*It was a mass casualty situation for African Americans on reality television last week, as “American Idol” voters booted off Paige, “Survivor: Heroes and Villains” voted off James, “Project Runway” said auf wiedersehen to Anthony and “The Apprentice” fired former Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry (after he sort of suggested that he would like to go home).
Below are excerpts from their exit interviews:
“American Idol’s” Paige Miles to People.com
• Asked about her laryngitis, Paige said: I’ve been struggling with laryngitis for over three weeks now. I have swollen vocal cords, and there’s a lot of inflammation and with us singing and rehearsing as much as we do, I had very little time for it to heal. So it would basically get a little better, then I would have to sing again, and it would get worse again. So it’s tough when you’re in a singing competition and you have no voice, so that was a bummer. And that affected my song choice at times because I would kind of stay away from what I would typically do, like big … tunes like “All Right Now,” which I love and I am super-comfortable at, and I would kind of shy away and try to do something smaller in efforts to not, like, overtax my chords or so something where I could possibly damage them.
“Survivor’s” James Clement to People.com
• He survived his first tribal council after hurting his knee, but was sent home despite beating Colby in the challenge and holding his own in the “Hero Olympics.” James says of his knee today: “I’m going through surgeries now. I tore my ACL meniscus and then I got some sort of infection from bad water and it messed up the knee more. We will find out more when they go in again in five weeks. My kneecap rubs against the bone and scatters cartilage around the area. It doesn’t really hurt but it gets hot. If I put ice on it, I can watch it melt. It’s more annoying. I want to scratch it from the inside.
• Regarding his reputation on the show as a villain instead of a hero, he says: “There’s a fine line between heroes and villains. It’s cute that everyone thinks I’m being super-aggressive and obnoxious because I wanted everyone to focus, win and play as a team. Anarchy obviously doesn’t work and I just wanted everyone to make a plan and stick to it. If you think teamwork is the work of the devil, then send me to the villain side. Trying to organize is just crazy talk. That’s absurd.
“Project Runway’s” Anthony Williams to Digital Spy:
• Speaking about his life before Project Runway, Williams said: “I was a horrible person. I just didn’t like myself – I was ugly to people – it was that thing called internalised depression but I worked through it. That’s why on the commercial when I say ‘It’s hell being black, gay and in the ghetto!’ I can laugh at that now but it wasn’t so funny then.”
• Although he has now developed a strategy for dealing with his issues, his elimination brought several current concerns to the surface: “When I was eliminated the only thing I was thinking was, ‘Oh my god, I’m going home, I don’t have a job anymore and I have to take care of my mother’. It’s almost like Project Runway was a vacation for me.”
“The Apprentice’s” Darryl Strawberry to Digital Spy:
• Asked if he has any regrets leaving the show, Strawberry said: “No, not at all. If I hadn’t been so exhausted, there is no question I would have continued to participate. I don’t know how others left the show. I didn’t leave with the attitude of disliking anyone, I left in good grace for myself and I felt great about that because I was a team player the whole time. I wasn’t selfish and it wasn’t about me, it was about the team. I have no regrets.”
• Asked if he would have made Curtis the face of Rock Solid’s advertorial, he said: “No. I think Mr Trump pointed it out that we had a couple of more famous faces. Michael went with Curtis because he’s current, he didn’t go with myself or Bret or Bill [Goldberg] because we were past. I think it would have made a bigger difference and a bigger splash using someone that most people knew, especially with Life Lock. I think they were questioning why it wasn’t one of the big celebrities on the cover of that task.”