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'American Idol' Front-Runner Almost Quit

4/16/2010 1:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has learned "American Idol" contestant Crystal Bowersox threw in the towel a little more than two weeks ago and was walking off the show, when Ryan Seacrest did some fast-talking and changed her mind.

cystal bowersox and ryan seacrest
It went down in a parking lot after an "A.I." show.  In front of several people, Crystal told Ryan she couldn't handle the competition.... she said she hated the attention and said to Seacrest, "What's the point?"

Crystal said she was going back to Ohio to be with her family, whom she missed terribly.

Ryan told Crystal that being on "Idol" was like starting a business, and if she won she'd get a recording contract and become a millionaire.

Seacrest sealed the deal by telling her, "The greatest thing I ever did was make enough money so I could buy my mom a house.  You can buy your mom a house." 

Seacrest out ... Crystal, not out.


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why do we care about this.........i have yet to hear of tmz or x17 reporting on a real musician...........RIP Peter Steele

1616 days ago


such bs. she loves all the attention. if she wanted to quit, tell her not to let the door hit her in the butt on her way out.

1616 days ago


Wow some of you people are unbelievable. Making fun of her teeth and her hair, and most of you I'm sure are far from perfect. Look in a mirror before you start judging people for how they look. You may think you are pretty on the outside but man you are proving to be UGLY on the inside.

I think Crystal has a great voice and if she stays she's going to be in the final 2. I'll bet that every one of those top 10 have at one time said they want to quit. Don't act like you all know them and the pressures they are going through.

Crystal you do what's right for you. You seem to be a great person and you have your fans behind you in the decisions you make. Just don't ever give up singing because you have a gift that most of us only wish we had.

1616 days ago

Mary P    

She USED to be amazing - but she's become a one trick pony. She has no depth or range and she looks bored as hell being there. I don't regularly watch Idol, came this year for Ellen (who's been disappointing, 95% of the time just mimicking what Randy says).

If she can't handle it now, she'll break down and go on the crazy train like Susan Boyle. Granted, I don't think she'll make it far, because she does the exact same song every week. Her arrangement is the same 3/4th time, same instruments, same vocals - EVERY WEEK. I think she is talented in that respect, but a true artist has some range.

She goes any further and she's already had medical issues (which the show, for the first time ever, worked around for), already wanted to leave. When she doth protest too much over how she "didn't believe" that she was the best or whatever, she sounded fake and like a diva. If this incident is totally true in how it played out, let her go home. She'll still get the Top 10 Idol tour with the money from that and if she's so amazing and marketable, she'll get a record contract anyways.

This story only confirms exactly what I told my husband this week - she looks like she could care less, she's boring, uninspired and getting lazy when she should be stepping it up. We ALL have stories on why we should be famous and make lots of money - life is about sacrifice, that includes sacrifice for your family time if it means the end result is greatness for them.

My husband spends months away on deployment, for a far more silent and desperately less glamorous position, for 1/1000th of what she has the potential to earn.

1616 days ago

Dirk DuBois    

She is a freakin' kid under more stress than any kid her age should ever have to be under, for God's sake!!!!!

She got scared, and he talked some sense into her.

I generally think he is sort of a douche, but I think this was pretty classy on his part to talk a scared kid back to reality. He played the "mom card", which was pretty kick-ass in my book!

If she had left, she would have regretted it the rest of her life and would have been branded a quiter. Now she has a good chance to win. That is no guarantee of future success (just ask Taylor Hicks), but it gives you a chance and $1,000,000 to soothe the wounds a little bit.

1616 days ago


Crystal will be o.k. It has to be hard doing this week after week.
What a cute necklace she was wearing. I wonder where she got it.

1616 days ago

Mary P    

83 - she's in her mid 20's... she's not a kid, she has her OWN kid.

1616 days ago


For all of you droning on and on about her "washing her hair." Do yourself and EDUCATE yourselves. Dreadlocks are not dirty. As a matter of fact in order to maintain them properly you HAVE to keep them clean. So stop showing your own ignorance in an attempt to demean and drag another person down for their look. It just shows what immature and sad people you are.

1616 days ago

Dirk DuBois    

#85, I'm 50. I remember being in my early 20's. You are still a freakin' kid even if you couldn't keep your legs shut and popped out one yourself. I've never met a 20-something that didn't have a lot of growing up to do. Doing that growing up in front of 20 million people every week is more than anyone could easily handle.

In my teens and 20's, I almost did a lot of stupid things, and I was lucky enough to have older, wiser people talk me back to reality. Ryan did that for her. He may have had every selfish reason in the world to do it, but he still did it. She will thank him a few years down the road!!!

1616 days ago


Even if she had quit, she would still get a record deal and be able to buy momma mommasox a house. She is talented no doubt of that. Just hopefully she takes her time and gets ready for the rollercoaster.

1616 days ago


I like Ryan. He is a natural for live shows. At least, he has personality and has smiles. chill.

1616 days ago


He did a good thing by speaking to her, but of course, he's also looking at the ratings, as most of the others this season are, IMO, minimally talented at best. Most of them DO belong at karaoke night at the local clubs. Ultimately, it's her decision to leave or not, and she made the decision to stay. She's a tremendous talent...unique and doesn't get flustered onstage at all...but she's also been seriously ill once already this season. I applaud her for staying, hope she wins it, and goes on to produce the music SHE wants to do.

1616 days ago


I'm indecisive about this woman. At first I disliked her because at the beginning of the show she basically said she was just here for the money. That turned me off right away. She's had that "I'm too cool for this show" attitude the entire season and tries to use the folk rock facade like Janis Joplin and be someone I don't feel she genuinely is.

She doesn't want to be a star - she just wants to perform and make some cash. That attitude is like so many rock failures that "just want to be left alone" which just isn't possible in show business.

I love her voice and how she performs but I wouldn't pay to see her or even to listen to her album.

1616 days ago

Mary P    

Wow Dirk - do you ever sound bitter about youth. I'm 26, my husband is 26, married 6 years, I have two beautiful children, almost finished with a college degree, my own business, a home I own, 2 cars, I'm politically active, do volunteer work and I get to vacation every year because of my and my husband's hard work.

Just because YOU were irresponsible in your 20's doesn't mean everyone else MUST have been.

Age means NOTHING in life, if you don't have life experience or any drive, ambition or dreams. I know an awful lot of other responsible 20's somethings like me and it has NOTHING to do with age, it's intelligence. I also know a lot of 40 and 50 year olds who are bitter about everything "changing", and can't do simple math problems, let alone solve the key to their life happiness or their age mentality. And quite frankly, if I had listened to some of the "older, wiser" people in my life sometimes, I'd have no husband, no children, no home (which has a nice chunk of equity because I worked hard at upgrading it), and be rather empty in my life. That includes the older, wiser people telling me not to waste my time doing charity work because "you don't get paid".

No one has all the answers in everyone's life, no matter WHAT age so don't pretend at 50, that you do.

1616 days ago


If it happened two weeks ago, why published it just now? I believe TMZ was paid by Fox to do so - to create a new hype since AI's ratings are getting low. Anyway, I get Crystal somehow - considering I grew up listening to artists who make music as a form of release, instead just for fame and money. Fiona Apple quit music after her first album's success and released the next after six years, for reasons that the industry pressured her a lot to make music fast, but instead, she chose not to and instead live a simple life. 18 years and Fiona Apple only released 3 albums - but all albums have high reviews and are considered to be brilliant.

1616 days ago
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