Mario Vazquez says he left Idol because of the show’s contract

More than a year and a half after Mario Vazquez quit American Idol 4, he’s finally telling the world why he left. (The timing of this announcement is rather convenient, as Mario finally released his self-titled debut album yesterday.)

When he quit, Mario cited “personal reasons,” saying, among other things, “It’s just a personal family thing. My family is my top priority.” His family had no idea what the hell he was talking about, and he now says not telling them of his excuse beforehand was a mistake. He says, and I quote, “Oops!” He also tells the Palm Beach Post that the rumor he quit because he didn’t want people to know he was gay was untrue, even though the National Enquirer reported that “it’s an open secret that Mario is gay.”

Mario’s official story now is that he spewed a bunch of bullshit back then, although he doesn’t say why he made up stories instead of just telling the truth. Here’s his new version, with quotations culled from his interview with The Palm Beach Post:

“The public knows about that contract (with the show’s 19 Entertainment company), that it’s hard. … The music they do was not up my alley. They wanted me to do a European-type album, that was not Mario. I wanted to do edgier, grittier stuff, much more street, where I came from. I come from dance, R&B, Motown… But Idol has things down to a science. They do safe pop music. … What scared me was that, with that contract, everything was hired for us. I would have had no control. Basically, the show is plucking people from around the country who never had an opportunity on such a big level. For myself, I really lucked out. We saw the money… But I couldn’t sign it. I’d have been (screwed.) … I started (hearing) that people were interested in meetings and so forth. You gotta be smart. I couldn’t tell anybody. But once I got my lawyer, I was (sure) something was gonna bite.”

‘I gotta be me,’ says Mario Vazquez [The Palm Beach Post]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.