Cameron Mitchell Dishes On His Adoration Of Darren Criss And His Dramatic Exit From 'The Glee Project'
Each week HuffPost Celebrity will be chatting with eliminated contestants from Oxygen's new show, "The Glee Project," a reality series with a 7-episode arc on the hit show "Glee" on the line. We talked with Texas-boy Cameron Mitchell about sticking to his morals, bonding with "Glee" star Darren Criss and saving his friend Damian from elimination.
How did you end up on "The Glee Project?"
I was always a big Glee fan. I always watched the show with my family and one night in January, maybe December, before the open call auditions, there was a commercial about "The Glee Project." I thought, "This isn't really me, this is dumb." I'd never done any auditions, I'd never done "Idol" or anything, the only audition I'd do was for my mom. It was one of those things where I thought, "I'll go try and they'll tell me I'm not good and I'm not what they're looking for." That's what 99 percent of people get told. I went there for 7 hours and they loved me and I was on the show.
So you were a big fan of "Glee," who's your favorite character on the show?
At first I always loved Artie, Artie was my boy. The way he moved in that wheelchair was awesome, and he has the coolest voice. But in the second season I also started to love Blaine. Man, the Warblers. If I was a girl I'd so go after him. Or maybe a boy. (Laughs). If I got a chance to be a Warbler one day I probably would do it.
You worked with a lot of mentors, who was your favorite?
I definitely think Darren Criss was the best mentor. He was the first impression of every thing. Darren was especially cool, I felt like he understood me as a guy who listens to different music and dresses different. Right from the beginning we clicked. The thing that I was really drawn to about him was the fact that he always talked about how you should be yourself. He'd say, "I don't want you to be who you think we want you to be, I want you to be who you are." I'd never heard that before. He was very down to earth, always smiling and having fun. I felt so comfortable and it was really cool to hear that from a guy who went from a two line cast member to a full blown star of "Glee."
Have you been able to stay in touch with any mentors after filming?
No, I haven't talked to any of them. I'd love to. I'm sure they're busy doing their thing, but man if I could get in touch with Darren Criss again I'd love to. Someone give me his number!
You could Tweet at him.
He'd probably say, "Who are you again?"
You had one of the most dramatic exits on the show, what can you tell me about your motivation to walk away?
I say it was a culmination of things. I don't want people to think it was just about the silly kiss that I gave it up and quit. I worked incredibly hard and I think I deserved to be there. I worked all the way up until I left and I was passionate about it. I'm passionate about performing, even if it's acting and I'm not very good at it. There was just this feeling that, "maybe this isn't for you." Coming from Texas, I was this naive little boy. I just love music, I've never acted a day of my life, I've never done anything. The other kids aren't professionals but they've been doing other stuff. I was the kid with no idea. So on all the music videos I'm pulling all that out of my butt and trying to look cool. It came down to, "If this is acting and this is Glee, I love Glee and maybe in the future I'd love to do it, but right now I'm being led somewhere else."
We know you were concerned about your girlfriend's reaction to you kissing someone on the show. Did your girlfriend freak out?
No! It was definitely different because neither of us have acted. I'm sure on the show it sounded like I was really worried about her, and I kind of was, but she was very cool with it and very understanding. We have a great relationship. She knew I wasn't trying to hurt anybody.
Since your choosing to leave saved your friend Damian, is that who you're rooting for to win?
Damian is my brother. I told him that he owes me. It's really hard to say if I have a favorite, everyone is so incredibly talented and everyone deserves to win. Whoever wins is going to make "Glee" amazing. Whoever it is will be an absolute star. Damian's my brother, Hannah's my sister, we're like a family.
What has the fan reaction been like?
Before the show I had no fans. I had a thousand views on YouTube. Now I have 1.5 million, it's crazy. I realized on the show that while I was there to hone my talents, you're also there to reach somebody. I've reached people. I get the haters too, but for the most part it's people who are incredibly supportive and I've made the right decision and I have fans who support me -- even though most of them speak Spanish and I can't understand them anyway.
Lots of Brazilian fans?
Oh my goodness, it's unbelievable! It's awesome but it sucks because I'll never get to meet them.
Maybe someday you'll tour to Brazil.
That would be fun.
What's next for you?
The great thing is on the show I got to release some of my music like "Love Can Wait," so I have a bunch of stuff on iTunes and I'm doing YouTube videos to reach fans that way. I'm definitely writing music, I am going to hopefully have a CD out in the future. I love music. I'd love to be an actor too, it's something I'd have to work on and have to grow, as everyone saw.
Do you have a dream music collaboration?
I'd love to do a something with Chris Martin in Coldplay, and another collaboration I'd like to do is with Kanye. That would be really interesting and probably a disaster, but it would be really fun. He'd probably think I was the biggest loser in the world. And if I could do a Glee collaboration, Artie all the way.
"The Glee Project" airs Sundays at 9 EST.