"American Idol" viewers helped Phil Stacey make it into the top 10 of the hit television music competition, making the active-duty sailor eligible to go on the show's traditional summer tour.
But now that Stacey has been voted out of the competition, he still needs one more vote in order to go on the tour. The Navy has yet to notify Stacey if it will give him additional leave to attend.
"I have a lot of support from the United States Navy. I felt blessed to be there," Stacey, who is stationed in Jacksonville, Fla., said during a live appearance in Navy uniform Tuesday on TODAY.
"I want to go on the tour really bad. The decision hasn't been made yet about whether they are going to let me go or not," said Stacey, who traded in his "Idol" wardrobe for his Navy uniform, told hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira. "I'm trusting them to make the right decision."
A Navy spokesman, Lt. Ryan Perry, said Stacey's commanders will review his request and make a decision about continuing his temporary assignment to the Navy recruiting program after considering his job duties, the impact of his absence and benefit to the Navy.
It was not immediately clear whether Stacey's commanders have made such a decision, Perry said. Stacey is a member of the Navy band.
Stacey, 29, appeared on TODAY with Chris Richardson, 22, who was also voted off "Idol" on May 2. Their departures from Idol, now in its sixth season on FOX, leaves just four contestants -- only one of them male.
Simon: Help or Hindrance?
Richardson, of Chesapeake, Va., said in response to a question from Matt Lauer that he was unsure if comments made by "Idol" judge Simon Cowell influenced the jury. Cowell's cutting comments certainly never hurt Sanjaya Malakar, who was finally voted off last month, but Richardson said the judge viewers love or hate could have an effect.
"I think sometimes it does. You really just never know," Richardson said. "A lot of people do listen to Simon because he is completely honest with everybody. You really never know if that impacts people voting or not."
Richardson also is not sure whether his chances to become this year's "American Idol" was helped or hurt by comparisons to Justin Timberlake. It certainly didn't hurt his confidence.
"I really took that as a compliment coming into the competition. Before the competition, I had never been compared to him before," he said. "That's a compliment. He's very successful."
The competition resumes Tuesday night at 8 p.m. EDT. Barry Gibb is scheduled to mentor the four "Idol" finalists — Blake Lewis, Jordin Sparks, LaKisha Jones and Melinda Doolittle.
In other "Idol" news
Grammy award-winning singer Kelly Clarkson says she is just happy to be recording albums and touring. And if her songs make money and resonate well, that's just a bonus
"I think everyone else feels pressure. I don't," Clarkson, 25, said during a visit the TODAY set on Tuesday. "I just constantly try to make stuff I am proud of. If it sells really well, that's awesome. But if it doesn't, I'm still happy."
Clarkson is doing publicity in advance of her upcoming summer tour and forthcoming album, "My December."
Whether she feels the pressure or not, her last album could be a hard one to top. "Breakaway" included five hit songs and sold more than five million copies in the U.S., according to her website.
Clarkson gave TODAY's viewers a live performance of "Never Again," one of 13 songs on her third album, due out on July 24. It is about moving on after a difficult relationship.
The song was written by Clarkson two years ago and she has moved on. Still, Clarkson does not really want to talk about the inspiration for the song.
"It's not a very happy song. It's kind of a bitter song," said Clarkson, who became a household name after winning the inaugural "American Idol" competition in 2002. "It kind of mocks that whole Stepford Wives mentality."
"It's about a boy? Presumably an ex?" host Matt Lauer asked.
"Yeah," Clarkson said, smiling.
"Who's the boy?" Lauer wanted to know.
"He doesn't care," Clarkson said coyly.
"No, he cares. He doesn't matter," Lauer joked.