"[My former mentee] Chris Mann, prime example. Came in fourth last year. It's like ultimately, who's the real winner? Who's Javier? Who's Jermaine? At this point, I think it's all about Chris Mann, thank you!" she sniped to Us Weekly of season 1's Javier Colon and season 2's Jermaine Paul.
In fact, Aguilera lent her vocals to a new track on Mann's forthcoming debut. "He's coming back on the show for a performance to do something from his album, Roads," the singer promised.
Though she's sad to see Duron go, Aguilera has high hopes for the aspiring musician's future. "I lost one myself earlier on in my career. I've gone on to do much bigger and better things -- some people don’t even know what Star Search was!" she laughed. (Aguilera famously lost on the talent competition when she competed in 1990.) "I'm sure Dez will say the same in his own way one day."
Duron, 22, said he has no regrets about his performances on the NBC smash. "At this point, I'm surrounded by amazing vocalists in this competition -- anybody can go home any week," he told Us. "My goal every week was just to go out there and put my heart on that stage and give a great performance."