“American Idol” had cameras rolling when now-former finalist Jermaine Jones was told that he was being kicked off the show for hiding past criminal charges.
Host Ryan Seacrest mentioned the controversy briefly at the beginning of Wednesday’s show, saying producers received information from law enforcement officials “that left us with no choice but to eliminate one of our finalists from the competition. … When you’re doing a live show anything can happen.”
At the end of the hour, “Idol” aired the filmed meeting between Jones, 25, and executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick. The producers told Jones they had discovered Jones had four outstanding warrants for his’ arrest and that he had been arrested in both March and November of 2011 and gave fake names to the authorities.
“I just was scared, nervous,” Jones told producers when they asked why he didn’t disclose that information. “I didn’t want to get judged. I didn’t want to get penalized.”
Lythgoe explained that the show’s rules prohibit anyone with warrants. “You are absolutely fantastic,” he added, before the cameras showed Jones’ Tuesday rehearsal for this week’s performance show. He sang “Somewhere Out There” with a string section behind him.
Jones thanked Lythgoe and Warwick for the opportunity, shook their hands and was last seen being driven off the set.