Jermaine Jones first hit the spotlight as a top 10 finalist on this past season of American Idol. However, his reputation was quickly dashed as he was publicly dismissed on the show for his criminal past and four outstanding warrants. While many Idol fans disagreed with the way Jones’ dismissal was handled, the New Jersey singer is moving on with the next phase of his music career.
"I disagree with how everything happened. I disagree with how the situation went down, how I was portrayed and all of that. I definitely disagree with all of that," Jones told BET.com of Idol. "When I filled out the applications for the show, I filled out the applications properly, answered all the questions properly. So I don’t feel as though I did anything wrong or, you know, against the rules.”
The ex-Idol contestant wouldn’t say if he was asked about his criminal history in the application, but he did say that he answered all of the questions that were asked of him "truthfully." Jones says the show handled him unfairly and painted him as a racial stereotype.
"I don’t want to say that it’s because of my race but what I can say is that throughout the process and throughout the whole situation I was treated and handled differently. So I don’t know, you know, what that could’ve been for. Even with a lot of people out meeting me in public from the accusation of me being violent with that charge of me fighting was not founded. So that was dropped when I went to court," he explained. "But people look at me as a big angry black man but that’s not me at all. Because from the first impression of the judges, I was the gentle giant. You know, and then people are making a fixture of me as this angry black man."
Ideally, the rising star would’ve preferred for everything to be handled behind closed doors. He denied losing his cool and having any issues with Idol’s wardrobe staff, despite the rumors that have circulated. But all in all, he’s still thankful for the opportunity that the reality competition gave him.
"That whole part of my life, I’m appreciative for it. I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful for the exposure that they gave me. And I’m grateful for the opportunity that they gave me, you know, which came with good and bad. But overall, I’m still grateful for the whole experience. But that chapter of my life, I’m done with it."
The performer claims he’s not following the show anymore and while he doesn’t hate it, he doesn’t support it. In the future, he’s considering auditions for more reality music competitions, including The Voice or Duets. However, he has his heart set on signing with John Legend’s record label.
"I love his music, I love his musicianship, I love how he carries himself,” he said of the famous singer.
In the meantime, Jones has a new single out on iTunes called "All Around the World." He’s also made a recent visit to the movie set of the film The North Star, in which he will be singing a spiritual. When he’s not focused on recording and acting, Jones is teaching voice lessons at the HP Performing Arts Center in New Jersey and building a motivational speaking platform called In the Pursuit of Your Dreams, which aims to inspire young people to never give up on their futures.
This was Jermaine’s fourth time trying out for American Idol, so he’s disappointed in how his experience ended. However, he’s forever grateful for the outpour of support from Idol fans.
"I am number one so grateful and number two so appreciative of all the love and support I’ve gotten since being home," Jones said. "You know, because it’s kind of like shell shock. You’re in Hollywood literally living the Hollywood lifestyle, five star hotel and all of that. And then, within hours, I was on a plane and back in New Jersey."
It’s certainly been a rollercoaster ride for the talented singer, but he’s holding his head up.
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