'American Idol' exit Q&A: Pia Toscano tears up while discussing her 'amazing memories' from the show -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

An emotional Pia Toscano, the 22-year-old New Yorker who was shockingly eliminated from American Idol Thursday night, said she had a feeling bad news might be coming her way. “Last night I said, ‘Maybe I might be in the bottom three tomorrow,'” Toscano told EW in a backstage interview an hour after the show. “And I was okay with that because everything happens for a reason. You just have to stay up about it and know that there’s amazing things to come.” Toscano became teary-eyed while reflecting upon her truncated Idol experience. “I have lots of amazing memories,” she said. “The people that I met, [and] doing things that I didn’t think I could do. Every single one of [the contestants] is just the most classy, standout person.”

Toscano, who revealed that she would have sung “Somewhere” from West Side Story next week, ended her stint on Idol by performing the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” — the song that pushed her into the final Top 13. “I couldn’t even breathe at that moment,” said Toscano, “so the fact that I could get anything out was a miracle. I put every emotion I had into it, and I wanted to finish with the song that got me here.”

Check out the full interview below:

For more contestant videos, photos, and Idol news, check out americanidol.com.

Read more:
‘American Idol’ official website
EW.com’s ‘American Idol’ Central
‘American Idol’ recap: Why You Look So Sad?

Comments (304 total) Add your comment
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  • Fit

    She kinda reminds me of Lea Michele from Glee.

    • Hiro Kitty


      • Lactose Intolerance


      • Agree with Janet

        Simon would say she has the pipes but no WOW factor and it irritates him when someone always wants to sing ballards and Celine and Whitney and Tina-anyone singing a tina song needs to be wild on stage………..

      • leslee

        yes go on xfactor, since the judges never say anything bad about the other singers people voted her off… no direction and looking to give the idol again to a male singer … i think the save was a waste… don’t seewhat is so great about that guy… she will do what others before her like hudson, daltry did… become famous!

    • whatevs

      Well, the pretty version of Lea Michele.

      • Kevin

        Well, she’ll never be as successful as Lea, so she can keep the pretty.

      • Kelsey

        ummm she will be way bigger than Lea

      • Aunt Sassy

        Yeah Kelsey, because SO MANY non-winners from Aerican Idol have gone on to WAY bigger things than Lea Michele could ever dream of. Pulease.

      • Aunt Sassy

        And before you gt your chonies in a bunch that should read American Idol.

      • Monster Kill

        Lea Michelle is a great actress, former Broadway star and very successful now in Glee. Pia can never reach her level okay?

    • Lily

      without the dramatics

    • fureal

      Unfortunately,even with a great voice, she will quickly be forgotten. With The Voice, and X Factor and more American Idol, many of these contestants have reached their 15 min. of fame and “worn out” their welcome right after these shows end. I think it is tougher for these artists, even if they win, to be successful beyond the show.

      • Andrew

        Was Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson or Carrie Underwood quickly forgotten? No. And you are WRONG Pia is a star.

      • JulieB

        Fureal, don’t listen to Andrew’s comment. He’s talking about 3 people out of 120 contestants (Top 12 x 10 seasons) OK, so there’s a FEW more famous, but it’s still a small fraction.

      • BruceMpls

        I have to agree with fureal. Plus, I don’t recall anyone achieving a successful career who finished that low. And it’s all thanks to the voting system of AI which allows the kids to vote, what? 50 times each or something like that? If AI allowed each person one vote, Pia would have been there to at least the final four. She definitely appealed to an older audience who don’t spend their time voting like the kids. But as it stands I can see her going a long ways on Broadway or maybe film if she wishes.

      • Shane

        Even winners like Kris Allen and the guy who beat Kat McPhee are no longer relevant in the industry! You don’t have to WIN the show to become a successful artist.

      • Tarc

        Pia’s being signed to Interscope, probably by the end of the week. It’s already been announced. (So much for that drivel comments, huh?)

      • Bloodyscot

        Idol gets you in the door and somewhat of a fan base but its up to the artist and their talent if they can get to the next level.
        The right song is as important as the voice, so connecting with great songwriters is critical.

    • Razor

      Feh. Fureal has it exactly right—there’s too much saturation in the market of “the next big thing,” and someone with genuine talent is going to find it harder and harder to keep the public’s interest. Sure, she’s pretty and has a good voice—but look at the number of contestants before her who were just as good, placed higher (or even won) and now have been forgotten.

