Scott MacIntyre, American Idol‘s first blind contestant, is feeling pretty lucky after his elimination from the show last week.
“I’m so excited to be walking away where I am,” he said on Live! with Regis and Kelly Monday. “Out of that many who tried out — 110,000 almost — to finish eighth, it’s just incredible.”
But Scott hasn’t always been so lucky. In addition to overcoming blindness, Scott revealed to hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa Monday that he had kidney transplant.
“I didn’t want to bring that up during the competition,” he said. “The blindness is obvious but I didn’t want all my challenges to weigh in the voting and now that I’m off the show, are finding out about it.”
Scott, who suffered from kidney failure, was on emergency dialysis for two years before he was lucky enough to get a transplant. “I can remember a time when I actually didn’t have enough strength to sit and play and vocalize at the piano, so every day on Idol is just a blessing for me and I am healthy now.”
Both Scott and his donor are healthy and doing fantastic, Scott says, and Idol‘s eighth-place finisher will be joining the other top 10 Idols on tour this summer. — Liz BermanMichael Caulfield/WireImage