Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Photo: James Durbin Shows off His Rockstar Attitude at the Fox Upfront on May 16, 2011

On American Idol’s 10th season, James Durbin could often be seen standing up for his own song choices, but what the cameras didn’t show was Durbin standing up for his friends as well. In an exclusive interview with Wetpaint Entertainment, Durbin explained what really went down when the cameras weren’t rolling.

“There was a time when Casey [Abrams] played ‘Nature Boy’ for Jimmy [Iovine] and literally, the mentor and the producer who was producing the track laughed in his face and said, ‘Are we being punked? Are you kidding me?’ They made Casey cry,” recalls Durbin, who was standing outside the room at the time. “It was so rude and disrespectful.”

Shortly after, Durbin did his interview segment, asking America to give metal a chance. “After the cameras stopped rolling I pretty much laid into Jimmy and said it’s not cool what they’re doing, that they’re making us cry and making us feel so much pain,” says Durbin. “Casey was up next and he heard the whole thing and Casey was crying and I was crying and he said to me, ‘Because of that speech I’m going to stick to my guns like you did.’ And he ended up singing ‘Nature Boy.’ That performance had so much emotion because it was really what he wanted to do, not what someone else wanted him to do.”

But talking back to Jimmy Iovine doesn’t come without a strong reaction. “I keep getting told that was the first time anyone’s ever done that. ‘That was ballsy — you’re stupid! What the hell is wrong with you?’” says Durbin. “I got literally everything! ‘You should be eliminated for talking back.’ I heard people say that. But I would do it again.”
    
Durbin, who is now working on his own album, says he hopes to see more metal on Idol, but also other types of music. “Who knows — maybe next year we’ll be the Polka kid,” muses Durbin. “One can dream. Give Polka a chance, America!”