    • JULIA

      The interviewer should have shown a little more sensitivity here…. he was clearly gunning for the tears, and when he got them she was so uncomfortable and wanting to talk away. But he just kept on and on and on with the questions. Let the girl go cry in private! Wasn’t the televised national humiliation enough?

    • Jason

      Good thing she was eliminated this week. It might have hurt more if she had been eliminated next week for singing yet another boring ballad. She has a great voice, but does nothing to grab your attention with it. She isn’t stopping traffic with that voice, because she’s doing what’s been done a thousand times before.

      • Bev

        I can’t agree more. Most of the others still standing have a unique quality to their voices that you don’t hear on the radio everyday.

      • Professoretta

        Agree. Everyone’s saying how its so shocking and they don’t understand how she could have been eliminated…. I’ll tell you how: She never connected with her audience!! Last night when she sang for the last time was the FIRST time she sung with real emotion and connection. If she had sung like that in the competition, she would still be there.

      • Jaded

        Agree! It’s funny to hear she would have sang yet another power ballad next week. While all the other singers might be more flawed in their technique they are far more entertaining. Go Paul and Casey!

      • liquidrawhide

        I also agree! I really think the dissenters are thinking with their hearts, not heads – Pia had an awesome voice but about as much charisma and command of the stage as pretty wallpaper. The famous “x factor” Cowell always referenced was totally missing with her. As for her having a big career, I would only ask someone to cite a single AI finalist who ended outside the Top 6 who made waves to any degree. Even George Huff is Fantasia’s backup singer, for Pete’s sake, and he finished what? Top 5?

      • sonya

        @ liquidrawhide I can name you two: Sabrina Ryan and Frenchie Davis. Both ended up having stellar careers on Broadway. And they did all this simply by making it to the top 24.

      • MDEP

        George Huff backed up Jennifer Hudson, not Fantasia.

      • jw

        Yep, 100% agree. Every song she chose basically sounded the same, even her attempt to go up tempo. “Somewhere” would have been more of the same.

    • LKay

      I thought the same thing, especially the picture featured here.

      • Monster Kill

        Amber Riley aka Mercedes of Glee didnt reached Top 24 and yet she is very successful now. Pia is still lucky to reach top 9.

    • Ted E

      I was thinkin’ the same thing.

    • Agree with Janet

      She is not as pretty. she is actually unattractive with a nice body

    • T2

      Gag. If she had reminded me of that fugly broad, I’d never have voted for her. Pia has more vocal talent than that *****.

    • Jim MacEnroe

      The problem is that the judges love everybody. Without a reality check for some, it`s almost random who will win. Judges should be clearer as to who did not perform as well as the rest and give some guidance to the musically/performance challenged voters.

  • DL

    She’s a class act and I hope she goes on to bigger and better things from here. All the best, Pia!

    • Clint

      AMEN to that. She is a class act and worthy of a recording contract and a real chance to make it!

    • Chanti

      Pia, am sorry you were not able to go all the way, I really enjo listening to you everytime you perform. everything happens for a reason, there is something bigger and better awaiting you. All the best.

    • kayk

      Pia is cleraly a classy and gracious lady with a stellar voice. Watching this post-elimination interview with her really choked me up. Best of luck to you, Pia!

    • Agree with Janet


  • TWS

    I’m not bad mouthing her or anything, but in a week (2 weeks tops), this girl is going to be forgotten and people will have moved on to the next “shocking” elimination.

    She’s just not that memorable or special.

    • Scott


      • @Scott

        Then you clearly don’t remember the literally dozens of former AI female contestants who everyone was fawning over….and now do squat. Katherine McPhee, anyone? Bowsersox is a flop. Kimberly Locke? Melinda Doolittle? And the list goes on and on and on.

        What a childish response. Go back to your 9th grade algebra class now, little boy.

      • TWS

        Thanks, @Scott.

      • LIVEITUP

        What about Chris Daughtry? He went on to bigger and better things. I think Pia is so talented! I know that many have been long since forgotten, but I bet Pia’s phone is already ringing off the hook! We shall see…

      • Shane

        You guys forgot about Adam Lambert!! Where is he now? I’ll tell you, he’s got millions in the bank, he got a Grammy nomination and finished a sold out worldwide tour a few months ago. People must realise that if you have the IT factor you will go a LOOOONG way.

