'American Idol': DeAndre Brackensick's post-'Idol' plans? Prom.
The curly-haired teen with the trademark falsetto tells Zap2it after the Top 8 results show that he's tremendously grateful not only for the experience and knowledge gained competing on the show, but also for the boost to his self-confidence.
"I'm just glad that I finally get to go to a prom that I'm going to actually enjoy," he confesses. "'Idol' brought out me, and I'm so glad 'Idol' did bring out me. Every dance I've ever had I was either a ticket-taker or a coat-taker because I was just so uncomfortable with myself."
All together now: AWWWW. (And for the ladies: No, he doesn't have a date yet.)
Brackensick says he had to give up quite a bit to be on the show, but he'd do it again in a heartbeat.
"My family's in a rough spot with mortgage and stuff, and my mom had to come along with me so we had to jeopardize that. I had to take a leave of absence from school which kind of put me behind a little bit. I miss my friends, my family. But in the end, it was worth it. Everything was worth it."
Besides -- he went out on a high note. "I think it was one of my best performances this week, and that's why I'm glad that I did get cut on a great performance and not on something bad. I have no regrets at all."
Brackensick says he had a feeling he could go home because his style of singing is really divisive. "I wasn't ready for America right now. I agree with them 100 percent. I agree with the judges, I agree with Jimmy [Iovine], I agree with what happened. I wish I was still going forward, but things happen for a reason and I'm just grateful I've gotten to this point."
He's also proud that Jennifer Lopez has supported him so vocally throughout the competition.
"It makes me feel loved. It was really nice," he says of Lopez's support on elimination night. Ultimately, the Judges' Save is a unanimous decision and Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler didn't agree to keep him around. "I understand where the other judges are coming from too, because I've already been saved once," he says. "You only get so many chances."
Once the verdict was announced he tried to keep his composure on stage ("I didn't want my 'Idol' family to be sad," he explains) but admits there were some tears after the show.
"At the end of the day, I'm grateful for what I have accomplished. You can't always be sad [about] what happened -- just be appreciative of what you've got, what you have accomplished, and just try to accomplish more in the future."