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'American Idol' finalist Jason Castro: "I'm kind of ready to go home"


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/05/2008 

Instead of focusing on the finish line, Jason Castro apparently has his sights set on home.

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"I'm kind of ready to go home," the American Idol Top 4 seventh-season finalist told Entertainment Weekly in the magazine's May 9 issue.  "It's been overwhelming.  I got 150 balloons yesterday delivered to the studio because people heard I was sick last week. That's cool, but that's just weird."

Despite Castro's current standing in the competition, the 20-year-old from Rockwall, TX had a rough time during last Tuesday night's live performance episode.

For starters, Castro confused the lyrics for "Forever in Blue Jeans" and "September Morn" while rehearsing with the week's musical mentor Neil Diamond.

"It was really bad," Castro told EW about his meeting with Diamond.  "I didn't really know my songs so he didn't have too much to say."

While he obviously needed more seasoning with the songs, EW reported Castro instead received a visit from his brother and a friend -- which caused him to further delay his rehearsals until last Monday, the day before the live performance episode.

"What happens happens," Castro told EW about the then impending broadcast.  "I'll sing and if people like it, they like it.  And if they don't, they don't."

In addition to being at the epicenter of Paula Abdul's confusion during last Tuesday night's live broadcast -- when she critiqued two Castro performances after he had only performed once, apparently basing her on-air comments on his rehearsal of a song that he had yet to perform live -- Castro's renditions were also panned by the judges.

"We don't recognize you at the moment," said Simon Cowell after Castro's second performance.  "For the last two weeks, this is not the Jason we put into the competition. There was no attempt to make the arrangement your own, you struggled through both songs, they were both  -- in my opinion -- forgettable.  I think you're going to look back tonight and go, 'I don't know who this person is.'"

However home viewers apparently thought Castro did well enough to stick around, as he wasn't even a member of the bottom two before Brooke White was booted

But Cowell further took aim at Castro while promoting America's Got Talent at NBC's summer season press day on Friday -- claiming the only reason he was still a finalist was due to his looks.

"If he looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, he still wouldn't be in the competition, would he?" Cowell asked reporters at the event.


(Photo credit Fox)


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