Phil Stacey Selects American Idol Favorites

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So Long, Stacey
Phil Stacey may be gone from the American Idol stage - but that doesn't mean he can't chime in on the singer who will remain on there the longest.

"I think that the four people that are left have individual strengths that set them each apart," Stacey told reporters during a Thursday conference call. "I think Blake is most likely to be the most original contestant ever on American Idol. He just blew it out this week with Bon Jovi. It was incredible.

Melinda Doolittle is possibly the greatest singer I've ever heard on the show. Lakisha sings with so much passion, that it's hard to listen to her and not get chills. And Jordin has got a range that lasts for days, and her upper notes just have so much power behind them. Honestly, I think it's anybody's ball game at this point. I'm going to be really looking forward to seeing how it goes from here on out."

With all the different choices Idol finalists are faced with on a weekly basis - from song choice and musical arrangements to wardrobe - Stacey said the best decision he made during his run was something that he hopes was visible in each of his performances.

"I think my best decision was to go into it with a positive outlook and be happy, and understand how blessed I was to be there to begin with," he said. "I think that a lot of people started liking me more as a person when they saw that I was truly grateful just to be there because being in the bottom three several weeks in a row, could be considered hard on a person. But my outlook was that 103,000 people auditioned for this, and I was so blessed to be there, that anytime that I got cut, I was just fortunate to be there."

One of the reasons Stacey was able to focus on his demeanor during the competition is because he never really worried about what to do with his hair.

"I think it worked for me because it was unique," said Stacey, who is bald and sometimes sported a hat during his performances. "It wasn't something that anybody else had this particular season. If I was on last year and it was between me and [Idol 5 finalist] Chris Daughtry being the bald guy, I don't know that it would have gone so well for me. But it worked for me this year because nobody else shaved their heads."

Having made it as far as he did in the competition, Stacey said "inevitably" his Idol journey would have come to an end had he stuck around any longer, so he looked at the positive aspects of his elimination because he knows what's waiting for him at home.

"I wanted to win, but there is a taste of goodness in the midst of this. I've had a good past few weeks, so I was able to go out on a high note," he said. "I'm excited about spending more time with my family. I miss my [two daughters] really bad."

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.