Chris Sligh, the curly-headed contestant from South Carolina who was voted off "American Idol" this week, said he considered quitting the show two weeks before viewers sent him packing.
"I never came into this wanting to win it," Sligh told The Greenville News on Thursday. "I made the Top Ten. That was my goal."
Sligh said he decided not to quit because the top 10 contestants participate in an "American Idol" summer tour that comes with a nice paycheck.
"I wanted to make the tour," he said. "I wanted to be able to make music for my living, so I don't have to work at the marketing company that I was working at."
Sligh also talked to the News about being kicked out of the Christian fundamentalist college, Bob Jones University, for attending a contemporary Christian concert featuring the group 4Him.
He enrolled at another Christian school, North Greenville University, and is three credits shy of a music degree.
Leaving Bob Jones "was actually good, because I had been trying to figure out how to leave," he said.
Sligh is scheduled to appear on the show's May 24 finale. But for now he plans to return home to his wife and his church, where hundreds of people gather each week to hear him play his electric guitar and sing as part of services.
"I definitely am looking forward to getting back home and kind of having a normal life for a few weeks," he said.