      • Ian

        @Shane: Trendy pop stars don’t last very long. They usually last until the next trend. I see Adam Lambert being a trendy pop star. (I can’t give you any examples because they were that short-lived and forgettable.) Whenever the next trend comes, I predict Lambert will be quickly forgotten. But if you look at serious artists like the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, REM, U2, et al.–those artists last! Right now–I don’t see Lambert being a serious artist. He’s all fluff with no substance. He’ll be yesterday’s news pretty soon.

    • PJD

      You’re probably an ugly jealous wench. She’ll be another Daughtry..she’s amazing.

      • Deb

        I absolutely love how people like yourself find it so easy to criticize with such vitriol to a person just giving their honest opinion that was in no way being mean or disrespectful to pia. He even said that the first line. So why so much hate?

      • TWS

        Yes, PJD. You’re absolutely correct. How DARE I make a (fairy reasonable) opinion on this website, especially when I have a bit of history on my side (thanks to @Scott)

      • xs

        @ PJD You’re showing your age and lack of maturity when you respond like that.

    • Melvin


    • Melvin

      This season’s version of Jennifer Hudson she is going to do just fine.

    • quincycal

      You are probably one of the musical illiterates who did not vote for heer

    • Mike

      Correct !

    • JJ

      I agree Scott, WRONG. Pia, although didn’t connect to the audience great, has something else, CLASS, which really, Katherine and the rest didn”t have.

    • vienna

      Pia will have an album out within a year….. you watch!! Great talent doesn’t go away, and someone out there believes in her that much that she will get snagged up by some of many producers and have out an album or even a single…..give credit where it’s due!!! Pia had should not have been eliminated last night it wasn’t her time…..it should have been Stefon

      • MM

        Did she really get outvoted? Now, she is being signed a contract to get her album out. Yeah, America voted. AI has it all planned out for PIA.

    • JulieB

      TWS, you’re right. How is she gonna compete with Rihanna, Britney, Gaga, Katy Perry, Kesha, Bieber, Usher, Taio Cruz, Bruno Mars, even Rebecca Black who is hotter ‘n hell right now. Even JLo is fighting to stay relevant after 15 years. These people gotta face reality.

      • NedPepper

        All those people you just mentioned are everything that is wrong with music. Kesha? Give me a break. You just reminded me how having zero talent is now a requirement to be successful in the music industry.

      • Ian

        @JulieB: It’s funny that you failed to mention Susan Boyle, who had a #1 album for I don’t know how many weeks! Josh Groban (who, incidentally, Pia sang with in New York), is another example of someone with a fine voice like Pia who made it big. Same goes for Adele.

    • Monster Kill

      Pia is not that excellent singer…. her style is just the same, she is not exciting to watch, very predictable.

      • Anna

        But she’s not a disgusting pig like Casey.

      • Ian

        @Monster Kill: Pia IS an excellent singer. She will win a Grammy award. Count on it. Why do you think the judges were so up-in-arms over her elimination? Because they know she has the potential to do great things. She may not be your cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a great singer because she is. By the way, did you buy or download Susan Boyle’s album? Probably not. Well, she had a #1 album that you would probably find the style to be “just the same.”

    • Agree with Janet

      It was NOT a shocking elimination…The fans who voted simply did not like and her did not vote for her…90% of the fans are not shocked,,,,,,,No Personality

    • Agree with Janet


  • ziggy

    This woman is SO talented and gracious and beautiful. She will be a success, no matter what. With other early-exiters like Jennifer Hudson and Daughtery setting a path for amazing success, she’ll be fine. LOVE her and look forward to her album!

  • Genie

    Sweet and elegant girl, that sweetness will take her far. Good luck Pia!!

  • Mike

    America got it so wrong, Pia should have gone all the way to the finale.

    • PWK

      It’s the system. When you vote for your “favorite” then the odds are some votes will be skewed. Pia didn’t have a great week but definitely not bottom three bad. If they had us vote for who should be eliminated, I think the results would have been very, very different.

  • Jenna

    America loves PIA – bring her back – Pia has a voice like gold, just as James does – what gives America?

    • Bob

      Whats wrong with America? Wholesome talent dismissed over some of the others! Oh Well America probably enjoyed the entertainment last night as well.

