By Erin Strecker
June 06, 2012 at 08:02 PM EDT
Andrew Eccles/Oxygen Media

 The Glee Project kicked off its second season on June 5, and Ryan Murphy and Co. had to let somebody go first. Despite a strong last-chance performance of “Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson, 23-year-old country crooner Maxfield Camp struggled with the one-on-one studio singing and hit the road. He clued us in about nerves, Lea Michele, his favorite contestants (“I like everyone, but Michael is my dude. I hope he makes it far”),  and what’s next for him.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you watch the episode last night? How was that?

MAXFIELD CAMP: I did. Going into it, I was a little bit nervous, but I had some friends and family over to watch and I think at the end [the judges] were supportive and I think I went out the best way possible.

In the episode last night, it seemed like you struggled a bit with singing in the studio. What was that experience like?

Yeah, it was really tricky. I don’t know what happened. For some reason, I couldn’t sing on key. I don’t know what the problem was and it definitely showed. By the end of it, I did get it, and I think the outcome of the song was really cool It just took me awhile to get there. So I think that’s why I took a spot [in the bottom three].

Besides the studio experience, was there anything about your time on The Glee Project that you thought you could have done better?

When I met Robert in Nashville, I felt like I was different from I was when I was on the show. Being thrown into stuff like that right off the bat affected me in a way. I wish, looking back on it now, if I had the opportunity again, I’d just like to show, like how Zach said when I was performing on stage, you know, ‘Show more emotions in your face.’ I would have gone more over-the-top than I did then. I think a little bit of everything contributed into being in the bottom three. I guess I just wasn’t what they were looking for at the time.

On the show, you said you only started singing six months prior to getting on The Glee Project. What made you audition?

I heard the show was coming to Nashville for auditions and someone at work convinced me to go for it, so I got all the forms at like 11:30 at night and then the next morning I was auditioning. It was a unique opportunity to be heard and share your story. I’m just grateful to have had the chance.

Even though you were eliminated early on, were you glad you tried out?

Completely. I mean, everyone wants to win and obviously I wish I had the opportunity to stay, but the opportunity was amazing and I wouldn’t change it for anything. The people who I met were great.

Yeah, it seemed like you all bonded really quickly. What was it like behind the scenes?

It was cool. It was weird, prior to [living together on the show], there’s a picture of us from call backs and all the people who wound up on the show were right next to each other. We all just clicked and became a family. And that just doesn’t happen — especially because had we not had that experience, we never would have met each other.

Is there anyone you’ve kept in touch with since? Anyone call you last night?

I talked to Lily this morning. She gave me a call this morning; seeing how I was doing. She said her whole family watched and were supportive. Everyone has been so sweet, and everyone on Twitter has been awesome. I’m just happy about it. [You can follow Maxfield on Twitter.] 

What was it like singing for Lea Michele? It seemed like you all had no idea she was coming.

Yeah, first Ryan [Murphy] walks in, and you’re like, “Okay.” And then Lea Michele walks in. You’ve got the creator of the show and the star of the show. Lea Michele is gorgeous. It was awesome. I can’t complain about getting to sing in front of a pretty lady.

I couldn’t believe you admitted to never hearing “Born This Way” all the way through. So funny.

It was. I wish they hadn’t put it on the show, but when he said “Born This Way” [would be our homework song], my jaw just dropped, like [seeing] something I’d never seen before. Nellie just looked at me and we started laughing. It was so far left. I never thought I’d be singing a Lady Gaga song. And on national television. But I think we knocked it out alright. It was pretty cool.

What’s next for you?

I’m singing and songwriting a lot [in Nashville] so hopefully people will see my songs soon. That would be great. I’m taking it one step at a time. I love to sing, love to write, love to perform, so I plan to keep doing that.

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