I've been wanting to write this blog for the past two days now because I feel like it's a pretty unheard of tale that should be told. Take a talented young singer-songwriter, add a reality show, mix in a grand prize that every contestant wants to win and you get pretty much every reality show out there. But wait, add a dash of the grand prize being a 7-episode arc on one of the biggest television shows on air at the moment and you get the reality show, The Glee Project. With the popularity of Glee and the exposure the winner would get from appearing on it, it's a little perplexing as to why the young man, Cameron Mitchell, walked away from it all though he had made it through to the next round and into the top 5... that is, until you hear the reasons why he left.
Before I go on, I have to admit that I was not planning on watching this show. At all. I'm not a reality tv fan... at all. I'm sorry but I'm not. I have an interesting relationship with the show Glee as well so there was nothing that would get me to watch the show. That is, until I found out that Damian McGinty of the music group Celtic Thunder would appear. Being a CT fan (though I wouldn't consider myself a Thunderhead because I do not do some things Thunderheads do... some of y'all know what I mean) for the past 3-4 years and watching Damian sort of grow up made me curious in seeing how he would do on the show. So I watched and I'm now hooked on the show. lol. Anyway, I developed another favorite on the show who just happened to be Cameron. Every week I've rooted for those two, who subsequently became best friends in real life -- away from the cameras, and I was shocked when Cameron decided to walk away from the show... while feeling a sort of big-sister type of pride in his decision to walk away. I did want him or Damian to win the competition but I am so in awe of his decision as I know it must've not been an easy one.
Now here come the spoilers if you haven't watched the episode and want to watch it. Skip this paragraph if that's you. Cameron left the show because there were things that he was not comfortable with because of his beliefs. It was no secret that Cameron is a Christian. He wears a cross and does not shy away from saying "no" to something because it is against his beliefs. In a previous episode, one of the other contestants, Lindsay, kissed him during the shoot for a music video they had to do. It caught him by surprised and he immediately felt bad. He's had a girlfriend for the past two years and did not feel right to be kissing anyone whom he was not dating. He called his mother about how bad he felt. This weekend's episode had the theme of Sexuality. Once again, he was asked to kiss a female contestant, Hannah, for a video shoot but he decided not to do it as he did not feel comfortable doing it. Both of these times he was in the bottom 3 -- the group risking possible elimination. The head honcho of the Glee franchise, Ryan Murphy, asked Cameron what would happened if Cameron was the eventual winner of the competition and on set of Glee he was ordered to kiss someone like the star, Lea Michele, and he had problems with it? Cameron stuck to his guns and reiterated that because of his beliefs he would have to decline. Ryan Murphy saw it as a problem but he still wanted Cameron to stick it out. In the end Cameron decided that, after much thought, it was best for him to leave as he would be taking the spot of someone who would be willing to do what they were asked to advance in the competition. He bowed out gracefully and with conviction we often don't see on television... especially from young men. (By the way, by his leaving he ended up saving his best friend on the show, Damian, who Ryan had chosen to be the one eliminated that week.)
The reason why I felt so compelled to write about this was because, as I said, we don't see this happening... either on TV or in real life. Very few people know that when I was in my teens, I wanted to be an actress or at the very least a screenwriter. I wanted to break into the business and I nearly did. I actually walked away from it all the day I was offered a contract with an agency who wanted to represent me. A week after I turned 20 years old was the day I walked away and I've never looked back. I had friends in the business and I saw how the little bit of fame had changed them. One of them, a self-proclaimed Christian whom I briefly dated, had (on our last meeting) show me a semi-pornographic image I had no desire to see. There are VERY few Catholics and Christians who will stick to their beliefs in the business... and even less men than women. The only men that come to mind are Neal McDonough who was fired for refusing to do a sex scene, Eduardo Verastegui who had a total conversion and made the critically acclaimed movie Bella, and Kirk Cameron who asked for his wife to stand in for the leading lady in the movie Fireproof as he did not want to kiss anyone but his wife. While some people may say that it's just acting and that it's no big deal, I think it's very admirable for these men to stick up for what they believe.
I sincerely hope that others see what Cameron has done and see that, though it may not be the easiest thing in the world, it IS possible to do what is right... even if it's not the popular decision. I applaud Cameron for the decision he made and I wish nothing but the best for him. He has some music up on iTunes you can check out or you can send him a tweet of support at @camronmitchell. (Oh, and P.S. Can someone please tweet or retweet him this link as I have my twitter, @nerdwriter, set to private? Thank you!) :) #TeamCameron lives on though he is no longer on the show. Oh, and go #TeamDamian. :D
Anyway, I just wanted to share this with y'all. If you want to see the episode for yourself, it's episode 7 of the Glee Project. I think Hulu might have it but don't quote me on it. It might also be on Oxygen's Glee Project page.
That's it for now. It's 97 degrees in my part of Los Angeles and I am trying not to melt right now. lol. I hope y'all have a great week and enjoy what is becoming the last weeks of freedom for most of us.
As always, thanks for reading and God Bless! :D