LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former "The X Factor" contestant Dexter Haygood said he wasn't pushed off Fox's new singing contest. He jumped.
Haygood was among five contestants eliminated from the show last week. But the rock singer with the James Brown rasp said that what viewers saw didn't reflect the whole story, including a behind-the-scenes agreement to ensure the swift exit he wanted.
According to Haygood, 49, who was part of mentor-judge Nicole Scherzinger's group of age 30-plus contestants, he told Scherzinger two days before last Wednesday's live performance show that he was dissatisfied with "X Factor."
"I wanted to leave the show because I was unhappy that I was unable to be a rock artist. I grew up on rock," said Haygood, of Memphis, Tenn., who enjoyed the spotlight in the 1980s as frontman for the rock group Xavion, which toured at one point with Hall & Oates.
Being called on to do pop songs such as Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" and Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" was aggravating, Haygood said: "Can you imagine Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger, James Brown, doing (the 'Crazy in Love' chorus) 'uh oh uh oh uh'?"
Producers "seemed to have their way of doing things. I'm not sure why they wouldn't let me be me," he said Tuesday.