DeAndre Brackensick

Hair today, gone tomorrow! American Idol said goodbye to soulful, curly-maned crooner DeAndre Brackensick last night, and the 17-year-old addressed reporters after the show with a sense of gratitude for the opportunity Idol gave him.

"I'm a crybaby, but tonight I just really wanted to end on a happy note," Brackensick said. "I'm glad that I did get cut on a great performance because I have no regrets at all. I wasn't ready for America right now."

Brackensick's signature falsetto made him a favorite of judge Jennifer Lopez, who admitted she was lobbying the other judges to save him. "It makes me feel so loved and appreciated," Brackensick said of her kind words. "Jennifer is as nurturing as she is [on camera]. That's what I love about the judges, what you get on stage is what you get behind the scenes."

And even though he didn't walk away with the grand prize, Brackensick says he's now turning his focus towards reinvigorating a style of music currently ignored by the masses. "R&B is just so unappreciated nowadays, and I'm fighting to bring it back," he said. "We're struggling for R&B artists because we're in the pop world now. So I don't even want to be a huge star, I just want to make it known that it's still here."

But what is Brackensick most looking forward to when he returns home? "I'm just glad I finally get to go to a prom that I'm going to actually enjoy," he laughed. "Every dance I've ever had, I was either a ticket-taker or a coat-taker because I was so uncomfortable with myself, and Idol brought out me."

Do you think America sent the right singer home this week?

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