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deep, soulful, simple side to J'DA, something very graceful and beautiful," he says.

During Group Night, J'DA and Joel Wayman came off very well under difficult circumstances a producer designed train wreck of a group that paired them with country leaning singers Lee Pritchard and Trevor Blakney.

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But the 28 year old, who sells cosmetics for Lancome Paris in Chicago, knows he'll need music of his own if he's going to build on the platform his Idol appearances provided him. "Really soon, a single is necessary," he says. "I have creative people around me now who believe in me and are going to make this happen for me."

One singer who did take some cues from J'DA was Charlie Askew. Charlie accented his outfit with a belt borrowed from J'DA when he performed Elton John's Rocket Man Thursday. And when the judges announced the fates of each singer Thursday, Askew and J'DA had their arms around each others' shoulders.

When the judges announced J'DA's elimination, viewer comments ran along a couple of lines. One group said it was too bad Idol wasn't ready for an openly gay contestant.

Speaking by phone Tuesday morning, J'DA, known daily as Josh Davila, waves off questions about his personal history.

He has kind words for Blakney and Pritchard, who were both eliminated that night, after singing Extreme's More Than Words.

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J performs in the Sudden Death Round of AMERICAN IDOL.(Photo: Michael Becker/FOX)J'DA, American Idol's androgynous contestant, heads back to work today. "I do have a day job, you know," says the Chicago based singer, eliminated last week after an audience rousing performance of Adele's Rumor Has It. "I do need to pay the bills."

"It does!" he says now. "It needs to be embraced and not pushed aside."

J'DA says Askew came to his room Thursday morning, seeking approval of his outfit. "I was like, 'You look fantastic; I think you just need a belt.' I ended letting him keep the belt, because I felt, as an artist, you have to give. I wanted Adidas Rose Gold Trainers

"The intro that they gave me for my Vegas round song, it was so beautiful," he says. "It was like, 'Wow, this is what I've been waiting for ever since Hollywood Week!'"

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"Trevor was hilarious about the whole experience," he says. "Lee was very quiet. He was almost the mediator. His vibe and his energy was very genuine and calm. It made for a very pleasant working experience. It wasn't as bad as some people might see it."

to give a part of me to him as I was leaving and he was staying behind. I wanted to leave a part of JDA with him."

While he feels like he accomplished his goal of giving androgyny more public exposure, he wishes some of the show's other contestants had embraced more of the concept. "But I was the only one," he says. "Unfortunately, that just wasn't what American Idol was looking for this season, which was OK, because they have their minds set on what they want. I'm happy for them, and I thank them so much."

As for the Las Vegas performance that eventually proved his undoing, he says: "I felt very comfortable with the performance part of it. The vocals weren't as grand and gorgeous and amazing as what they wanted. Still, that's what my heart was set on."

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"We had to maintain that professional mindset and remember what we were there for to earn a spot to move on to the next round," he says. "We showed the Adidas Sl Loop Runner Gray judges that we were capable of that."

"I really wanted to show a raw, Adidas Tech Super On Foot

Now, he says, he wants to build on the show's introduction. "American Idol provides you with cameras all over, to capture you and interview you. Now it's my turn, my time to take over and do it on my own. Not with professional people recording me all day, but now I live my life as raw as possible. I need to create and bring to life who J'DA is."

"The way that American Idol portrayed me was sufficient in my eyes," he says. "Giving America too much detail into my personal life is kind of irrelevant."

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When Idol showed only brief glimpses of J'DA before the Group Night show, he seemed like a surprise the producers didn't want to reveal too soon, perhaps the kind of unusual contestant whose fate the judges would surely leave to the voters. Even though they didn't, J'DA says he's happy with the way the show treated him and presented him.

In a video interview on the American Idol website, J'DA said, "Androgyny needs to be seen more."

Though his other performances weren't aired, J'DA auditioned in Chicago with Rumor Has It. In Hollywood, he sang Christina Aguilera's Not Myself Tonight a cappella, then performed Fleetwood Mac's Landslide while wearing a black veil.

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´╗┐Charlie Askew and his time on

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Idol has had several gay contestants over the years, J'DA may have been the first to say the word "gay" on the show. "I couldn't hide it if I tried," he says. "So why not give a shout out to the community I represent and love so much."

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"Aw, I love him so much," J'DA says of the 18 year old from Little Rock. "I would always tell him he's from another planet, he's from another time. I wanted to give him that belt, because I wanted him to sparkle and shine."

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