"All three of us had a little chat going in before the show just knowing that we're all sitting in good seats right now," Garcia told Reality TV World. "No matter win or lose, we're all doing pretty well as far as record deal-wise."
Mayer was eventually revealed to be the third-place finisher, meaning it was down to Garcia and Lawson -- who were widely considered to be the favorites throughout the sixth season.
Garcia said it was "pretty scary" but he tried to stay focused on delivering his final performances.
"I was pretty relaxed, too, because we all went on the show knowing that no matter what we were sitting good as far as record deals go and no matter, we're going to be pretty well off," he explained to reporters. "So I was pretty at ease with it throughout the whole show, just going to have fun with it. So I was just up there having fun and whatever happens happened."
What happened was Lawson was crowned the winner based on home viewer votes cast following Nashville Star's penultimate July 28 broadcast.
"I'm just excited now. I just get to move on with my career," Garcia told reporters.
"All of America knows who Gabe Garcia is now. [It was] just the big huge thing for us to boost up our chances of fulfilling our dream as far as being country artists -- major country artists. This thing has just opened up a lot of doors for us."
Garcia also commented on his background as a Hispanic-American country singer -- a quality that Nashville Starsixth-season judge and mentor John Rich has previously stated set him apart from others.
"It's great. It's just an honor to be a representative and be among the few Hispanic artists of the world," Garcia told reporters. "Emilio and Rick Trevino, Freddy Fender and Johnny Rodriguez -- I have some big shoes to fill there with these guys. But it's just great. I'm just here to represent all our country fans, too."
Despite being proud of his roots, Garcia said he doesn't expect to be a crossover artist.
"I don't think I would do a crossover thing but I would definitely throw maybe like a bilingual song in an album or something," he said. "I'm really going to keep it country and as best as possible."
Keeping it country means Garcia will simply be himself.
"I'm just going to be myself," he told reporters. "I'm not going to change."
Garcia said he's unsure when his first post-Nashville Star album will be released but said he would like to work with Rich and fellow sixth-season mentor and judge Jeffrey Steele.
"I know Jeffrey and John wanted to work with me," he said. "I know John has been wanting to, but we got to find some time when he's not with Melissa now."
Overall, Garcia said participating in Nashville Star has helped him grow.
"I've just grown up, met a lot of great friends through the whole show and hopefully just grown as an artist," he said.
"It's been a really great experience throughout the whole show and being able to work with everybody -- especially with all the judges, they're all very successful and everything and it was great to have them mentor us. And it's just been great overall."
(Photo credit NBC)
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