Jason Castro: “I would have liked to go farther, but I don’t think I could have handled it”

Jason Castro, who told a reporter two weeks ago that he was done with the competition, now says he did not want to leave American Idol 7, but he’s glad he was voted out, and attributes that comment to frustration.

“I guess people were thinking I didn’t want to be there, but that was never my mindset,” he told reporters today, according to the AP. But he also says the competition “has just really been hard … I was starting to fear the week ahead. Like, how can I do three songs? I can’t even do two … I was freaking out about it.” And after being voted off, “I really felt relief, like the pressure was off. I loved my time on there, and I would have liked to go farther, but I don’t think I could have handled it.”

He says his recent screw-ups are attributable to ” inexperience. … I am as raw as it gets. I have not done much of anything singing-wise … I really had a hard time when it got up to two songs a week. I wasn’t connecting to either one. I couldn’t fall in love with them, and you need time for that.”

In a conversation with Entertainment Weekly‘s Jessica Shaw, Jason confirms that he did, in fact, tell her that he was “ready to go home” a few weeks ago. “The fact of the matter that day was I was in a bad mood. I was frustrated with a lot of things. Then I got on the phone with you. I was just not in a good mood. I couldn’t find a quiet place to talk to you and I kept walking around. I couldn’t focus while we were talking. I don’t even remember much of what I said. There are some days that are just like that. You just don’t want to do what you are doing,” he said.

He also insists he didn’t try to throw the competition. On Tuesday, he insists he didn’t say “Don’t vote,” but instead said, “‘Vote. Vote.’ I said it twice trying to emphasize it. Then, when I was sitting down, I thought about it, and I thought it was going to look like I said, ‘Don’t vote.’ So the next time the camera came to me I just said, ‘Vote.'” Obviously, not enough people heard or saw him that time.

Castro relieved to exit ‘American Idol’ [AP]
‘American Idol’ Exit Q&A: Jason Castro [Entertainment Weekly]