When Casey Abrams sang the final line, “you’re mine,” from Jay Hawkins’s tune “I Put a Spell On You” to fellow contestant Haley Reinhart after being voted off of American Idol Thursday, many wondered if they were really dating.
“The touch and the look we had was just perfect,” says Abrams. But their connection does not go beyond friendship, according to the booted singer.
“The friend thing works and when we sing together it just feels good,” he says. “It’s like a nice fitting glove.”
Detailing his bond with Reinhart, the status of his health and what Jennifer Lopez said she’s going to miss about him, Abrams, 20, speaks to PEOPLE.
Everyone got a kiss at the end of the night while you were singing your final song, except Haley. Why?
Friendship stopped me. I like kissing people because it’s funny. I’m not kissing J. Lo because I love her or Steven Tyler because I have a crush on him. It was a different moment.
Out of all of the contestants you became closest to Haley right?
Most definitely Haley was the closest person that I got along with on the show.
Why is that?
Because she is funny – like a stupid kind of funny. We can be stupid together. And obviously her musical sense and her melodic sensibility is perfect.
Did you ever hope romance would blossom between you two?
No, not really. She’s pretty cool. The friend thing works.
Will you keep in touch, even after the Idol tour?
I would hate myself if I didn’t. We’re meant to be together to do more duets.
You were bouncing all over the stage on Thursday and have been looking really healthy. How is your ulcerative colitis?
I learned that it was way more serious than I expected and that I really needed help. By top 12 I started getting it under control and taking the right meds and doing the right things for my body.
What changes did you make?
I couldn’t eat a lot of things like milk and I had to stop jogging and just walk. No trying out for triathlons.
Did J. Lo have kind words for you after the show?
She said she was really going to miss the crazy Casey performances and the growls.
Why do you think you were voted off?
My style might have been too old for people to understand.
But you still plan to pursue jazz?
Yeah, there will be hints of it. Maybe even a jazz album.
And perhaps you’ll eventually collaborate with your celeb crushes.
That would be cool. Haley actually showed me some of Esperanza’s music that I’d never heard before and I freaked. And Ke$ha is a guilty pleasure. There is something about her that makes me want it a little bit.
What will you miss most about being on the show?
Having that family around. Chilling before shows. Saying, ‘Hey, James Durbin, what song are you singing this week? Hey, Jacob are you going to hit that high note? Hey, Haley do you want to do a duet?’ The tiny things like that I’m really going to miss.