American Idol’s Pia Toscano Talks About Her Final Moments On The Show

Pia Toscano, 22, is the latest American Idol contestant to be eliminated, and she is now opening up about the moment that angered viewers and shocked fellow contestants.

Toscano admits she had a gut feeling that she would be in the bottom three. Why? “I don’t know what it was. I didn’t feel bad about my performance Wednesday night, and I wouldn’t change a thing, but you know when you have that feeling in your stomach? I actually said it to my parents and they were like, ‘Don’t think like that, please don’t think like that.’ But whenever I have a feeling like that, it usually happens. My instincts are very good. I wish they weren’t so good sometimes.”

Does she think that her one-stance presence on stage could have possibly helped judges decide to give her the boot? “Yeah, it was, to be honest with you. And it’s funny, because I’ve been dancing since I was two and a half, so I know how to move. But when I’m singing, I’m very technical, so I’m trying to give my best vocal performance and sometimes I’m too in my head. I can’t get that freedom because I’m so worried about what my vocals sound like.”

Viewers say how Stefano was obviously shocked and upset when the vote was announced. What was that all about? “I actually think that he took it worse than I did, to be honest with you. We’ve grown very close and he’s been a good friend to me. He kept trying to keep me calm while I was in the bottom three with him. He said, ‘You’re not going home, you’re not going home. I know it’s not you.’ And I said, ‘But it’s not you, either.’ I’m happy, though, that we did share that moment together because I felt comfort from him. He was always my biggest support. We were that for each other. He was always so complimentary to me, always helped me out, always gave me good advice. So I think it was hard for him.”

Off-air, did the judges bid a meaningful farewell? “They said that they believed in me so much and that they wanted me to grow and get better and better. They were so nurturing. But I have to say, last night was such a blur to me. I was just trying to make it through that song [“I’ll Stand By You”] without falling apart. I was very, very overwhelmed at that moment, so it was hard to process what they were saying. But they were so encouraging, and I know I have their support. Nigel is amazing. So is [executive producer] Ken Warwick. They’re like father figures. Honestly, I can’t even remember what Nigel said, because I was going through a little something at that moment.”

Viewers never really saw Toscano nervous on stage, but she assures fans that she definitely was, saying, “I mask a lot of things. I try to smile through things. But it’s absolutely terrifying to be out on that stage. I’m just like every other girl that has insecurities. But this is my dream, and I just want to go out there every week and put out my best performance. And it’s intimidating. So I just do it with a smile and know that I have the strength to get through it.”

Toscano goes on to say that she definitely thinks she can overcome it. “I’ve been performing my whole life, and I do know I need that freedom. Now that I’m not being judged, I think the tour will bring that out in me.”

Does her parents support her career choice? “They’re so proud. I’m making them very happy right now because not only is this my dream, it’s their dream for me. I told them when I graduated from LaGuardia Arts High School that I didn’t want to go to college, that I wanted to pursue my music career. And for a lot of parents, that’s hard to swallow. They were right there behind me.”

Last but not least, if she could say anything to the voters, what would she say? “Basically what Randy said last night: vote for who you love. And nobody is ever safe. Never assume that.”