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Stefano Langone was voted off American Idol this week, but he says he’s proud of how far he got and looking forward to what’s next in his career.

In fact, he says he purposely held back on Idol because he wanted to save some of his patented special “swag” for fans to hear on his debut album.

“It’s hard to really show your chops on the show,” he said. “One thing I wanted to keep to myself was my original music and my piano playing. It’s something I want to bring out and really show the world, and I think it will be very, very special.”

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Photo via ABC

Saying that he purposely chose to not showcase his full range of talent on the show, Langone said he has big plans to carve a unique niche in music.

In the vein of Justin Timberlake and John Legend, he says he wants to focus on his piano playing, writing his own material and collaborating with rappers.

“Right now, there is a market for what I do and what I can do,” Stefano Langone said. “The producers know it, my management knows it, I know it.”

“I’m ready to pounce on it. I’m ready to attack.”

Curiously, Langone said not only did he choose to keep his piano talents under wraps, but he also picked songs that weren’t necessarily the best.

For the show, that is. He says his choices were geared toward what happened once he left American Idol. His rationale for that is simple:

“When I get on that piano, I don’t want to be remembered as getting on the piano and having 20 million-plus people see me do a cover.”

“I want people to see me sitting on a piano and singing my songs, my heartfelt, real songs that came from my soul.”

Asked whom he might compare himself to or want to work with, Langone listed Bruno Mars, Legend, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Usher and Ne-Yo.

Though he wouldn’t reveal who has been in touch, Langone promised he’s already heard from a number of rappers ready to get in the studio.

Stefano also admitted that he was conflicted by lasting longer than his pal Pia Toscano, a singer many thought would finish higher than him.

“When I came out for [the show], I was never wanting to be the American Idol; it was getting that foot in the door in the industry,” he said.

“I knew how bad Pia wanted to be the American Idol, and I almost wanted it more for her more than me.”

What do you think? Does this guy have a chance to make it big?