LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Scott MacIntyre says he's glad for the stage that "American Idol" gave him to share his story and his music.

The visually impaired MacIntyre, who was voted off this week, says he hopes that his achievement of making the TV singing contest's finals "encourages everyone to reach for their dreams" and never give up.

There was debate among the judges Wednesday about using their one-shot chance to save the contestant with the lowest number of audience votes.

MacIntyre, 23, of Scottsdale, Ariz., says he spoke to Simon Cowell afterward and sensed the "inner turmoil" the judge felt in ruling against him. MacIntyre says he stands by his performance of "The Search Is Over."

He has no regrets, he says: He can now look forward to taking part in the "American Idol" concert tour and focus on his songwriting.