'American Idol' Exit Interview: Jason Castro
Dreadlocked 'American Idol' bootee says that singing two songs per week just got too hard
Jason Castro of 'American Idol'
On one hand, talking to reporters on Thursday morning, Castro wants to make it clear that at no point did he quit and he certainly didn't intentionally botch the lyrics to Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" as some online wags are suggesting.
"I definitely did not do that that on purpose," the dreadlocked singer insists. "I couldn't believe I forgot, like, such a popular line, something that's like written on your soul, somehow it slipped my mind. But I definitely didn't do that on purpose."
He continues, "As of yesterday I wanted to win and the day before. I think what it came down to is just my inexperience. Once we doubled up on songs, I wasn't really being able to focus in both my songs, my mind was just split and I couldn't deliver either/or. I think that's what it came down to."
But just because Castro wasn't trying to mess up during Tuesday night's Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame-themed episode doesn't mean that when Wednesday rolled around he wasn't comfortable with his fate.
"I was as happy last night as when I found out I made the Top 24," he says. "This whole time, I've had a blast and I was trying, but it's just really been hard. And that night I remember before we found out the results, I was just thinking, I was really starting to fear the week ahead, like if I made it, how am I going to do three songs? I can't even do two right! And with the hometown visit, it was just going to be a lot of work, even though it would have been so much fun. I was just freaking out about it. So that was all building up and so I was ready to go either way, whatever they gave me and when they gave me that, my natural reaction, I just really felt relieved. 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 handle it. So I'm content."
Castro admits that making it to the Top Four exceeded his expectations, expectations that were lowered by his total lack of exposure during the Idol audition episodes. While other contestants who suffered from lack of screentime -- Luke Menard, Jason Yeager and that kid with the Farrah Fawcett hair -- were gone before the Top 12, Castro persevered.
"I think a lot of it just has to do with kinda my uniqueness in many ways and just being different from the usual thing," Jason says of his appeal. "I at least catch the eye and the ear a little faster than anybody else, so that was an advantage since I was disadvantaged coming in, but I guess just 'me' was an advantage."
In his exit interview, Castro isn't exactly voluble, but he's far more put-together than the monosyllabic goof he was edited as during a season's worth of giggly clip packages and blank stares. Castro notes that his Idol experience hasn't changed him and that what you see is what you get.
"I'm kinda laid back," he reveals. "I'm kind of grounded and everything. Nothing really comes as a surprise if you don't expect anything. But I don't know. I am like that. I'm not always so calm. I am kind of goofy. I think that a lot of people don't see my hyperness sometimes. I still have fun, but no, yeah, I'm pretty relaxed about everything."
Castro lasted long enough into the competition that he doesn't have any down-time. He'll transition into finale preparations, followed by the Tour. And then?
"After the tour -- I'm looking forward to that, that's just gonna be a blast -- I dunno, after that wherever the music leads me, I just want to play some music somewhere."
Other highlights from Castro's exit interview:
On his relative lack of experience hurt him: "I started playing guitar my freshman year of college and singing shortly thereafter and while I was learning I was teaching myself, so I would learn songs, but I'd never learn them all the way through. But I mean, I'd never even learned a song all the way through, so trying to learn two in a week's just been tough."
On the intense scrutiny given to his body language, particularly his yawning: "I really don't read anything like everything y'all are probably about to write. I wasn't bored. I am a chronic yawner. Every week before my song I'm yawning and I don't know where it comes from or why, but I'm always yawning. I remember before, like I dunno, that other thing going on right now, that Presidential race or whatever, I always remember watching the news and them analyzing every move they made. So it doesn't really come as a surprise that when you're trying to decide someone to vote for, you want to really know what's going on in them, so I think it's natural to observe everything that they do."
On Paula's notorious prognostication two weeks ago: "Well, that was kinda funny. I was just kinda confused, like 'What's goin' on. Does second song mean David? What does that mean?' But it was an honest mistake. I don't think it really affected my next performance, but yeah..."