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‘American Idol’ Contestant Jermaine Jones Has Five Arrest Warrants

Jermaine Jones
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

By now ‘American Idol‘ viewers are aware that “gentle giant” Jermaine Jones is being kicked off the show on tonight’s (March 14) episode for failing to disclose his arrest record and criminal history. Jones, who openly confessed to being a mama’s boy and was a favorite of show mentor Jimmy Iovine thanks to his deep baritone, apparently has five outstanding arrest warrants in New Jersey.

It’s somewhat ironic that he concealed his murky past but was so open about other areas of his life while on the show. Granted, most people with arrest records aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to discuss them on a national TV show with life-altering stakes. But still, Jones was revelatory during his time.

The Smoking Gun did some sleuthing and discovered that Jones’ record is somewhat extensive. The 25-year-old vocal instructor is wanted in three counties on an array of charges. In addition to giving a fake name to cops, he failed to appear in court on several different charges stemming back to 2006.

He was busted for narcotics in 2006. In 2008, he was hit with an open container charge. In 2009, he gave cops a fake name. In March of last year, he provided the fake moniker of ‘Joel Jones’ so he would avoid being picked up for a previous warrant after cops were called to a hotel to check out a disturbance.

His last arrest is as recent as late 2011. On Nov. 27, he was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over during a traffic stop and stated his name was ‘Kareem D. Watkins’ in a second attempt to prevent arrest on prior warrants. He was due in court in December, but failed to appear.

Last night, Jones offered a post on his now-defunct Twitter account, writing, “Awww I will no longer b on the show.”

The verdict? We’re bummed for Jones. He is supremely talented and his voice moved us. It’s a shame that his legal issues have manifested themselves in this manner and altered his course on the show. However, where were ‘Idol’ screeners during this mess? Did they not do their homework on the hopefuls? Jones is not the first ‘Idol’ with a complicated past and he won’t be the last. Still, there are people whose job it is to sort this stuff out from the get-go. It should also be made clear that Jones is not being thrown off because he had issues; he did not disclose them and therein lies the problem.

That said, best of luck to Jones, post-’Idol.’ He is a talent whose voice deserves to be heard.

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