By John Young
Updated April 08, 2011 at 01:34 PM EDT

An emotional Pia Toscano, the 22-year-old New Yorker who was shockingly eliminated from American Idol Thursday night, said she had a feeling bad news might be coming her way. “Last night I said, ‘Maybe I might be in the bottom three tomorrow,'” Toscano told EW in a backstage interview an hour after the show. “And I was okay with that because everything happens for a reason. You just have to stay up about it and know that there’s amazing things to come.” Toscano became teary-eyed while reflecting upon her truncated Idol experience. “I have lots of amazing memories,” she said. “The people that I met, [and] doing things that I didn’t think I could do. Every single one of [the contestants] is just the most classy, standout person.”

Toscano, who revealed that she would have sung “Somewhere” from West Side Story next week, ended her stint on Idol by performing the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” — the song that pushed her into the final Top 13. “I couldn’t even breathe at that moment,” said Toscano, “so the fact that I could get anything out was a miracle. I put every emotion I had into it, and I wanted to finish with the song that got me here.”

Check out the full interview below:

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