Every so often at EW, we report something that gets readers upset. Foaming at the mouth upset. Last week, for example, I wrote a story about the song selection process at American Idol, which quoted Jason Castro telling me he was ”ready to go home,” a remark that made more than a few Jason fans quite frothy. They didn’t believe he said it. They called me a liar. So, two days after his mortifying performances of ”I Shot the Sheriff” and ”Mr. Tambourine Man,” Jason Castro called in to set the record straight.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Jason, I hear you’re upset that I printed the quote you gave to me about wanting to go home. Do we need to make peace?
JASON CASTRO: I’m not upset about it. It’s cool. I said it.
I’m glad you’re standing by what you said. We got a lot of angry mail about that piece.
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.
Some people thought what you mouthed on Tuesday night after you sang was, ”Don’t vote.” Did you want people to vote you off?
What I said was, ”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.”
So, set the record straight. You weren’t sabotaging yourself? You didn’t want to go home?
I did not want to go home. But at the same time, now that it happened, I’m kind of glad. It all worked out like it was supposed to. I was reaching the point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I wasn’t able to keep up and it all caught up with me.
Let’s talk about Tuesday night. When Simon said no one should ever cover ”I Shot the Sheriff,” did you think of reminding him that Eric Clapton did a great cover of the song?
You know, sometimes he says things that are obviously wrong. But no, I wouldn’t have said that to him. My mom taught me never to make a person look wrong. I am just respectful. It’s my place to sing a song and his place to judge.
NEXT PAGE: Jason Castro on forgetting the lyrics to ”Mr. Tambourine Man,” and his mixed emotions: ”I really wanted to make the top three…. I was as happy getting voted off as I was to make it to the top 24.”