Matt Giraud is ready for what’s next.
The Michigan singer, who was booted from “American Idol” on Wednesday night by a season-high viewer vote of 47 million says he’s looking forward to a quick trip home, a return to Los Angeles for the season finale, touring North America with “American Idols Live!” and getting to work on an album.
“I’d actually like to get more into rock, soulful rock, maybe, with a twist of blues on it,” Giraud told Billboard.com during a conference call with reporters on Thursday. “I’d love to see myself as the lead man with a piano and a band around me, touring and doing good music…And I’d love to get on the road and maybe open for a band after the (Idol) tour, maybe the Fray or Gavin Degraw (and) just pay my dues in the music industry.”
Giraud, who was one of the Idol’s wild-card selections as well as the beneficiary of the first-ever judges’ save two weeks ago (“I can’t wait to see my name on a trivia card,” he quipped), expressed disappointment with Wednesday’s decision but says that after a couple of previous times in the bottom two or three he was “preparing myself mentally for such a hard thing to deal with.”
“It was a sad night,” Giraud says. “We went to do an ‘Idol Extra’ thing and went home, had to pack up all my stuff — that took forever — packed all my boxes and got to sleep just in time to get up two hours later. It was kind of (an) emotional night, but I think I handled it well, and I’m moving on.”
Giraud was surprised to have “Idol” front-runner Adam Lambert with him in the night’s bottom three and says that he and Kris Allen “kind of played with him backstage.” But Giraud also feels that being part of the final five contestants makes him a winner, too.
“At this point it’s more popularity than talent, of course — we all know that,” he says. “Everyone in the Top 5 is talented; someone’s got to go home every week. It’s whoever can rub America the right way, I guess. I’m not kicking myself ’cause I’m not winning. We’ve seen lots of past Idols who go home in fourth, fifth, sixth placed do better than (the winners), so all hope is not lost.”
Giraud is set to appear Monday on “Ellen” and “Regis and Kelly,” and on Wednesday’s on NBC’s “Today” show.