Joshua Ledet Joshua Ledet

Joshua Ledet was determined to stay stoic, even after Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez were announced as American Idol's Season 11 finalists and his own journey came to an end. But after the lights dimmed on his final performance — and a tearful Jennifer Lopez threw her arms around his neck — Ledet could no longer keep his emotions in check. 

"Honestly I didn't think I was going to cry," Ledet told reporters after the show. "I felt good about the whole situation. But when people come up to you and try to comfort you, then the tears start coming. With all their support I lost it a little bit."

Though he was subdued, Ledet remained adamant that he wasn't disappointed to see his fellow contestants move on. "I was super excited for Phillip and Jessica," he said. "I felt relieved and a lot of pressure was off of me. I feel really good."

For the Westlake, Louisiana, native, who received countless standing ovations throughout the season, the future seems bright. "Jennifer told me to keep my head up and that my career is only going to go further from here," shared Ledet.

Judges Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler echoed her sentiments in a post-show press conference. "He got a lot of standing O's, probably more than we've ever given anybody, any season," Jackson said. "That's a testament to his talent and his performances, and yes, he was amazing and he's got a giant career ahead of him."

So where did it go wrong for Ledet? "What do you say at this point?" added Jackson. "They're all the best that we've had in this point of the competition, and they're all really winners. If you make the right record with the right songs you all stand a chance of becoming your own American Idol. He didn't do anything wrong."

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!