LOS ANGELES - Scott MacIntyre said he's glad for the stage that "American Idol" gave him to share his story and his music. The visually impaired MacIntyre, who was voted off this week, told a teleconference Thursday that he hopes his achievement of making the Fox singing competition's finals "encourages everyone to reach for their dreams" and never give up.
MacIntyre, who is legally blind because of a genetic condition, also faced kidney failure that required an organ transplant in 2007.
There was debate among the judges Wednesday about using their one-shot chance to save the contestant with the lowest number of audience votes.
MacIntyre, 23, of Scottsdale, Ariz., said he spoke to Simon Cowell afterward and sensed the "inner turmoil" the judge felt in ruling against him.
He said he stands by his performance of "The Search Is Over" and is looking forward to the "American Idol" concert tour.
"I've been dreaming of going on tour and playing show after show since I was a little kid," MacIntyre said, calling it "magical" to perform in front of a crowd.
He's also excited about sharing the "huge" catalog of songs he's written, said MacIntyre, who studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and received a master's degree from the Royal College of Music and Royal Holloway, University of London.
"I'm kind of the academic-gone-pop-star," MacIntyre said, jokingly.
The classically trained pianist said he discovered pop music as a teenager and counts John Mayer, Gavin DeGraw and Bruce Hornsby among those he admires.