  • stephanie

    She was a great singer and very beautiful ,but there was no way she was making it to the finale anyway. It is going to be Casey and James ,and It should be. Pia was a little boring at times and that is what happened

    • Isabella

      A little boring at times? Look back at the early years of Celine Dion; beautiful voice, no stage presence.

      • Jennine

        AGREED Isiabella! Pia has a gift. The VOICE comes FIRST in a SINGING competition (If you want to call IDOL a singing competition these days)the rest can be taught. Pia has been dancing since she was 3 so Im sure with more encouragement and confidence she will be the MAJOR IT factor. Keep in mind these female singers Im about to mention: CELINE, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, ADELE, Susan Boyle. These ladies SELL records with THEIR VOICES. They are NOT dancing around the stage. Susan Boyle sold the MOST albums in 2009 in the States out of any other artist that yr. I repsect everyone’s opinion that Pia didnt work the IDOL stage, I get it. But neither did Carrie or Kelly. Look at them now.

      • Kayla

        Thats wat im saying the stage presence comes later on in the career. Her amazing voice will take her far. Just as Jennine said many stars didnt have stage presence and their now HUGE stars.

    • Anna

      It should not be casey; he should have been cut two weeks ago. He’s a POS.

  • kevin

    Good singer..Boring performer. Next!

    • Bev


    • Shane

      She was the MOST entertaining contestant this year. I am really upset!

  • mandy

    I feel bad that Pia got voted off b/c she does have a good voice, but think about it, all she sang was Ballads. Could you honestly see Pia selling out a concert. I think she will continue her career, but will only be an opening act.

    • Jay

      She may have only sang ballads, but when you have a voice as good as hers, I don’t care. Only an opening act? Sorry, but I disagree.

      • sandy

        yeah but would you sit through a 2 hour concert of ballads? cos honestly that is all i heard her sing. i think she has a good voice, but not a performer.

      • David Mead

        Wrong audience for a person such as Pia. Celine sells out concert after concert singing mostly ballads, but she appeals to a largely older audience. 8 to 14 year-old girls go with the “cute” boy look since they know nothing about music. Look at last year just as an example, the cute boy singer with the wimpy voice won because of the little girl vote.

      • jeanette

        I disagree, she should have gone further

      • Jon

        @David: you’re right, that’s exactly why a flawless singer like Pia would get voted off this early, and why a “barely talented” loser like Stefano is still in the competition. It’s because teenage girls think he’s cute, and they are the ones doing most of the voting.

    • whatevs

      The reason no one nowadays can sell out a concert with ballads is because no one current has the voice to even release a ballad. The days of Mariahs and Celines are gone, I’m afraid.

      • David Mead

        Wrong, there is a huge audience out there for the Vegas and New York crowd. The people with the most money are older and enjoy much different music than younger audiences.

      • Patty

        That´s not totally true, we still have the amazing Adele and don´t forget the original American Idol Kelly Clarkson.

    • Jeff

      Wow…just wow! Personally, I’m sick of entertainers. I want great singers. Pia is definitely a great singer. She’s definitely in the mold of someone like Celine Dion. I know there are a lot of Celine haters out there, but try to get tickets to her show, you can’t because they’re sold out. People will pay top dollar for quality singing and Pia will definitely sell out arenas across the country.

    • Lee

      I felt Pia gave the best performance of the night with “River Deep, Mountain High.” What is the matter with you people? Are your ears that clogged up from so many years of listening to ipod, mp3, etc.? There is no way anyone will convince me that Paul, Stefano, Jacob and Haley are better singers than Pia. America got it all wrong. This would not have happened if Simon was still on the show. It’s amazing how American Idol has gone downhill.

      • galaxym

        Well i m totally agree with the things u mentioned about Pia. But
        I hv totally different opinion with you about Simon..
        Last year he was there ! u know who won.. it’s no judges fault.. u should question about the voting system or american voters..

    • ANNIA

      I hate to bring it up, but Susan Boyle, whose both CDs are pretty much all ballard, but she sells millions of those CDs and laughing all the way to the bank. She is not as gorgeous as Pia, and doesn’t have the techniques of Pia’s, but she has something that her fans can relate to & that makes her a singing sensation. Pia just needs that something extra & she will have to figure it out for herself. Carrie Underwood is another good example. She is very shy & introvert in private, but when she is on stage, she puts on the show(even though her dance moves make me giggles) & gives her fans what they’re paying good money to see. I wish Pia the best.

