November 22, 2011 5:13pm PT by Sophie Schillaci
James Durbin Offers Advice to 'X-Factor's' Chris Rene, Weighs in on Astro's Attitude (Video)
On the eve of his debut album release, James Durbin had a few words of advice for X Factor contestants Chris Rene and Astro.
“I’m glad Simon [Cowell] gave Astro a good kick in the pants,” the American Idol alum told The Hollywood Reporter at Sunday’s American Music Awards. “Attitudes are unacceptable on the show. It doesn’t do anything for you.”
The budding hip-hop star made waves for his controversial and cavalier attitude, when he nearly refused to sing his survival song after landing in the bottom two last week. He later issued an apology to fans on his Facebook page after claiming that he didn’t want to rap for people who didn’t want to hear him.
“I seriously apologize to my fans, what I said and my emotions weren’t directed toward you. I’m 15 and I think I know everything, but the truth is, I don’t, and I handled the situation wrong,” he wrote. “Win or lose next week, I will make you all proud!?”
After wagging a finger at Astro’s on-air comments, Durbin praised the 15-year-old’s talent.
“He’s already a world class musician. He’s reviving hip-hop, someone’s gotta do it!” Durbin said. “The children are the future,” he added with a sly smile.
A native of Santa Cruz, California, Durbin hails from the same small town as X Factor’s Rene – who previously cited the Idol rocker as his inspiration to try out for a reality competition.
“My main thing about going on the show is to try and create moments,” Durbin said. “And to inspire someone else to do the same is unbelievable.”
Despite rooting for each other in the press, Rene and Durbin have surprisingly never met. The duo narrowly missed each other during an X Factor rehearsal in downtown Los Angeles, but Durbin is hoping to connect with the 28-year-old newly sober father soon. “I can’t wait until we get an opportunity to sit down and talk about all this and just give each other insight,” he said.
Until then, the rocker (and father to a young son, himself) had these words of wisdom for Rene: “Take it all one day at a time and don’t get too big of a head,” he said. “We’re both small town boys… just stay grounded. Keep believing.”