Ah, the truth. It will set you free. It can hurt. For "American Idol" contestant Jermaine Jones, the truth about his past will do both, apparently, according to celebrity gossip website TMZ, setting him free from his contract with "American Idol" but also hurting his chances of winning. And that is if truth doesn't kill his chances of continuing on the show. TMZ reports that sources indicate that Jones will be released from the show on their live performance broadcast on Wednesday evening.
Problems began when producers at "Idol" became suspicious of part of Jones' backstory. He had claimed he was abandoned by his father and that the man had suddenly called him. According to sources close to the situation, Jones said he was upset because he thought his father, Kevin Jones, had only reestablished contact because he, Jermaine, was now somewhat famous and could potentially become wealthy.
But "Idol" producers looking into Jones' story found a different side to it when they spoke with the father. The elder Jones said the Jermaine's story was simply untrue, that he had never abandoned his son and that they had an ongoing relationship. In fact, Jones (Kevin) said he was in the "American Idol" audience supporting his son during the Top 13 performance show. He surmised that his son had concocted the story solely to gain the sympathy vote from "Idol" fans.
As if Jones needed such a vote. The judges had brought him back during the Top 24 live performance round because they thought he deserved to make the cut (but had not). And the "Idol" audience apparently liked him enough to keep him around. He made the Top 10 in the initial results cut. And in the Top 13 results, he finished in the Bottom Three Guys in votes -- but Jeremy Rosado had the fewest and was ultimately sent home.
So a sympathy vote should have been unnecessary. Unless the New Jersey vocal coach felt his chances of going much further were slim and had decided to improve his odds...
And yet, that's where it all might have ended -- with "Idol" confronting Jermaine on camera with his father's refutation of his story. A bit embarrassing for the likeable 25-year-old "gentle giant," but it still would have been up to the audience to vote him off the show.
While checking into Jones' abandonment -- producers found that Jones (the junior) has a criminal record -- one not disclosed to "American Idol" when he joined the show. TMZ reports that Jones was arrested twice last year and that he still has outstanding warrants in his name. He also lied to law enforcement both times he was arrested, providing the police with a false name each time.
His failure to disclose his arrest record -- not to mention that at least one of the incidents involved was an act of violence -- will get Jones booted from the show. He will appear on the show Wednesday, according to TMZ's sources, but most likely only long enough to explain his situation.
Jones himself took to Twitter to post his fate. On his official “Idol” Twitter account, he wrote: “Awww I will no longer b on the show.” The post and Jones’ official “Idol” Twitter account can no longer be found. They have since been deleted (but "mjsbigblog" managed to get a screen grab of the post).
If TMZ's reporting hadn't already spelled out expulsion from the show, the elimination of Jones' official Twitter account just about seals it.
What will this do in the "American Idol" scheme of things? It is difficult to tell. Several questions present themselves. Will Jones' dismissal shorten the season by one show? Will the judges bring back another "Idol" finalist to take Jones' place? Could Jeremy Rosado return to take Jermaine Jones' spot (because if he had not been brought back by the judges to sing in the Top 24 or the producers had discovered his criminal record sooner, it possibly would have affected the vote by the altered dynamic). Will the Top 12 finalists, who are set for their performance show on Wednesday, gain a reprieve on Thursday night due to matters beyond their control having thinned their ranks prior to the audience vote?
Besides, what would "American Idol" be without all the off-stage drama anyway? Truth is, it most likely wouldn't be as enjoyable to watch. And it is just such drama that has kept the show as America's most watched series for the past seven seasons.
No doubt the Jones drama will give "Idol" its best ratings of the year as people tune in to see the official fate of the "gentle giant."
The Top 12 "American Idol" finalists -- most likely sans Jones -- will perform Wednesday evening, beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST on Fox Television.
(photo credit: Jyle Dupuis, Creative Commons)