The eliminated Idol contestant calls girlfriend Heidi "my saving grace"

By Michelle Tauber
May 16, 2011 11:40 AM
Credit: Courtesy James Durbin

His American Idol journey is over – which means hard-rocking singer James Durbin can finally turn his attention to something even more important: his wedding to girlfriend Heidi.

Admitting that he was “blindsided” by his fourth-place elimination on Thursday night, Durbin says he was quickly reassured by Heidi, with whom he has a toddler son, Hunter.

“She said she loves me to death and it’s all that really matters,” says Durbin, 22. “Looking back, I auditioned because we couldn’t afford diapers – and I don’t think have to worry about affording diapers now.”

When he began dating Heidi, “I was 19 [with] no car, no money, no license, no diploma,” Durbin says. “I was as low as you could get. I met her and everything changed and I wanted to be a better person.”

Now Durbin – who says he’s “stoked” to appear on Idol‘s summer tour and hopes to begin work on an album soon – is eager to make his Idol family part of his upcoming nuptials.

“Stefano [Langone] will be my best man; Paul [McDonald] will be a groomsman,” he says of his fellow contestants.

One song he probably won’t want to dance to at his wedding: his Idol swan song, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

“The funny thing is a friend I made out here – Chris Jericho – is a big metal head. The last song he danced to [on Dancing with the Stars] before his elimination was “Don’t Stop Believin’.” So it eliminated James Durbin, Chris Jericho and Tony Soprano.”