'American Idol' Exit Isn't Stopping Curtis Finch, Jr. From 'Believing'

'I don't believe this is the end. It's only the beginning,' Finch tells MTV News after being voted off 'Idol' on Thursday.

Curtis Finch, Jr. was shown the door on Thursday (March 14) night's "American Idol" results show, much to the consternation of judge Nicki Minaj, who threatened to walk out with him (imagine what she would have done if she'd actually seen his performance in person?)

And while Minaj was white-hot about Finch's exit from the show, by the time MTV News caught up with him backstage at "Idol," the big-voiced Gospel standout had made peace with America's decision ... and though he'll no longer continue on in the quest for the season 12 crown, Finch is definitely looking to build on the exposure he got from the show.

"America likes what they like, and the don't like what they don't like. At this point, I have no control over yesterday, because I'm too focused on tomorrow," he said. "What will be shall be, you really can't control what happens in the future ... but I'm going to remain positive; I don't believe this is the end, it's only the beginning, and the sky is the limit. 'American Idol' has been an incredible ride, and an incredible experience; and I'm still going. There's no stopping me now."

And not surprisingly, given Minaj's outrage over his ouster — and the raves he's earned from the rest of the "Idol" judges — Finch had high praise for this year's panel. Even if, ultimately, their words weren't enough to sway voters.

"I think this is the best panel of judges 'Idol' has ever had; it's so well-rounded, so full of great personalities, strong-minded people. And that's what 'American Idol' needs," he said. "And so, to stand in front of them, to be a contestant, you want to hear from their heart, especially since you're singing from your heart, so I love each of them."

Finch said that he'll continue to watch the show and cheer for the remaining contestants ... and though his fans might have been angered by his exit, he's remaining positive. And taking inspiration from the last song he performed on "Idol," R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly."

"I really do believe that I can fly. I can't stop believing. There's so many things that I think God has for me. 'Is that an opportunity? Okay, here I come!'" he laughed. "Life is full of lessons. Anything can happen, and it already has! All contenders still on the show, [they] sing their hearts out, and the only thing I can tell them is to keep doing what you're doing, because everybody works so hard every week, they're incredible. And I get to tour with them!"

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