James Durbin ‘American Idol’ Elimination Was ‘Insane’

Michael Becker/FOX

He says he felt a “somber feeling” before the show that his time was up.

In a conference call with Reality World following his shocking American Idol elimination, James Durbin says he experienced “a whirlwind of emotions” as he was voted off the Fox hit show Thursday.

He says he recalled thinking,  “Wow, that's insane,” when he learned the news. “I've been really thinking about why I came on the show and why I even auditioned in the first place, and I'm brought back to those feelings of, ‘It's for my family.’ But I was trying to give a voice to a genre of music that seems like it's slowly fading away, and I just really accomplished a lot on the show. It was really great so I'm thankful for the opportunity.”

But Durbin, 22, says he expected to be sent home.

“I'm not going to lie, I definitely was, but there was something off with the kinetic energy of everyone at the studio yesterday,” he says. “I just kind of felt it off of people's body language, you know?

“Not that people knew, but there was just something -- a real somber feeling -- so I just kind of caught up with it,” he adds. “I kind of freaked out a little bit before the show started, and I just knew it. I really did. I just knew it. I just said, "Don't worry about it," but I knew it.”

So what’s next?

“I'll figure it out some more in the coming days -- but it's still emotional,” he says of his Idol departure. “But in the coming days and the coming weeks, with the finale and the tour and releasing my stuff, it's really just getting to work. It's exciting and I'm really, really stoked.”

And, if he were to release a solo album, what can fans expect?

“It definitely has to have a real throwback feel, going back to ‘Holy Diver’ -- is probably my favorite album or ‘Neon Knights’ by Black Sabbath,” he says. “There would definitely be some [unintelligible], definitely [unintelligible] and Les Paul. My guitarist is a total shredder and he is amazing.”

Adds Durbin, “It's going to be awesome, and we're going to force it on the airwaves, definitely. It's no joke. I feel, we feel, real strongly about our music, real strongly that it seems like it's dying out. That just can't happen. It was taken off the list for the Grammys and we have to find some way to get it back out there.”