The Horror! The Horror! Chris After the Apocalypse

By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, May 12, 2006

The Chris Daughtry Pity Party began in earnest yesterday when the media began to rail about the hideous unfairness of their "American Idol" fave getting the heave-ho on Fox's hit singing competition Wednesday night.

"America was shocked," Chris assured reporters and critics during a conference call, explaining the problem wasn't, as they suggested, that he was not loved sufficiently by the masses but that he was loved too much -- and, well, idolized .

"People thought I was a shoo-in and that they didn't have to vote as hard [for me]. . . . That was my downfall, in my opinion," said the ersatz rocker bad boy. (We are, after all, talking about a guy who tried out for the CBS singing competition "Rock Star" to become the new lead singer for aged rock group INXS before becoming, since January, a contestant on Fox's pop popularity contest.)

Chris said it was harder for him to bear being evicted than it had been for other contestants this season.

"When you have everybody telling you they think you're gonna win, it's really a hard blow to take when that doesn't happen. It did add to the shock," said Chris, who fans and detractors had presumed for weeks would win.

That included the show's three judges.

Randy Jackson "was pretty much saying, 'Don't worry about it, you're gonna be fine' " after Wednesday's results show.

And "Paula was crying too much to really say anything, you know?"

Simon Cowell?

"Simon was pretty shocked; he said he didn't see this coming."

But, Chris assured the reporters and critics, "there's gonna be a flooding of opportunities. I can't really talk about them. There are some lined up and I've just got to field all my offers."

He was preaching to the choir. "You did great and we love you," one critic said when it was her turn to ask a question.

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