Devin Velez Knows Which Judge Blocked His Save

Devin Velez sang his final song on the American Idol stage when he was eliminated Thursday night.

The baby-faced singer stole judges’ hearts when he auditioned in his hometown of Chicago. We didn’t meet him until Hollywood week was well underway, but he’s been a steady singer ever since.

His performance of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” that week was super strong, as was his first attempt at “Somos Novios” (It’s Impossible)” by Perry Como. His second stab at the song wasn’t enough to earn the judges’ single save of the season.

“I think I know who didn’t want to put me through,” he says. “She has a lot of girl power and maybe she wants a girl to win.“

He’s referring to judge, Nicki Minaj, who chose to skip the sad goodbyes and quickly exit the building after Velez’s final number.

“I had three judges come up to me, and that was awesome,” he says.

Even more exciting is the fact that Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson said they would like to work with him in the future. “Mariah said, ‘Down the road, I really want to do something with you,’ which is amazing because I can tell you right now that she doesn’t say that to everyone. I’m sure her people will call my people.”

The singer relishes the fact that he has made an impact on the diva. “Her heart was so sincere and her tears were not of joy, but I got to wipe a few so I’m not washing this finger,” he says. “To hear that I’m one of her favorite artists is awesome.”

Still, the singer wasn’t all smiles once the show wrapped and blamed his elimination on the disastrous guys group number for getting him kicked off the show. “I think it has a huge part because I know my solo performance was awesome,” he says of the pitiful performance. “I heard it from Smokey Robinson. I love America, but they don’t have any say because I sang his song and he loved it.”

He also alluded to some tension between him and the other boy on the bottom, Lazaro Arbos. “‘We were closer towards the beginning of the competition,” he says. “He was close, but not too close.” Meow.

“My clique was a lot of time with Angie, Amber, Kree, Janelle, Candice…I like to just hop around,” he says of his fellow contestants. “ I love them all.”

While many of his friends spent the night saying goodbye, Devin insists it’s just a brief intermission. “It’s not goodbye, its ‘brb.’ I’ll be right back for the finale and the tour.”

It’s a happy coincidence that Devin’s final bow came on the night his idol, Colton Dixon, took the stage.

“Colton was seventh place last season and I’m eighth, so seeing how far he has come in just a year, my possibilities are endless,” he says. “One year ago today, I tweeted that I loved Colton Dixon and that he was my idol and tonight. I met him; I took a picture with him and got to talk with him. It was awesome.”

Watch Amber Holcomb sing “Lately” again below.

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