An Unexpected Musical Good-bye to Idol’s Suddenly Ejected Jermaine Jones

In an unexpected Tuesday-night American Idol elimination round hosted by rabid karaoke watchdog TMZ, creepily soulful man-mountain Jermaine Jones was placed in the Bottom One and summarily voted off the competition by proxy judge Harvey Levin, his journey reportedly cut tragically short because of a concealed criminal past. According to TMZ, Idol producers discovered Tuesday that Jones had lied about his criminal history (presumably, the show’s application has a “Hey, anything weird or illegal you got caught for that we should maybe know about? Like, arrest-y and whatnot? No bigs, we just wanna disqualify you if so, OK?” line), with one of the two unearthed incidents from the past year “involv[ing] violence,” an ominous, if vague, assertion.

TMZ says there will be some sort of televised confrontation of the “gentle giant” on tonight’s program, presumably involving a saddened Ryan Seacrest — who had become fond of riding around the stage on Jones’s shoulders, challenging all comers to a playful chicken fight; Team Master Blaster easily defeated the Colton Dixon/Shannon Magrane tandem in a best-of-three falls tilt just that morning — saying a tearful good-bye to his disgraced partner, then trying and failing to wrap a supportive arm around the Brobdingnagian baritone’s enormous shoulders. We’ll have to wait a few hours to see how this mess plays out in prime time, but it’s the closest thing to a must-watch moment Idol has managed in several seasons.

Join us in saying a quick, musical farewell to Jermaine, one we hope won’t seem terribly inappropriate following whatever revelations are presented to us tonight. J.J., we hardly knew you. Literally. (And see you on The Voice next year! They’re pretty chill about stuff.)

His audition:

Singing for a spot in the Top 13 as a wild card (“His Idol dream, brought back to life,” says Seacrest, in a retrospectively ironic comment):

And in what will presumably be his final performance, barring some kind of weird turn of events tonight involving a “good-bye” version of a Luther Vandross ballad, here’s Jones singing Stevie Wonder’s “Knocks Me Off My Feet”:

Filed Under: American Idol, Idol

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Mark Lisanti is an editor at Grantland.

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