When is a yawn more than a yawn?

When it's "American Idol" finalist Jason Castro doing the yawning. And it's captured on camera as he's backstage waiting to learn if he's been eliminated. And "analysts" postulate that Castro is bored and wants to go home.

"No, and I wasn't bored," Castro insisted in a conference call with TV critics. "I am a chronic yawner."

Yeah, well, whatever on the whole yawn thing. It's just another sign of how "Idol" and everyone and everything associated with it is subject to often ridiculous overanalysis.

Castro compared all the analysis of contestants' every move to "the other thing going on right now — that presidential race or whatever. I always remember watching the news and them (reporters) analyzing every move (candidates) made, and so it doesn't really come as a surprise when you're trying to decide someone to vote for.

"You want to really know what's going on in them, and so I think it's natural to observe everything that they do."

He's more forgiving than he ought to be. A lot of this stuff is just, well, stupid.

Once again, Jeff Archuleta, the father of Utah's "Idol" finalist, David, is the subject of overblown stories. He's been "banned" from being backstage at this week's "Idol" rehearsals because the producers are fed up with him, goes the story.

Even if we assume everything that's been reported is true — and I'm hesitant to make such an assumption — the story itself just doesn't live up to the headlines.

Quoting an unnamed source (naturally), The Associated Press reported that "Jeff Archuleta insisted on altering 'Stand by Me,' one of two songs his son sang on the show Tuesday. By adding a verse from Sean Kingston's 'Beautiful Girls,' the father incurred additional costs for 'American Idol,' the person said."

So, the elder Archuleta — trying to help his son — cost "Idol" producers money. And they didn't like that.

I'm shocked.

Don't tell anyone, but I once went absolutely ballistic in the direction of an individual because I believed (and still believe) that his actions created an unsafe situation in which one of my children was injured. If that had been captured on somebody's cell-phone camera, I would have looked like the worst parent since Alec Baldwin left that infamous phone message.

Context, people, context.

There are also reports that backstage access at "American Idol" is restricted for lots of people the last couple of weeks of the show. And there's even speculation that this is a power play to prove that the show's producers will control the Murray teen's career if he wins.

(Fox has had no official comment on any of this.)

I guess if a yawn is a big deal, a contestant's dad costing the producers money must be a huge deal, huh?


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com