LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eliminated "American Idol" contestant Aaron Kelly said on Thursday he hopes to forge a career in country music.
Kelly, 17, who had to juggle school work with performing on the TV singing contest, said he was near to graduating high school and hoped to make an album soon after.
"Country is what I have grown up listening to. It is what I feel I fit most comfortably. The people who inspire me most are Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban...I see myself hopefully going down that road," Kelly told reporters the day after being voted off the show.
Kelly, who revealed he is also a songwriter, said he was happy to have made it to the Top 5 of the competition and that he had taken to heart comments by the judges on improving his confidence and charisma.
"I think they wanted to see a little more charisma. I got my confidence up. I needed to believe in myself a little bit more...I was still learning to add all the extra things to my performances," he said.
"I am happy getting this far...I have enjoyed this journey so much," he said.
Kelly's elimination leaves Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Michael Lynche and Casey James in the running for the two-part finale on Fox on May 25/26 and a guaranteed recording contract.
"They are all talented and they all have a shot at winning. It is America who votes," Kelly said.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte