Jermaine Jones off 'American Idol' due to arrest warrants
Galleries'American Idol' Season 11 Finals 'American Idol' Season 11 Semifinals 'American Idol' Season 11 auditions
Web links'American Idol' blog
In one of the odder moments in "American Idol" history, the show's top producers fired Top 12 finalist Jermaine Jones during a pretaped segment Wednesday night, after the show learned that he had outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court on various charges dating back to 2006.
At the show's outset Wednesday night, host Ryan Seacrest said, "With the cooperation of law enforcement, we discovered information that left us with no choice but to eliminate one of our finalists."
Seacrest didn't say who the contestant was, but later in the show, co-executive producer Ken Warwick told Jones in the pretaped segment, "We're not judgmental and if [contestants] come clean with us, we can help them." But he said that Jones hadn't told them the truth "on any level."
Jones said he didn't tell producers "because I was scared [and] hoped it would be taken care of."
Jones himself confirmed his departure in a tweet Tuesday. The Smoking Gun later said he was wanted in three New Jersey counties on charges including a six-year-old narcotics arrest, an open container charge and giving false names to arresting officers. As a contestant, Jones, 25, had stage presence, physically imposing with a sultry, smoky R&B-influenced style that won him support of judges who pulled him back into the top 12 after voters' rejections.
"Idol" says it scrutinizes contestant backgrounds, although it was unclear how Jones' background was overlooked. This is not the first time a top 12 contestant has been tossed off the show over an undisclosed criminal record. Corey Clark, who had reached the top 10, was disqualified in 2002 after The Smoking Gun reported that he had assaulted his sister and fought police while resisting arrest.