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Andrew Garcia happy with 'American Idol' exit, didn't expect to go far


By Christopher Rocchio, 04/15/2010 

Andrew Garcia took an optimistic view of his American Idol ouster -- claiming he was "happy" he made it as far as he did and "thankful" for the opportunity.

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"It happened and I'm glad I made it as far as I did," Garcia told reporters in a Thursday conference call when asked about his elimination.

"I didn't expect to go far, and to get as far as I did was amazing. I didn't know how far I was going to get, so to be in Top 9 was incredible. I'm so blessed and thankful that I even got that far."

The 23-year-old musician from Moreno Valley, CA was eliminated from American Idol's ninth-season along with Katie Stevens during last night's live results show after they received the fewest home viewer votes following Tuesday night's live performance show that saw the Top 9 finalists perform Elvis Presley songs. 

"Idol has changed my view because it showed me there's so much more to music and how amazing the industry is from the inside point of view," he told reporters. "I'm so glad I got to work with amazing people and have this amazing experience."

Many American Idol aficionados feel Garcia peaked way to early in the competition -- as his acoustic rendition of former judge Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" during Hollywood Week garnered rave reviews from the judges and millions of hits online.

"I thought, 'She's not on the show anymore, so I can do my little twist on it and see what happens.' It took off. It went crazy," explained Garcia, adding it gave him confidence heading into the competition.

"I felt super excited coming into the Top 24. I don't feel like I let my fans down at all. My fans, they're so amazing and they get me. That's all that matters. I know I didn't let them down, and they know I didn't let them down."

In addition, Garcia had to face criticism from judge Simon Cowell and this week's musical mentor Adam Lambert -- both of whom used the word "boring" to describe him.

"I was focused more on just performing. They're talking about personality, they don't really hang out with me. They can't really talk about somebody's personality if they're not trying to hang out with me. If they hung out with me, they'd love me -- guarantee," said Garcia, who was subsequently asked about infusing some of that personality into his performances.

"I actually did and [the judges] still bashed me. But you can't always win everybody over. I'm thankful for all the fans and supporters I have, and my fellow contestants."

Garcia and Stevens were both eliminated last night due to last week's utilization of "The Judges' Save," the voting twist that allowed the show's four judges to decide to save Michael Lynche from elimination at the conclusion of last week's results show.

"They couldn't have picked a better save," said Garcia. "Michael Lynche, that guy is a warrior and I love that guy."

Overall, Garcia said he thinks the judges were harsher this year than in season's past.

"I felt like it was harder -- just because they were being really hard this year," he explained. "I don't know why, but they're being really, really hard on the judging."

While he may be out of the competition, Garcia still has an interest in the outcome because Lee Dewyze is still in the running.

"I will for sure go to the shows and cheer him on," Garcia told reporters, adding Dewyze and him are "like each other's family.

"That's my brother for life."

(Photo credit Fox)


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