This week on Oxygen’s The Glee Project viewers said goodbye to Cameron Mitchell of Fort Worth, Texas, in the most shocking departure so far on the reality series. The 22 year-old, who seemed to be a frontrunner to win the competition, decided to quit the show last night after finding his Christian religion at odds with what the entertainment industry’s demands. “To this day, I still feel good about it,” admits Cameron. “I’m not sitting there going, ‘Oh God! Why did I do that?'” EW talked to Cameron about his friendship with Hannah and Damian, as well as what’s next.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’m so sad. That was shocking!
CAMERON MITCHELL: I know. I know. It was sad watching it.
You were my front-runner!
I’m glad I could shock some people I guess.
Are you still with your girlfriend?
Yeah we’re still together.
What did she think of your decision?
Throughout the entire thing, throughtout the whole kiss with Lydnsey, we had talked about that.She’s very cool with it. I don’t know if I made it sound more dramatic than it was but she was very cool with it. Honestly, the whole decision at the end, I had her in mind about the whole kissing thing, but at the same time it was a little more than just the kiss that made me decide to leave.
So what else was it that made you want to leave?
After just being in the bottom three so many weeks in a row, it’s just so mentally draining. It was just awful. After all the things that happened, I looked around and saw Damian, Lyndsey, Alex, Sam, and Hannah and they were doing so well and giving everything. They weren’t afraid to do certain things. For me, I’d never been an actor before. I was home-sick a little bit. I do have faith, but it was also just a decision for me. I just knew the further I got, I was like, ‘You know what this is an amazing opportunity but maybe there’s something else out there? Maybe this is leading to something else? Maybe Glee isn’t exactly for me?’ They said on the show that maybe Cameron is a singer but I don’t know if he’s a singer-actor. That’s one thing that I did struggle with, because I’m not an actor and I’ve never even attempted to act. So all those music videos are me pulling everything out of my butt and I have no idea what I’m doing. So I just slowly started realizing. It was a very peaceful realization. I know they showed me crying and I was upset, but at the same time I was confident in that I knew what I was doing. It wasn’t a gut decision, on the spot.
What was that like when Ryan actually came to the dressing room and almost pleaded with you to stay? Was that intimidating?
It was hard, because I was onstage talking to him and I was like, “Ryan, I think I should go.” And he was like, “No. I think I should make that decision for you.” I was like, “Uh. Okay.” It was crazy because Ryan Murphy is standing up for me and that’s what great. We didn’t end up on bad terms. He was saying, “How much I respect your convictions. That’s very cool of you. Someone your age that’s hard to find.” I’m just saying it takes some balls to say no to Ryan Murphy.
Your cast members were so emotional too. Was that a surprise?
Oh my goodness. Hannah was a hot mess. Me and Hannah are like brother and sister, and me and Damian are like brothers. Me and Damian, it was a little different because at the same time I was leaving but it was kind of like I kind of redeemed him so he was going to go on and fight for me. But me and Hannah it was pure sad. They didn’t show a lot of it but man it was emotional. I found 12 incredible friends. Honestly, that was the hardest thing to walk away from: the friends and the relationships that we had. We were a family.
Which was the hardest challenge? Sexuality? Or the Slushies?
Sexuality was hard not because what they were asking me to do was hard, I mean yeah you have the whole kiss thing. I can be sexy I guess. I honestly have to say the hardest one was the Slushie, physically, mentally. It was terrible. Everyone was like, “Ah you’re such a wimp. It was the same temperature for everybody.” I was like, “Well, I’m sorry, but when your lungs shut down it’s hard to do anything about that.”
What’s next for you?
I have a lot of cool opportunities that I have coming up. The song I sang last week I have on iTunes. It’s called “Love Can Wait.” I’m just sitting and writing music back in my basement.
Where is your basement?
Dallas, Texas. Yeah it’s a horrible basement. I don’t find myself a strong actor and it probably shows but at the same time I wanna work at it. I wanna be in the business. I wanna act. I wanna sing. I wanna dance believe it or not. This isn’t the end for me, it’s just the beginning I like to say.
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