Ruben Studdard, who won American Idol nine years ago, is shocked that contestant Jermaine Jones had a criminal history and was booted off the talent competition Wednesday night.
Ruben, who beat Clay Aiken for the big prize, tells Showbiz Tonight, “[I was] shocked about who it was. When you watch the show you buy into the person’s personality, so you don’t really get that from him.”
The singer, who just released his new album Letters from Birmingham, says he’s watched a few episodes this season, “and he [Jermaine] seems like a nice guy and he probably is. He’s just made some bad choices.”
The producers of Idol revealed Wednesday that not only does the Gentle Giant have a criminal past, but there are four warrants for his arrest.
The charges appear to be minor — he’s used false names and got into a fight — but his big mistake is he didn’t tell the show’s producers. “We are not allowed to have anyone with an outstanding warrant on the program. We have to let you go,” said executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.
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As previously reported, Jermaine Jones will be cut from American Idol tonight – and now we have a much clearer idea why.
The 6’8″ finalist is reportedly anything but a gentle giant, as TMZ has uncovered details from his March 5, 2011 arrest.
Jermaine Jones – “Knocks me Off My Feet”
It stemmed from an incident at a Howard Johnson hotel in New Jersey, where Jones gave police a phony name and was charged with public nuisance and obstruction of justice, while also possessing outstanding warrants.
Then, on 11/27/11, Jones gave cops a different fake name when the car he was riding in got pulled over. In this case, he was booked for hindering apprehension and giving false information to avoid self-discovery, while – again – having outstanding warrants in his (real) name.
Moreover, sources say Jones has been “very aggressive” behind the American Idol scenes, once yelling at a staff members over his wardrobe selection.
Still, despite his past transgressions, it’s conceivable Jermaine could have remained on the show if he had just been up front. Instead, he swore to producers that his record was clean.
Honesty, readers. it remains the best policy.
Keep up with "American Idol," its judges, its alumni and this season's 13 finalists, on TV March 8 – 14: “American Idol” 8 p.m., Wednesday Fox: The finalists perform for the judges. (N) “Chris Botti in Boston, part II” 7 p.m., Thursday KOCE: a continuation of the trumpeter's performance with the Boston Pops and conductor Keith Lockhart includes guests Sting, Steven Tyler, Josh Groban, and Yo-Yo Ma. “American Idol” 8 p.m., Thursday Fox: 1 Voted off : The contestants face elimination. (N) “Great Performances” 6 p.m., Sunday KOCE; 7 p.m., Sunday KVCR: Tony Bennett: Duets II : Tony Bennett sings his greatest hits with contemporary artists. Performers include Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Norah Jones, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood and Willie Nelson. “American Idol” 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 21 Fox: 11 The 11 remaining finalists perform. (N)
– Compiled by Ed Stockly
Photo: The top 12: Clockwise from top right: Elise Testone, Heejun Han, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine, DeAndre Brackensick, Erika Van Pelt, Jermaine Jones, Colton Dixon, Shannon Magrane, Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox.
Associated Press”American Idol” contestant Jermaine Jones.Jermaine Jones is apparently out on “American Idol.” The 25-year-old vocal instructor from Pine Hill, N.J., Tweeted Tuesday night that he no longer would be on the Fox singing contest.
He wrote on his official “Idol” Twitter account: “Awww I will no longer b on the show.” The post and Jones’ official “Idol” Twitter account were later deleted.
A Fox spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter or confirm his Tweet. The celebrity-news site TMZ.com reported Tuesday that Jones was confronted by “Idol” producers after they learned he concealed the fact that he was arrested twice last year and has outstanding warrants.
The so-called “gentle giant,” as he was dubbed by “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest, was among the show’s viewer-selected top 13 finalists after the judges gave him a last-minute spot among the 11th season’s top 13 male semifinalists.
He was among the bottom three vote-getters last week after performing Stevie Wonder’s “Knocks Me Off my Feet” but advanced to the group of top 12 singers.
“Idol” contestants in the past have been disqualified when the show deems that their work or personal history is an issue.
Corey Clark was disqualified for concealing his arrest record during the second season in 2003. Frenchie Davis was also dropped from “Idol” that year because of her previous appearance on an adult website.
During the eighth season in 2009, Joanna Pacitti was shown advancing to the top 36 semifinalists after “Hollywood Week” but was later replaced. Pacitti released an album in 2006 and had ties to 19 Entertainment, which produces “Idol” with FremantleMedia North America.
Chris Golightly was dropped from the top 24 semifinalists in the ninth season in 2010 because he didn’t disclose that he had a previous record contract.
In contrast, the singing competition allowed past finalists like the sixth season’s Antonella Barba and the seventh season’s David Hernandez to stay on after racy photos that appeared to be Barba leaked online. Hernandez was revealed as having once worked as a nightclub stripper.
Derrick J. Lang, AP Entertainment Writer