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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 7

Ex-'Idol' hopeful Josiah Leming signs deal with Warner Bros Records

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/20/2008 

Josiah Leming may not have been American Idol material, but the rejected seventh-season hopeful has still found a home for his burgeoning music career.

The 18-year-old Morristown, TN native -- who was eliminated on the cusp of becoming an Idol seventh-season semifinalist -- has signed a recording and publishing contract with Warner Bros. Records, Billboard reported Monday.  Leming will start recording his album this week, according to Warner Bros.

Reports that Leming would sign with Warner Bros. Records first surfaced in March after he was the final seventh-season hopeful to learn he wouldn't be a Top 24 seventh-season semifinalist.

Leming dropped out of school at 17-years-old and subsequently began living in his car, which he did for 10 months to a year while traveling the country and playing various shows.  He auditioned for Idol's seventh season last summer in Atlanta and wowed the judges with "To Run," a song he wrote. 

He made it through to the Hollywood Round and continued to impress the judges with both his vocal ability and piano-playing skills on "Grace Kelly."

However he faltered badly during his final Hollywood Round performance when he was ill-prepared and sleep deprived, singing a rendition of "Stand By Me" with no musical accompaniment.

"That to me was your worst performance," said Randy Jackson.  "That was not good... I don't know what was going on with that one.  I didn't get that one at all."

"Sometimes we just make the wrong choices," added Paula Abdul.  "I'm a huge fan Josiah, and that didn't work for me."

"It took a hell of a lot of guts," Leming told the judges.

"No, no, no... Josiah, now you're being a teensy-weensy bit annoying," replied Simon Cowell.  "Everyone has a lot of guts to get up there, and if you're going to dismiss the band, be really certain that you are going to deliver an unbelievable vocal.  Because it just exposed you... You lost a little bit of your charm on that performance.  I would put it down to overconfidence at this point -- way overconfidence."

Despite his tearful elimination from Idol, Leming still garnered a lot of media attention -- including an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.  In a February 21 posting on his MySpace blog, Leming wrote "things have been insane lately" and stated media outlets and fans weren't the only ones giving him attention.

"Next month I am meeting with many major record labels and various companies, but what I would love to do more than anything would be to put out and independent album, get it on iTunes and CDbaby, even in some stores, and do a 30-35 city tour this summer," he wrote. 

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