Let’s get this straight right now. Casey Abrams wasn’t voted off “American Idol” last night because of his beard, his love of jazz, his supposed romance with Haley Reinhart or, most notably, his notorious growl.
According to the affable, furry Seth Rogen doppelganger from Idyllwild, CA, who was memorably saved by the judges last month, it was because the remaining Fab Five were simply better. Like Pia Toscano before him, he had a premonition last night would be his swan song.
”Everyone was just so incredible,” he said at this morning’s exit press conference. “Seeing them all kill it – they can carry the show without me. I just had this feeling as soon as Jacob was safe and Scotty and I were left. At that point, I knew it was over. No one is going to do anything to Scotty. It was like, I’ll see you guys later.”
Watch Casey’s “Idol” Exit:
Still, Casey remained his ebullient self even after his exit.
“I’m feeling really good, actually,” he claimed. “Maybe I’ll break down crying some other time. Right now, I’m happy about it all.”
He was adamant that Haley is his “very special musical friend” and that the two are definitely not a couple. “We never even dated,” he insisted.
The man of many instruments—from stand-up bass and melodica to guitar, piano, clarinet, recorder, xylophone, drums, cello, accordion and even sitar—set out to introduce the “American Idol” audience to something different. What other “Idol” wannabe would cite the late Canadian jazz musician Oscar Peterson as his dream duet partner, while performing everything from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy,” which may not be as far apart as we think?
“I wanted to make ‘American Idol’ different, to vary the genre,” he said, before describing a typical Abrams concert as “pure craziness…a little bit of everything, a mixture of rock and jazz.”
He credits his “Idol” stint with giving him confidence in his singing. “I used to not like to sing in public,” he said. “Now, maybe I’m singing a little bit too much. I’ll sing with random people in the hallways I don’t even know. I feel a lot more comfortable on-stage that I can do anything. I learned how to stand up for myself and deal with the stress. I was able to communicate with people a lot better.”
Will being on “American Idol” hurt him in being accepted as a musician?
“I’ve always worried about that,” he said. “But my goal was to bring that kind of music into the popular culture. I don’t think I have to be taken as a serious musician; but I’d like to get serious musicians better-known. I’m just the middle man.”
As for his beard, Casey insists, “If I shaved, I’d lose my chin.”
Not bad for a guy who famously kissed the most beautiful girl in the world.
“Don’t take yourself too seriously,” he concluded. “Take music seriously, but not yourself.”
Something tells me it’s not the last we’ve seen of Casey Abrams.