'American Idol's' Casey Abrams talks elimination, growling and the beard

casey-elim.jpg Casey Abrams, "American Idol's" resident growlin', bass-playin' crooner, was sent home on the Apr. 28 results show.

In an exit interview with the press, Casey talked about what the show has done for his confidence, his signature growl and what songs he would have covered in the Top 5. Plus, he answers the really tough questions, like who's the better kisser: Jennifer Lopez or Steven Tyler?

If he expected to go this far in the competition after the judges used their save on him (Top 11 Week):

"I knew I had to work hard. I was like, 'This would be kind of embarrassing if I just got cut the next week,' so I really tried to work hard. I didn't really expect to make it to the top. I expected to maybe make it this far. This is exactly what I expected. I can't be mad at that."

What the show has done for his confidence:

It's done everything. It's done every single thing. I used to not like to sing in public and now I feel like I'm singing a little bit too much because I'll sing in hallways with random people I don't even know. Maybe it's a bad thing, but I just feel a lot more comfortable on stage and I feel like I can do anything on stage now."

On bringing a new style of music and sound to the "Idol" stage:

"I couldn't feel any less than amazing because I just feel that I've done something pretty cool in this competition. But then the thing is so is everyone else from the Top 13, like look at Paul [McDonald] bringing all this folk-y and Jacob [Lusk] bringing all this gospel stuff. I think we're all doing our part to make 'American Idol' a little bit more different than last year and years before, vary the genre."

On his signature growling:

"It is kind of how I sing when I don't think about it and I think that's a good place to be when you don't think about how you sing. I think maybe the Maroon 5 song needed it and maybe the "Hi-De-Ho" song needed it. Maybe I gave it too much, but it's a gray area, it's hard to define what's a good growl and what's a bad growl."

If he's nervous that being on 'American Idol' will hurt him later on in his career:

"I've always worried about that, but my goal is to bring that kind of music into the popular culture. I don't think serious musicians have to take me as a serious musician, I just want to get them better known. I want to be the middle man, like, 'I want you guys to be heard by a popular crowd.'"

What instruments he plays:

"The guitar, I've actually played on the show, the piano, the melodica. Those are all ones I've played on the show, but then I also play the drums, the sitar, the accordion, the clarinet. I took lessons for about a month on the sitar, but everything else is just kind of self-taught."

What songs he would have sang for next week's theme: Now and Then, one song from the '60s and one from today:

"I was thinking for the '60s, I was going to do "Eleanor Rigby" with an acoustic guitar and sit on stage. We weren't really sure what 'Now' meant, so I was maybe going to try "Smooth" by Santana or maybe a Blink 182 song just for fun."

If he thinks he'd look better without the beard:

"I've thought about it, but I don't think it would work. I think the beard makes the face. I feel like if I shave I just don't have a chin anymore."

Who's the better kisser -- Steven Tyler or Jennifer Lopez:

"Steven Tyler. Well, J.Lo just let me kiss her. Steven Tyler actually kissed me back. It's a different story."

"American Idol" airs Wednesday and Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.
Photo/Video credit: FOX