If you caught the latest episode of “The Glee Project,” a single question has undoubtedly been echoing through your mind: now that Cameron Mitchell is back in North Richland Hills, Texas, are he and his girlfriend still an item?
“We’re still going strong,” Cameron blissfully reported in a conference call Monday.
Wait, that’s not the question that has haunted you since Cameron sat face-to-face with Ryan Murphy and voluntarily extinguished his shot at a featured role on Fox’s megahit Glee?
What you’ve actually been thinking is probably more along the lines of, “What the…?”
Your stunned silence is appropriate. Despite a few shakeups on music video sets, Cameron remained a darling in the eyes of mentors Robert Ulrich and Zach Woodlee, so that part on Glee was absolutely within his grasp. Murphy even came down his perch in the Auditorium of Doom to personally beseech Cameron in his dressing room to stay even one week longer.
I mean, did Julia Roberts even get that kind of seduction treatment to do Eat, Pray, Love?
“Here’s Mr. Hollywood, you know, like everyone wants a piece of him. He’s got one of the biggest shows on TV… here he is telling me, ‘Cameron, I want you to stay.’ And then I’m having to tell him no,” said the ex-contender. “That was incredibly hard.”
Though Murphy was saddened by the decision, Cameron feels that he appreciated that it was choice founded in strong personal beliefs. “I haven’t talked to him since it’s been over, but I really think we ended on a good note,” he said. “And it’s a respected note.”
The 21-year-old songwriter revealed that he had only been struggling with the notion of leaving for a couple of weeks, not since the beginning of the competition. “Going into ‘sexuality’ and even performing for Ryan, I wasn’t sure what I was gonna do yet. I hadn’t made up my mind,” he said. But during that last-chance conversation with Murphy, Ulrich and Woodlee, Cameron realized there might be “something else out there” for him.
So by the time Murphy visited him, “At that point, after I had already… shared my heart and how I felt about it… even though he supported me, and it meant the world to me, I didn’t really feel like it was fair for me to talk about how I didn’t think I wanted to be there,” said Cameron. He had witnessed how hard all the contenders had worked and how much they enjoyed singing, dancing and acting.
“What if I had said yes and Damian went home, you know, that would have just broken my heart. And I feel like they wouldn’t deserve that,” he added.
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So if he didn’t want to get in someone else’s way, why did Cameron enter the competition in the first place, if he knew he might run into a moral quandary along the way? Simple – he didn’t know that.
“I’ve always had strong beliefs in what I will and won’t do,” he began to explain. “Everyone has their different boundaries. ‘Well here’s my line, and you know, it’s different than yours.’”
“But at the same time,” he continued, “I had never been pushed like that before, you know with the whole kissing thing… and I had never acted…. So you know, I had no idea how I was going to react if someone asked me to do that, because I’ve never had to think about it.”
He said that when he was confronted with kissing on set, he had a very short amount of time to search within himself and ask “’Well Cameron, is this going to be okay with you? Is this something that you want?… Where’s your line?’”
Once he established his boundaries for himself and relayed them to everyone else, it seemed to the viewing audience that he may have lost the support of the mentors, but Cameron said he felt that was far from true.
“[Ulrich] is so incredibly nice, and he wants us all to succeed,” said Cameron. “I know Robert’s proud of me for how I stood up to him. He’s told me.”
What may have been the toughest part in the end also turned out to be the sweetest. “Saying goodbye to your best friend’s really hard, you know. [He’s] like a brother,” Cameron said of parting ways with Damian. “But at the same time… it made my decision a lot easier on me to know that I just saved my best friend, and how often do you get to do that?’