Carrico was also previously a member of the now defunct pop group Boyz N Girlz United and frequently had his "authenticity" as a rocker questioned by the judges. Even after he was eliminated during Thursday night's live results show broadcast, Simon Cowell told Carrico that "it just never, ever felt real" and "the public saw that."
"It's kind of a little strong point me for me," Carrico told reporters. "I have spent the past six years working my tail off in grungy bars and pulling our own trailer with our equipment, loading it in and out and living out of a van sometimes, doing all the grunt work that they didn't see me doing. Because of what I did before with pop music, that was a job to me. If you ever turn my CD player on while I was out on the road, you'd be hearing rock. Like I said before, this is me. You get what you see."
While he performed "One" by Three Dog Night and Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" as an Idol 7 semifinalist, Carrico said he's unsure why both the judges and home viewers expected to see someone rock harder than he did.
"I don't really see myself as a heavy hard rocker," he explained. "I didn't come into this trying to come out as a real heavy rocker, so it kind of makes me wonder their opinion thinking that I wasn't a rocker because I didn't come out so hard core and edgy. I have many different styles that I draw my influence from. I chose ['Hot Blooded'] because I really liked it."
While Carrico is a fan of the song, Idol judge Paula Abdul questioned the choice following his Tuesday night performance.
"Going into the 70s, there are plenty of great bands to choose from," he said. "I picked Foreigner because I really like Foreigner. They've been one of my favorite bands to listen to. I like the song 'Hot Blooded,' and I figured it would be more of an upbeat kind of a song, kind of a party song. I went with that one because I thought it would be a lot of fun to do."
In addition, Carrico reiterated comments he made following his ouster when he said "bad song choice" could have been a contributing factor.
"Like I said, there are some extremely great and talented people this year. It's going to end up coming down to song choice," he told reporters. "Somebody is definitely going to have to drop the ball bad to get voted off because, like I said, they're so good this year."
Prior to participating in Idol, Carrico didn't just have a background in pop -- he also had a brief romantic fling with Brittany Spears. Boyz N Girlz United opened for Spears on the Summer 1999 ...Baby One More Time tour and the two attended the Drive Me Crazy premiere together that September.
"I haven't spoken to her in many years. Honestly, it was a long time ago. We were friends on tour. That's was pretty much the gist of it," he told reporters. "It wasn't really that big of a deal. We went on a couple of dates, but that was pretty much it."
Carrico also attempted to defend Spears, who has been in the media for all the wrong reasons as of late.
"She was always a real down-to-earth girl. She's incredible," he said. "She's a really good girl and a lot of people are saying stuff about her. I kind of wish that everybody would just leave her alone and let her be. I wish her the best in the future. I think everything will work out fine."
Carrico has been the frontman for the Florida-based rock band Missing Picket since 2002, and he thought the experience could lend itself to Idol.
"Well, I guess having performed before on stage and had a little bit of time working with press and interviews like this, I thought I kind of had a little bit more experience doing stuff like that," he explained. "So I thought that coming into it, that I might be able to have a leg up on the competition, so to speak."
While that leg up never materialized, Carrico is now taking what he learned from Idol and is planning on applying it to the future.
"I think coming out of this, I'm going to bring back, obviously, an incredible experience," he said. "I worked with some incredible vocal coaches and the musicians were just top-of-the-line. I learned a lot from them. I came in to this like a sponge -- trying to absorb everything that I could with all these people, who have had years and years of experience. I'll be taking all the knowledge that I got from them back with me and applying it whatever I do here in the future."
Carrico added his future will continue to be in the music industry.
"I plan on getting my hands into everything I possibly can. I want to create a new record and shopping around and look for record deals and see what I can come up with and see if there are any offers put on the table," he said. "So far, there's been a couple and I'm going to exhaust every option that I can."
As for what type of music he'll create if given the chance?
"I'll definitely stay in rock," he said.
(Photo credit Fox)
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