"I had that intuition and I had that feeling that my name was going to be attached to that 33.06 percent or whatever the bottom number was," Yamin said Thursday. "I was prepared for it, and it was easy to take in."
Still, Yamin appeared teary as the announcement was made: "I'm emotional anyway," he said by way of explanation. "It runs in my blood. Maybe because I'm an underdog, the kid who came from nowhere."
Idol judge Paula Abdul also cried, as she often does when a contest gets booted – but she and Yamin seemed to share a special bond. "She's got a big heart like I do, so that's maybe why she identifies with me and why we can relate to one another," Yamin said of Abdul, who last week told Teen People she wanted him to win. "The feelings are mutual. She's just a sweetheart,"
As for Yamin's personal life, the 27-year-old from Richmond, Va., shot down rumors that he's getting married to his girlfriend, Amanda. "I'm not engaged," he confirmed. "We do have a great relationship and I'm looking forward to getting back in her arms sooner than later. (But) it's only going to be for a short while, because we start rehearsing for the tour very soon." (The American Idols Live Tour 2006 kicks off July 6, in Manchester, N.H.)
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"I love the fact that (Simon) said that there was potential to grow. I had to remind everyone pretty quickly, not myself because I knew it, that he was talking about potential," said Yamin. "I feel like I’m reaching that everyday that I live. It gave me something to strive toward."
Not surprisingly, Yamin said he'd like to make a "soulful, R&B" album – but may also branch out. "It was proven throughout the season that I can be as versatile as I want to be," he said. "I'm just looking forward to recording music. The studio is going to be my haven and that's where I'll really be able to shine. That's what I'm looking forward to. "