We have to admire Steven Tyler for being able to tell Season 11 American Idol contestant Jeremy Rosado to his face that he thought the 19-year-old sweetie pie deserved to go home during the Top 13 results show. (We certainly couldn't have done it!) As hard as it must’ve been for the judge to say, Jeremy told reporters during a conference call on March 9 that it was even tougher to hear. “It definitely didn’t help,” Jeremy said. “I definitely made you think that you were definitely going home.” That feeling turned out to be a premonition. Though America voted Jeremy and Elise Testone into the bottom two last night, Steven, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson ultimately decided who was sent home in a new Idol twist. “When we were standing there together, I had a gut feeling it wasn’t going to me. Elise is amazing,” the Tampa resident says.

Jeremy says he hasn’t quite had time to get over being the first contestant eliminated. “I’m still devastated, but I’m recovering, and I know only the best things are going to come from this.” Though he was working at an infectious disease clinic before auditioning for the show, he’s not quite ready to dive back in. “I love my co-workers. They’re like my family, but I don’t want to go back right now,” he says. Instead, he hopes to parlay his appearance on Idol into a career in music, or maybe TV. “I love acting and singing,” he says.

One place you won’t see Jeremy is on a competing singing show. “I think American Idol has done a lot for me,” Jeremy told reporters. Overall, he’s extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to sing in front of millions of people and harbors no ill will toward the judges, despite the fact that voters might have kept him if it hadn’t been for the new twist. “I wish it would’ve done the regular way, so I could’ve seen how it would’ve played out. But at the same time, [Elise] is amazing,” so he says there is no guarantee he would’ve stuck around. Sweet guy that he is, Jeremy says he can’t compare his fellow Bottom Two-er’s performance to his, and he wishes her all the best. “She deserves it … from the bottom of my heart, I am so happy for her.”

Actually, though, Jeremy has solace in the fact that one of the judges had his back. “Last night Jennifer came up to me and told me she wanted to keep me,” Jeremy says. The judge was clearly rooting for Jeremy the entire ride — she was the one who gave him a wild card slot in the Top 13 after America had already voted him off. Jeremy knows he’s lucky to have had her support, saying, “It was crazy. It was amazing. I will forever be grateful to her… for fighting for me down to the last moment.” As far as Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, Jeremy says, “She was trying to save me. I don’t know what happened with the other two.”

So, who does he want to be the next American Idol? “I honestly can’t even pick anybody … They’re all absolutely amazing. I’m just excited to see how it all plays out,” says one of the nicest contestants of all time.

With all that said, there’s only one mystery left to solve. Why was Jeremy’s tongue yellow whenever he sang during Hollywood Week? “They were cough drops. Yellow cough drops!” he says.

Aw, we wish you all the luck in the world, Jer Bear!

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Credit: YouTube Photo: Watch Jeremy Rosado Sing Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky” in American Idol 2012’s Top 13 on March 7