Eliminated Contestants Still Support New Idol Rule

Eliminated Contestants Still Support New Idol Rule
Chris Cuffaro/FOX; Michael Becker/FOX

03/12/2009 AT 12:00 AM EDT

American Idol's new Judges' Save rule didn't keep Jorge Nuñez or Jasmine Murray in the competition, but neither contestant is holding a grudge.

The morning after the contestants became the first of Idol's Top 13 to be sent packing, they said they were not bothered by the fact that the judges didn't give either of them a reprieve. "I was not hurt by that because I believe a person should not have any excuses," said Puerto Rican native Nuñez, 21. "I just took the hit like a man."

Added Mississippi's Murray, 17: "You always have to have hope and faith. They could have said yes but they didn't and that's okay."

Both Idols said they supported the new rule. "I think it's a really good thing," Nuñez said, "because there have been you always think should have gone farther in the competition. I believe that's going to help with who gets the prize in the end."



Murray said that (along with the other changes to the show this season, including having a top 36, a wild card round and a top 13), the Judges' Save was a way of "giving extra chances to get closer to realizing their dreams."

Both contestants said they planned to continue to pursue music in the future, though their more immediate plans would include hitting the books. Murray will return to her junior year of high school, while Nuñez heads back to Puerto Rico next week to continue his college studies.

"I can't wait to go home and finally eat some Puerto Rican food!" Nunez said, before adding, "This has been such an amazing experience. There's nothing to be sad about. This is the start of something much, much bigger. I’m feeling really happy.

"You're gonna see more of me," he promised.

Tell us: Which of the eliminated Idols is your favorite? Whose music would you buy?

Check out all our Idol coverage at PEOPLE.com/idol!

Chris Cuffaro/FOX; Michael Becker/FOX

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