American Idol season 11 contestants were shocked last night when one of their own was thrown off the show over his undisclosed criminal history and multiple outstanding warrants. Fans of Jermaine Jones, nicknamed the ‘gentle giant’ by host Ryan Seacrest, were extremely upset by the soulful singer’s elimination from American Idol last night.

You kind of want to feel both bad or and angry at Jermaine Jones for getting booted on American Idol last night because of his criminal past. Considering the show’s previous history with having to throw off people over their troubles with the law, I’m pretty sure Jones was asked directly at some point if he had ever been arrested or had any outstanding warrants. Actually, I’m quite surprised that American Idol didn’t turn up all this junk earlier. His fellow contestants were also rather stunned by this, according to fellow contestant Erika Van Pelt.

“[The background check] was so extensive, which is another reason why we were so shocked and confused that this was all of a sudden surfacing,” Van Pelt told The Hollywood Reporter.

So, Jermaine Jones lied to American Idol producers about his run-ins with the law just like he lied to those same police about his identity to try to get out of trouble. He also lied to American Idol producers about other things as well, such as his alleged claim that his father had abandoned him when he was young and wanted nothing to do with him.  (His father, Kevin Jones, came out in the press to say that is totally BS and he spends time with Jermaine frequently, including having meals with him and sitting in the American Idol audience right before this claim was made.) All this lying paints Jermaine Jones as a total loser and makes me angry. Not because he was arrested or has warrants outstanding. Other than one charge that might hint of some alleged physical violence, the offenses don’t even seem that significant.

No, I’m mad because Jermaine Jones was crazy enough to think he could be on American Idol and lie about having outstanding warrants out for him. Did he think the media and public were so stupid they wouldn’t find out? Or was he arrogant to think he would be SO beloved on the show by the time they did, he would not be at risk of getting thrown off?

On the other hand, Jermaine Jones seemed kind of pathetic when told American Idol producers he was ‘scared’ to reveal his criminal because he didn’t want to be judged for his past mistakes. That makes me feel a little bad, because no matter what Idol producers have said about being willing to “help” Jermaine with his problems if he had told them — I believe they would have just cut him immediately when they found out.

Did Jermaine Jones deserve to be eliminated? Personally, I do not believe any American Idol contestant deserves to be booted JUST because they have a criminal past. (Nor did I think former contestant Frenchie Davis deserved elimination over porno pics she posed for legally back when she was 18.) However, I do believe that when you intentionally lie about your past repeatedly in order to get ahead, you deserve a slap in the face. Plus, Jones undoubtably signed contracts stating he did not have outstanding warrants or a seedy criminal past. Based on that kind of contract violation alone, he deserved to get booted, no matter how sympathetic one might find him.

The worst part, and the thing that actually makes me feel most annoyed is that Jermaine Jones was actually such a good singer. He really did have solid talent and a beautiful voice. I do not personally think he would have been the winner of American Idol this year, but it is a shame that he will now be remembered as ‘that guy who got thrown off’ rather than for his very real talent.


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