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'Idol' contestant Giraud says he's 'at peace'

  • Story Highlights
  • Matt Giraud: "I never imagined myself the 'American Idol' "
  • Giraud been saved once by the judges, but second time was too much
  • Giraud happy for experience, pleased to get to play jazz
By Jack Hannah
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Matt Giraud made "American Idol" history this season when he became the first contestant to be saved from elimination by the show's judges.

Matt Giraud says he "never imagined myself the 'American Idol.' "

But this week, Giraud -- for a second time -- got the fewest number of viewer votes, ending the 23-year-old's run on the TV singing competition.

His exit leaves four singers -- Kris Allen, Daniel Gokey, Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert -- to fight on for the "Idol" crown.

"I was kind of at peace with the whole thing," Giraud said Friday. "I never imagined myself the 'American Idol.' "

Although he definitely wanted to win, Giraud said he accomplished his goals of playing the piano on the "American Idol" stage and singing jazz -- which he said is a major part of his musical background.

"I just love it," Giraud said. "It moves me. It's smooth. It's fun. It came from America. It's loved around the world."

Giraud's rescue came on April 15 when, facing elimination, the Kalamazoo, Michigan, native was informed by Simon Cowell that the judges decided to save him. Giraud broke into tears and was given a group hug by the other contestants.

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"The energy and love in that room was just insane," recalled Giraud. "It really was a good feeling. That's why I was emotional. Not because I was saved, but because there was so much positive energy from the other guys."

"It got me to jazz week, and that was like a huge deal for me."

Perhaps the most surprising moment on Wednesday's telecast came when favorite Adam Lambert joined Giraud and Kris Allen in the bottom three. Lambert's performances are often highly praised by all four judges. He once earned a rare standing ovation by the tough-minded Cowell.

Giraud says he was surprised to see Lambert with him in the bottom three, but said at this point in the competition anything is possible.

"If you look at people [in previous seasons], some went home really early and nobody saw it coming," he said. "Some people may just think you are safe and not vote."

As for Giraud, he said he's looking forward to hitting the stage again with his fellow contestants on the "American Idol Top 10 Tour" this summer. After that he might just start a band.

"Maybe something like the Fray," said Giraud. "Some of these bands I just love, like OneRepublic. I'd love to go in that direction."

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