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]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.