Pia Toscano had a premonition she wouldn't make it to "American Idol's" final eight earlier this week.
Following her surprise elimination on Thursday (April 7), Toscano told reporters that after her performance of Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High" the previous evening, she "had a weird feeling in my stomach" and even told her parents, " 'I kinda feel like I'm gonna be in the bottom three tomorrow'...Then, when it happened, I kind of expected it. It was weird."
And although she was pleased with her Wednesday performance, Toscano said that, "It just felt strange...I can't really explain it. It happens a lot to me. I have a lot of premonitions sometimes. Usually when I feel something, it happens. I don't know why I had that feeling because I had a good time with my performance. I don't have any regrets."
Prepared as she may have been, however, Toscano said that the actual moment of elimination "was just so emotional" -- so much so, she had to be ushered off the stage by the show's medics.
"I wasn't feeling so good," Toscano acknowledged. "It was a tough moment for me. While I was singing (the Pretenders' 'I'll Stand By You') it was very, very hard for me to get through that song. I was trying to take deep breaths and it wasn't working. I was getting very light-headed...To be in the position I was in last night was a bit much, very overwhelming for me. I had a little bit of a moment, and (the medics) helped me out a lot and I'm fine now."
Toscano said that she received encouraging words from the three "Idol" judges, who were visibly and vocally outraged by her ouster. "They were in shock, and it was shocking to see them like that," she recalled. "They were like, 'If you ever need anything, call us. We're here for you and we love you. They were so supportive, and I really needed that at that time." She was particularly moved by Jennifer Lopez's tears after the decision was announced. "That was tough for me, 'cause Jennifer has helped me so much and is someone I admire. To see her so upset with the outcome...it just blew my mind. I couldn't believe it."
On Friday, however, Toscano was composed and reflective about her fate. "It's nobody's fault," she noted. "I was upset to be leaving the contestants, upset that next week I wasn't gonna be able to perform again. I try to stay upbeat. I know I gave my all the other night, and I don't have any regrets. There's so many good things that are gonna come from this experience...So many doors are gonna open for me. They already have. I'm excited to see what my future's going to hold."
Toscano says she plans a trip back to New York and then will return to Los Angeles, where her management company is located. She told Billboard.com that she'll continue to watch "Idol" ("It's definitely a fun show to watch...I'll definitely be watching it at home.") and would not predict who the eventual winner will be. "I love every single one of the contestants. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I have a special bond with every single one of them. You can't pick one 'cause you truly, you just don't know. I'm rooting for all of them."
Meanwhile, Toscano plans to "get prepared for the tour," which will likely start in June, and is also starting to consider what she'd like to do for an album. "I would definitely go in the pop genre, with an R&B influence," she said. "I definitely want to have those big power ballads and those fun dance tracks as well. I enjoyed working so much with Rodney Jerkins. I worked with Harvey Mason, Jr., Ron Fair. I would love to work with Ryan Tedder in the future."