November 22, 2011 1:00pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'X Factor' Performers React to Fellow Contestant Astro's Bad Behavior
The X Factor talk has been buzzing with conversation around 15-year-old M.C. Astro’s behavior last week when he almost refused to sing his survival song after placing in the bottom two.
Right after the show, eliminated Stacy Francis referred to Astro’s behavior as “obnoxious.” Since then, she’s softened her stance a bit. The performer himself apologized to fans for his behavior, but says he doesn’t regret it. He also says that he doesn’t believe that he was really voted into the bottom two, which an X Factor rep says isn’t true.
When The Hollywood Reporter got a chance to speak with the contestants who are still in the competition and vying for the $5 million recording contract on Monday, THR asked several of them how they felt about Astro’s unsportsmanlike behavior.
In general, the performers understood where he was coming from and blame his youth and inexperience for the ill behavior while one person says he actually respects Astro for what he did.
“It’s a lot of pressure for a 15-year-old to deal with,” Over 30s team member, LeRoy Bell, 60, who has a son Astro’s age, says he understands why the M.C. would behave that way.
“For someone who’s as talented as he is, he’s kind of got a little wall around him,” he continues. “And children at that age, as soon as they feel they’re threatened, they push back. I think that’s what he did, not thinking down the road how thast might affect him.”
Josh Krajcik, another Over 30s team member, says he doesn’t think he could have handled this competition “three years ago, let alone when I was 15.” Yet, he says that the high stakes of the competition demands that everyone be on his or her game.
“I feel for him, but at the same time, I want to win,” he tells THR. “So, I think he needs to get some perspective on that and I think he has. He’s a good kid, he’s focused, and I think he was shocked, he was kind of a deer in the headlights, didn’t know what to do. I think that’s why he had the reaction he did.”
Rachel Crow, who is only two years younger than Astro, says, “I wasn’t surprised. I saw in his face that he was really scared and he doesn’t want to go home. And I don’t think he meant what he said at all. When he started crying, he realized what he did and he was really upset.”
Fellow Boys Team member, Chris Rene, and the person whose performance style is closest to Astro’s in the competition, was the only performer who expressed approval of his teammate’s behavior.
“For me, it’s like I respect that,” Rene, 28, says. “Nobody else has done that on the show. And the youngest cat did it, and I got to say I don’t look at him any different, not a bit.”
“I mean I was happy,” he continues. “I was like, ‘There you go, stand up for yourself. Do your thing.’ He’s got a lot of fans. A lot of people voting for him and when he’s done with this, when I’m done with this, doors are going to open. We’re all trying to get this $5 million contract, but staying true to yourself is the main thing.”
Note: This week’s X Factor performance show airs on a special day, Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Fox, with the results show airing Wednesday – also at 8 p.m.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro