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Published:May 3rd, 2011 21:17 EST

American Idol's Casey Abrams: I Didn't Expect to Make it to the Top

By Paulette Cohn

When American Idol returns Wednesday night with songs from now and then, Casey Abrams won`t be performing. The 20-year-old from Wilmette, IL was voted out last week, following his performance of Carole King`s Hi De Ho.


In truth, Casey made it much farther than the voting indicates. He was originally voted off just prior to the announcement of the Top 10, but the judges " Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson " used their only save of the season to keep him in the competition.


Now, Casey reveals the truth about the rumors as to whether or not he is dating Haley Reinhart, what kind of concert we can look forward to from him in the future and much more about his American Idol journey.

Did you ever expect to get this far after the judges used their save on you, or did think you`d only get another week or two after?

Casey Abrams: That`s what I was really afraid of, and that`s why I knew I had to work hard.  I was like, "This would be embarrassing if I just got cut the next week." So I really tried to work hard. I didn`t expect to really make it to the top.  I expected it to maybe make it this far.  This is exactly what I expected, so I can`t be mad at that.

Last night, when you closed the show, you just seemed like you were having a complete blast.  It was a bit of contrast versus a few weeks ago when Pia Toscano was shockingly eliminated.  She said she could barely get through her performance.  So what was going through your head when you were kissing half the people in the audience?

Casey Abrams: What was going through my mind was:  just make this good. I was completely on random mode. Nothing was planned, and that`s what I think sometimes makes the best performances,  like in jazz when you improvise and you play a different solo each time; it`s the best feeling in the world.

You brought us a lot of music on American Idol that we haven`t really heard on the show before. Was that a goal for you to introduce some of your fans and even Idol viewers to some new music that they maybe hadn`t heard before?

Casey Abrams: Yes.  I can`t feel anything less than amazing because I just feel that I`ve done something pretty cool in this competition, but the thing is, so has everyone else from the Top 13, like Paul McDonald bringing all this folk-y stuff and Jacob Lusk bringing all the gospel stuff.  I think we`re all doing our part to make American Idol a little bit different than last year and the years before.

What is your vision would be for a future Casey Abrams concert?  What would we see?

Casey Abrams: Pure craziness is probably the title, and there`d be everything.  The last two performances like Harder to Breathe and Nature Boy I think is perfect. It sums me up.  Let`s just rock this hard and have some fun, and let`s slow it down and let`s play some smooth jazz. There`d probably be more instruments than you`d expect. I`d bring some trombones, some dulcimers, some random stuff, random sounding instruments.

Did you hear what Jimmy Iovine said about you when  you were growling, while singing the song? He said the family dog does not vote on this show.  Now is that cruel, or is that good advice?

Casey Abrams: Honestly, it`s hilarious and it is good advice.  I listened back, and, I think, I was growling just a little bit too much, and I wasn`t really paying attention.  I think I was having more fun than actually paying attention to what was going on musically, and so you`ve got to have that balance, and I don`t think I had that balance that time, but Jimmy Iovine`s funny.

To set the record straight: Were you and Hayley ever dating? There were quite a few rumors about that going around this season?

Casey Abrams: We were never dating.

That was really a really nice little shout out you gave to her at the end of your song Thursday night.  What was going on there?

Casey Abrams: I was just saying goodbye to my very special musical friend.  That`s all it was.

American Idol returns Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on FOX when the Top Five will sing songs from now and then (the `60s).