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Dave Moffatt may be going from "Bye, Dave," to " Sawatdee kaa, Dave." That's hello in Thai and, if all goes as planned, the 21-year-old former member of sibling pop quartet the Moffatts will be hearing more of the latter than the former.

"I think I'm going to go about it [my singing career]differently this time around. An idea is possibly moving to Thailand, seeing how it works out there. The Moffatts were quite popular in southeast Asia, so it should be good."

Flying to the other side of the world became a real possibility after Moffatt, who had drawn some criticism for participating in this season's Canadian Idol because of his past as a professional musician, was eliminated from the singing competition's Top 32 on Wednesday.

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"I got off stage and I felt relieved," he said in an telephone interview Thursday. "I'm extremely thrilled with how far I got. I would've been happy if I went through, but I was so happy for Casey [LeBlanc]and Emily [Vinette] They did a lot better. I didn't do as well." (LeBlanc and Vinette, both 17, have advanced to the Top 10.) "I think I tried too hard. I think I overdid it. When I got on stage, I wanted to do a really good job, and I pushed it too hard."

But the way Moffatt sees it, being "a little bit off-key" and overenthusiastic weren't the only things to get him booted off stage.

"Without question, I think the thing that went against me was that the judges saw me as [having]an unfair advantage. . . . The judges have never been nice to me."

The last comment he heard on Wednesday was from panelist Zack Werner, who simply said, "Bye, Dave."

Moffatt recalls that the only nice comment he got from any of the judges was for his duet with Bobbi Smith of Shania Twain's From This Momen t On.

Although he says he became really close friends with the other contestants, Moffatt had a different response to some of his viewers. "There's a Canadian Idol forum [on-line] and I tried my best to avoid reading that. The first time I did, I started crying," he said.

"You lose faith in yourself when you read some of those things. I totally respect everyone's opinion, and as a singer, you have to understand that not everyone is going to like you. When the band [was criticized] it was okay because you weren't alone. But when you're by yourself, it was quite hard to take."

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The Moffatts, a country quartet from Victoria that eventually morphed into a bubblegum-pop boy band during the late 1990s, featured triplets Dave, Clint and Bob, and older sibling Scott, 22.

Their debut album included the 1998 Top 40 single I'll Be There for You.

The album, Chapter 1: A New Beginning, sold about half a million copies worldwide, and took them on a tour across Canada, Europe and southeast Asia.

Moffatt then moved to Manitoba where he worked as a karaoke host at a gay/lesbian nightclub in Winnipeg.

"It was something to do and I had a lot of fun," he said. "But it was really stressful, people coming up and yelling at you because you forgot to put them up. I don't think I'm tough enough for that."

Then when his friends pushed him into trying out for Canadian Idol, he was reluctant. "At first, I was like there's no way in hell I'm going to. People would be talking bad, it would be a lot of work."

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He added that he wouldn't have gone into the competition if he didn't want to go all the way.

With the Idol challenge behind him, Moffatt is considering joining his brother Bob in Thailand to continue with his solo career.

"It's always 50/50 with me. I make big decisions on a whim."

But until he decides: "Bye, Dave."

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