappointed - one, with TV editing, but I did say it - but I was disappointed with that because it's not who I am and it showed me the wrong way. Especially with song choice, though. I've taken pride in knowing who I am and taking a stance in my faith.
"I think by choosing [Lady GaGa's] 'Bad Romance', I turned off a lot of fans and those core voters with that. So it was an apology for both of those things. I'm sorry I got caught up in the musicality and performance this week instead of what it should have been, which was a connection to a song that I bring every week. It's a shame I had to go out on that note, but I still got to sing Lifehouse as my last song, which is good."
Not many people have sung religious songs on the show. Tell us about your decision to do Lifehouse's 'Everything' as your final track.
"The producers and everyone else on the show are always saying to be who you are, you've gotten as far as you have because of that. I was going to do it anyway, but then it just gave me an extra little kick to do it. I'm a Christian and I'm not going to shy away from that, so I did it. I got great feedback for it, and I'm so glad I got to do it not once, but twice. It had an impact and encouraged fellow believers to take a stand for what they believe in and not be ashamed of it."
Carrie Underwood sent out some supportive tweets following your exit. What is it like to have support from such a big name act?
"I haven't seen them through Twitter, but after an interview last night someone told me what she had wrote, and I just wanna say thanks. She's done so well since American Idol, and I love that she doesn't shy away from her faith either. It's nice seeing someone do what I want to do away from the show giving me encouragement. It was amazing to see that and I really do appreciate it."
Chris Daughtry once said winning would have wrecked his rock credibility. Do you subscribe to that?
"I'm not sure I completely agree with that. Winning provides many, many opportunities that me and other people aren't going to experience. However, Idol is such a huge platform and so many people watch it from a certain point on, that now so many people know who I am, what I want to do and what I stand for. It would have been nice to win, though by not winning, I think I'm more flexible with what I can and can't do, which I think... I mean, everything happens for a reason and God has a plan, so I'm just going to trust it and go along with it."
What kind of album will you make when you do record?
"I definitely want to do Christian music and I hope that I get to. Right now I'm going to write as much as I can and see what comes out and whatever the product is of that will be where I'm placed as far as a genre of music. I had someone ask me earlier today if I would duet with my sister on the album, and I think it would be amazing. It's a great idea. I'll ask her if she's into it and I'm sure she will be, but we'll have to cross that bridge when it comes."
How did you go about choosing which songs you would perform on the show?
"We have one or two days to choose songs and it's rough. They give you a song list and you choose either from 13 songs on a list or a two-page list. For this week, it was a two-page list for the Top 100 number ones from the 2000s to now and then a two-page list for Soul Train. You just have to see what you can do with the song. Unfortunately, I don't think I chose the best song this week but it's all good. You just have to pick a song that you can connect to and that's what I try to concentrate on first. The musicality and how you're going to perform it come later."
What advice did you receive that you'll take with you as you embark on your career?
"Always stay true to yourself, no matter who's in your ear telling you to do this, that or the other. At the end of the day, it's your decision. Unfortunately, song choice got the best of me this week and it's a hard lesson learned. I needed to learn that lesson. You have to have a valley before you can peak. What's cool about this is I don't think I've peaked yet, which makes me excited for the album I hope to make. We'll see what happens, but yeah, always remaining true to yourself, for sure, is important."
You're based in Nashville - will you return or do you plan on moving elsewhere?
"I miss Nashville so much and I'll be back next week. I have several friends who love to write in and around Nashville. I'm excited to start working and see what we can come up with. I definitely plan on staying somewhere around Nashville, for sure."
Since you want to be a Christian artist, do you think being on Idol has brought light to that community?
"Absolutely. I'm so thankful for the Idol platform because I was able to reach so many more people than just the Christian market and I'm totally thankful for that. Going the Switchfoot route would be amazing and exactly what I want to do - it's the best of both worlds. I could tour with Chris Daughtry or Paramore and then hit the big churches along the way. It's about a ministry for me, so I could share the message with those that already know and maybe those that don't know, so I'm excited to see what happens."
Who do you think should win the competition?
"In seasons past, I could clearly pick a winner. I'm not just saying this because they're all dear to me, but it's anyone's game - and I genuinely mean that. I think a lot of people were surprised by me leaving last night, but it goes to show you that no-one's safe. America has to vote for their favourites. Someone has to go home every week but there's room for dark horses. Everyone did so well this week, and I'm just as curious as everyone else who is going to win because I honestly have no clue."
American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox.