Michael Johns by Michael Becker/Fox
was still reeling from his shocking
ousting when he spoke with reporters on a Friday conference call. "I would be lying if I said I wasn't shocked," he said. "I hadn't been in the bottom three and I thought definitely the last two or three weeks had been my strongest."
Despite his surprise, however, the Aussie bears no hard feelings - at least not toward
and that awkward elimination moment. During the Thursday show, the host made the ejection all the more confounding by mentioning, once Carly and Syesha were safe, that at the time of last year's
Idol Gives Back
, no one was eliminated. Johns, though, was sent packing anyway. With his typical smooth style, Johns said he understands the name of the game is good television, and that's how it goes. "You're in this business and you get it," he said. "I don't hold it against Ryan." (
Ryan too cruel?
Johns' dismissal came after a week in which he performed Aerosmith's "Dream On," fittingly picked for "Inspiration Week." Making his departure all the more poignant, he did a reprise for his final performance. So what could he possibly do the day after that kind of dramatic conclusion to ease the shock? Apparently, drink beer. "We're pretty good at beer drinking in our country, so that's probably what I'll do here in a bit," he said.
Of course, don't expect this to be the final, teary (speaking for myself) chapter in Johns' singing career. It may just be the first. With Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman and
among those sad to see him leave
, no one's going to let this guy slip away - especially Parton, who even told him she dreams of singing a duet with him someday. Before Parton can work with him, though, Johns has an
tour to go on, and maybe even a record deal to cut. "I'm going to give you guys a good record to buy next year," he promised.
- Anna Dimond
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to dream on about Michael Johns.