Controversial “X Factor” U.S. finalist Astro isn’t helping his case when he insists that he is sincere and not cocky. His credibility has been further diminished in a Hollywood Reporter interview in which Astro makes a false statement when bragging about being the “X Factor” U.S. contestant with “the most views on YouTube of all the contestants.” Chris Rene actually has that claim to fame.
Astro (the 15-year-old rapper whose real name is Brian Bradley) also says in the interview that he is too popular to end up in the bottom two of getting votes from the public, so he implies that something must be wrong with how the show handled the voting because he ended up in the bottom two in the November 17, 2011 episode.
Astro tells The Hollywood Reporter:
“It was kind of aggravating on my part, because basically something that happened behind the scenes. I felt like I was being treated unfairly, basically that was X Factor’s way of punishing me. I don’t care to talk about what happened, but I doubt I was in the bottom two. Not to sound cocky. But I don’t see how you can have the most followers on Twitter of all the contestants, most views on YouTube of all the contestants, and be voted in the bottom two. So, I knew something was fishy… That’s why I spazzed out.”
As previously reported, Astro had a notorious meltdown on the show’s November 17, 2011, episode when he ended up being in the bottom two of getting votes from the public. (R&B singer Stacy Francis, 42, was the other finalist in the bottom two.) Facing elimination, Astro initially refused to perform in a sing-off for the show’s judges. He later changed his mind and pouted his way through a lackluster performance. He was scolded by “X Factor” U.S. judges Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid (who is Astro’s mentor on the show) for his behavior.
But in the end, Cowell, Reid and judge Paula Abdul voted to eliminate Francis. Nicole Scherzinger (who was mentoring Francis on the show) was the only judge who voted to eliminate Astro.
The “behind-the-scenes” incident Astro is referring to is probably his breaking “X Factor” rules by wearing Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones during his performance in the November 16, 2011 episode. Gossip website Perez Hilton first reported that Astro was told repeatedly by “X Factor” U.S. officials not to wear the headphones on the televised show, but Astro did anyway. “The X Factor” U.S. has an exclusive deal with Sony to use Sony products (including Sony headphones) on the show. “The X Factor” U.S. later blurred out the Beats headphones (which are manufactured by Monster, a Sony competitor) in all of the show’s Internet/TV videos of the performance.
Unfortunately for Astro, who thinks something is “fishy” about the votes that landed him in the bottom two, his own number tallying about YouTube views can be proven to be wrong in his false claim about being the “X Factor” U.S. contestant with the most YouTube views.
As previously mentioned, “X Factor” U.S. finalist Rene is the show’s contestant with by far the most YouTube views. And it’s hard to believe that Astro doesn’t know that fact, because so many people involved in the “X Factor” U.S. were talking about Rene becoming a YouTube sensation so quickly in the first few weeks that the show was on the air. (Rene was initially considered the show’s frontunner because of all his YouTube views, but Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik have since overtaken him, in terms of popularity with the judges and viewers.)
Astro isn’t even in the Top 5 most-viewed “X Factor” U.S. contestant videos on YouTube. As of this writing, the Top 5 most-viewed “X Factor” U.S. videos on YouTube are the auditions of these contestants, who all ended up becoming finalists:
- Chris Rene – 8.9 million views
- Melanie Amaro – 4.75 million views
- Drew Ryniewicz – 4.2 million views
- Josh Krajcik – 3.4 million views
- Stacy Francis – 3.1 million views
Astro is a self-confessed “Internet geek,” so even if he didn’t know the YouTube statistics offhand, he could have done a quick check on YouTube, which would have saved him from embarrasssing himself further with false bragging and factually incorrect statements.
It is true that Astro is the “X Factor” U.S. contestant with the most followers on Twitter (as of this writing he has about 79,000 followers, rounded to the nearest thousand), followed by “X Factor” U.S. finalist Drew Ryniewicz (who has about 64,000 Twitter followers, as of this writing). But Astro’s false claim that he has the most YouTube views of any “X factor” U.S. contestant is a strange and unnecessary statement.
And even though Astro apologized on “The X Factor” and on the Internet for his behavior in the November 17 episode, he contradicts his apologies by saying to The Hollywood Reporter:
“Still, I wouldn’t change a thing. If I could have gone back, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
As I’ve been reporting all along, it was very unlikely from the beginning that Astro would win on “The X Factor” because, based on Internet comments, a large percentage of “X Factor” voters say they aren’t voting for him for either or all of these three reasons:
- They think Astro is too cocky and arrogant.
- They think Astro is unoriginal and repetitive in his performances.
- They don’t respect any “X Factor” contestant who only raps and can’t sing.
If Astro could be so wrong about being the “X Factor” U.S. contestant with the most YouTube views, then it does not help his credibility when he makes a thinly veiled accusation that the show deliberately mishandled the votes in order to put him in the bottom two.
Whatever Astro chooses to say in the media from now on to build himself up and blame others for his shortcomings, it probably does not matter in the end, because his fate appears to be sealed in not becoming an “X Factor” winner. He simply has too much “X Factor” viewer backlash against him, which means that he will not get enough votes to win this contest.