Curtis Finch, Jr. may have been the first eliminated contestant on season 12 of “American Idol,” but he always believed he’d make it to the top.
“Even during my Chicago audition, I was thinking about the finale,” Finch told reporters Friday. “My mindset was definitely thinking about the confetti coming down and the crown being on my head.”
Even still, the worship leader from St. Louis has no regrets about his time on the show, even when Jimmy Iovine warned him that singing another ballad might put him at the bottom. “I don’t just make these decisions on a whim,” Finch said.
Nicki Minaj, who was a professed fan of Finch’s, was absent during his performance Wednesday night. Did that have anything to do with his elimination? “Absolutely not,” Finch said. “Everything happens for a reason. If she was supposed to be there, she would have been there.”
“It’s still up to America to use the phone, or use the ‘American Idol’ app and go online,” he added. “So things were really inevitable.”
When he got off stage after his elimination, the first face Finch saw was Nicki’s. “She gave me a high-five and told me I did a good job,” he said. “That was very warming for me.”
As for who should take that crown, Finch said everyone in the Top 10 deserves the title of American Idol. He also would like to see both Charlie Askew and Aubrey Cleland come back, rather than having to pick from the two eliminated contestants who are up for a wildcard spot on the Idols tour.
The experience taught him about resting his vocal chords, dressing younger, and preparing for the worst “so I won’t be surprised, because when the cameras are on you, you really can’t go back and re-do any facial expressions.”
Finch hopes his future will bring him an opportunity to sing with the likes of Alicia Keys and R. Kelly, and for a shot to act on “Glee” or on Broadway.
As an artist, he said he wants to go “in the love direction,” not one specific genre.
“I see myself being a very inspirational type singer, just talking about love, talking about how you can overcome and make it. I don’t know what that entails at this moment, but I just know that I really live to inspire across America.”