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‘American Idol’ interview: Devin Velez talks elimination, prom king hopes and Nicki Minaj

Can Devin Velez blame Nicki Minaj for his “American Idol” elimination from the Top 8? While the eliminated singer wasn’t willing to go quite that far when we spoke to him after the show, he did note that it may have been Minaj who voted against saving Devin after Motown Week.

What else did Devin have to say? Find out in this interview.

How are you feeling?

Devin Velez: I’m still smiling. I think it’s been a great journey. You know, I haven’t cried yet…
It can only get better from here and I still get to do the tour.. And now, I’m hoping to go back home and win prom king

The judges seemed to be split three-to-one on whether or not to save you. How do you feel about that?

Devin Velez: I kind of knew it was going to happen. Even yesterday, I felt really good about my performance but it’s just, in the end there can be only one winner. And everyone has to go home, it’s just a certain time. Obviously, today was my time. I think I know who didn’t want to put me through.

[Note: Devin never once said the name of the judge he suspected. It’s kind of obvious though.]

She has a lot of girl power. And a lot of girl thoughts — maybe she just wants a girl to win. Just the fact that the girls have been so consistent with their songs and having such higher votes. I mean, the girls are amazing this year and I have nothing bad to say about any of the contestants.

As for the judges, you know…

Did it help that Mariah was so upset on your behalf?

Devin Velez: I love Mariah more if that means anything. That’s the first time I ever saw Mariah Carey cry.

What was it like when the audience was cheering for you to be saved?

Devin Velez: I can still only smile about it. Just the fact that I know that so many people out there love me and that they’re supporting me. I just have to give shout outs because hey as long as the fans are with me, I am unstoppable. I can’t go to a stadium with no one to perform too, so as long as I have the fans and as long as we go together, I’m not going to stop.

Did the judges talk to you afterwards?

Devin Velez: Yes, I had three come up.

I had Keith come up first and he gave me this big hug and he was just like, “Dude, you were great, it was an honor having you on the show.” And coming from Keith, that was awesome.
And then I had Randy and Mariah come up, and Randy was just like, “Dude, I want to keep in contact with you because you are an amazing artist and we would love to work with people like you.”  Hearing that from people like Randy, who’s been in the business for ages, that’s awesome!

And then, well Mariah, she was emotional but she said the same exact thing. She said, “I would love to sometime down your road, do something with you.” And that coming from Mariah — and she doesn’t say that to everyone I will tell you that right now. The hug was so sincere and her tears were not of joy but I got to wipe a few. So I’m not washing this finger and I love Mariah she’s such a sweetheart!

Will you keep in touch with her?

Devin Velez: Well I gave her my phone number as opposed to me getting hers because she’s Mariah — I can’t be calling her. Her people I’m sure will reach out to my people [laughs].

What was it like saying goodbye to the other contestants?

Devin Velez: I kept hearing goodbye. I’m like, “Guys, stop saying goodbye.  It’s BRB. It’s BRB.  Like, I’m coming right back!”

How much do you think the group number affected the outcome?

Devin Velez: I think it had a huge part just because I know that my solo performance was awesome. I heard it from Smokey. So America — I love America but they don’t have any say because I sang his song and he loved it!

But the fact that the group number came after — that’s the last thing that they remembered. And though I did pull us through the song, maybe it was my time to go. It’s okay.

You’ve mentioned before that this is not about winning for you. Is that still the case?

Devin Velez: Top 10 was the climatic point and anything under that was just falling action and it’s not goodbye. I will be back for the tour. I’ll be back at the finale in what, three weeks? Dude. It’s BRB.

What are your plans for the future?

Devin Velez: There are definitely going to be a couple of Spanish albums. I don’t think that is going to be my primary goal, but it’s who I am. I’m going to do it no matter what. We’re just going to have fun and we’re going to bring the Devin-eers!

With Mariah as your back-up singer?

Devin Velez: And I’ll have Mariah! [ends the interview singing like Mariah Carey]

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