Dexter Roberts on Singing Luke Bryan in the Shower

Now that Alabama native Dexter Roberts has been eliminated from American Idol, he can talk about what goes on behind the scenes and what he really thought of the whole Idol machine. The country-leaning contestant told The Birmingham News all about it during an exit interview after he was sent home April 17.

Like the time he was asked to perform Luke Bryan‘s “Muckalee Creek Water.”

“I was so pumped up about it because I sing that song all the time in the shower,” Roberts said. “I think C.J. (Harris) was just really getting tired of me singing it all the time, and he just wanted me to sing it on national television to get it out of my system. I was really excited when I saw that on the list. I didn’t look at anything else, so that’s what I was singing. I knew it right then.”

And as for the judges’ criticism of Roberts’ song choices and/or performances, he sounds like he was grateful for it.

“I wanted the judges to be harsh on my work because I think that if you could have criticism, that’s going to help you be a better artist,” Roberts said. “They were all just saying good things, and then they started hitting the criticism, and I was like, ‘Man, I love it.’ Everybody else is just getting down and stuff, but it drives me more. It’s just like putting fuel on to my fire.”

Now that he’s done, Roberts is back home in Alabama. After all that time in Hollywood, Roberts said he told his mother, “When I get home, I’m going to get me a teepee to go out in the woods and just stay for a few months.” What he missed the most, he said, was friends, family and “just the vibe of Alabama.”

After his teepee time, it’s likely Roberts will head up to Nashville.

“I’m going to try my best to launch a big album and to start my career,” the singer-songwriter said. “I write slow songs and I write upbeat, get-your-ear songs. I love singing ballads, and I love singing upbeat songs. I’m just going to have to figure out what best fits me.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.