  • Miguel

    I am very disappointed, upset, and perturbed. American Idol just lost another viewer. Pia will go further than any one of the smucks that win this commercialized propaganda of a show.

    • Kay

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I will never watch Idol again, because the true talents don’t advance or win. Leaving it up to votes is ridiculous. In my view,the judges should’ve saved their saving vote for an occasion like this. As far as I’m concerned, David should’ve been gone long ago!!

      • kevin

        David? Who’s David?

      • nuffsaid

        You mean Stefano — the new David Archuleta? I agree.

      • jeanette


      • Suncatcher


    • jeanette

      I AGREE, I AM OUT!!

      • Monster Kill

        Sorry for Pia, Stefano outlasted her hehehe… gooooooooooooo stefanooooooooooo.

    • Bob

      You right!! As well I think the judges ought to be kicked in the head for saving who they did

      • pam

        Amen to that – Casey is a throw back from the 70’s, Pia has the class and should never have been voted off. Idol is dead to me, I will never ever watch it again unless they bring Pia back. She is much better than the other two girls that are left. I’m sure the ax is coming down on them too.

    • pam

      I really don’t think it matters whether Idol looses views, but I won’t watch it anymore either. I quit watching the audition a few years back because I thought they were stupid….the producers could bring back Pia if they wanted too – and they should, she was wrongfully let go – heck the counting of the votes was probably wrong – it’s is a racket! It’s right up there with all the other reality TV shows anymore – STUPID!

  • O-My

    She’s a bit of a BUTTERFACE but hot enough to have some kind of a career without Idol. And ironically the same 14 y.o girls who didn’t vote for her will be buy whatever crap she cranks out. LOL

    • Chet

      You mean you’re NOT a 14 year old girl?

    • Hiro Kitty

      If you think that’s a butterface, you must love MEN.

    • J

      Butterface? You think Pia is a butterface? Any straight man would be pretty happy to “settle” for that Butterface!

  • Dave

    Pia is likely hurting over being WRONGFULLY booted… but this is likely a positive for her. Aside from the Top 10 Tour committment, a label will snatch up Pia in a heartbeat and she will be free of the American Idol contract which I understand is a tad restricting. Pia’s a free agent and will have her first single out before the Idol winner is announced! Mark my words! Look at Daughtry! Don’t bring Pia back into the Idol competition… just wait for her to come out on her own… she’ll be back!

    • Melly

      True – I bet AI is kicking themselves they lost a real money maker!

    • Lee

      I agree. If Jason Castro can get a recording contract with a major label like Atlantic–then so will Pia.

  • Melly

    I guess I can’t complain as I DO NOT vote, but this is the first time this season I wish I had. Stephano or Paul should have gone home. Boo…

    • Dianne

      I agree…I was expecting Paul to go, certainly not Pia.
      I also agree with all comments regarding the judges’ early save for Casey. At the moment Pia was voted out, the look on the judges faces said it all. Personally, Casey is not idol material to go all the way, at least in my opinion. He is boring me now.

    • MDEP

      I agree about the voting. My phone was sitting next to me, but I just did not want to sit there and hit redial. I think its time to set up my computer for dialidol again. If so, all my votes will now go to Hailey. I cannot see my self buying an album by any of these male contestants.

      I also have always disagreed about the concept of the judges save, and think it should never have been created at all. By saving one person, you put another person who may be better than them in jeopardy. IMO, Anoop from season 8, Didi & Shibon from season 9, and now Pia from season 10 were all screwed over and left before the saved contest should have gone.

    • Monster Kill

      You are a bunch of LOSERS. why wish for stefano o go home? you could have saved Pia if you keep on voting for her. Get a life. stefano is a good singer.

    • MM

      Haley should be the next to be out. Her eyes said it all when Pia’s name was said.

  • dominique

    Pia you are the best, America got it wrong

    • Sandra

      I just couldn’t believe it. I cried with her, it is such a shame. There is someone out there that will make her a star and I can’t wait to buy her CD.

      • LOL

        Idol voters hate pretty girls.

    • Bob

      Pia, I will be the first in line to buy your CD, you were great, the system failed you. Reach for the stars baby.

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