LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eliminated "American Idol" contestant Casey James said on Friday he was elated to have ended up in the top three, and acknowledged he might never have got so far had he not famously whipped his shirt off at his first audition.
The tall, blue-eyed blond guitarist from Texas wowed "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi when, at her request, he showed off his torso during his first audition in Colorado last summer.
The incident paved the way for a string of jokes later in the season involving DioGuardi, who told James he should play to young girls and women in the competition.
"Who's to say I'd be here had I not done that? I think if you feel like you can back yourself up and not be the guy that took his shirt off -- because hopefully that's not what I am now -- then I would say, do what you need to do to get the ball rolling," James told reporters in a conference call.
"There's a possibility (that) had I not done that I might not have made it past that first round. It definitely wasn't something that I thought of, or even realized was going to happen. (But) it obviously worked out," he added.
James, 27, was voted off the show on Wednesday, leaving Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze to battle it out in next week's Season 9 finale in Los Angeles.
"I've been prepared (to go) at every single round from the beginning of the show. You never know, and you have to be prepared either way," James said.
"I'm the kinda guy who accepts what happens..I am definitely happy with where I landed, "he said of his third place. "I am elated to have landed here and I am going to make the most of it."
Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Christine Kearney