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'American Idol's Quentin Alexander on heated Harry Connick Jr exchange: He was disrespectful right back

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/16/2015 

American Idol contestant Quentin Alexander has opened up about the incident in which he offended judge Harry Connick Jr. by making a comment with a bit of an attitude.

"In that moment, I was just being honest. I felt genuine emotion, and it came out," Alexander, 21, told People.

During Wednesday night's performance show on Fox, Joey Cook and Rayvon Owen were declared the bottom-two contestants based on home viewer votes. After Alexander sang for the first time, he offered up his opinion on the subject when speaking with Idol host Ryan Seacrest.

"There's two of the best vocalists -- my best friend is sitting over there," Alexander said in reference to Cook. "This whole thing is wack. I'm going to shut up right now."

Before Alexander was able to leave the stage area, Connick fired away.

"I don't understand that at all," Connick said. "I mean, Quentin, if it's that wack, them you can always go home. Idol is paying a lot of money to give you this experience, and for you to say that to this hand that is feeding you right now, I think it's highly disrespectful."

Alexander tried to explain afterwards that he wasn't calling the reality singing competition itself "wack." Instead, he was trying to explain how it felt to see two people he's grown to love face elimination.

On the contrary, Alexander insisted to People he's "beyond grateful" for the opportunities and exposure American Idol has provided. He's also not happy with Connick for how he handled the situation.

"What kind of threw me off was how he said, 'If you think it is wack, you can go home.' If you think I'm being rude, to be disrespectful back isn't right. Two wrongs don't make a right. He said I could leave. I know I can leave. He can leave as well," Alexander explained.

"But he chooses to be here because he loves to do what he's doing. And that's the same for me. Ryan just asked how I was feeling, and I was honest. I was upset... This is a reality TV show. People watch for the reality of it, and there are moments where life is not all rainbows and kittens. We all just have to remember to be honest with ourselves. And in that moment, I was being honest."

Cook was the person to get eliminated after everything was said and done. However, Alexander said he's not as "heartbroken" as he thought he would be to lose his best buddy.

"My fear was that they're going to pit both of us against each other [in the bottom two], but I was also very uncomfortable that I [got voted through] and she didn't," Alexander said. "But I'm happy that she gets to branch out and flourish now, because she is a monster. She gets the chance to fly now -- to soar."

American Idol airs Wednesday nights from 8-10PM ET/PT on Fox.

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