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Ousted 'Idol' finalist Lakisha Jones dishes on Cowell kiss, Sanjaya


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/11/2007 

Every contestant in American Idol's history -- be it an untalented hopeful or eventual winner -- has felt the sharp-tongue of Simon Cowell.  But recently ousted American Idol sixth season finalist Lakisha Jones is the only one who also knows what his lips feel like.

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"He is a good kisser.  I would do it again," Jones told reporters during a Thursday conference call, referring to a kiss she received from the Idol judge following her Top 6 performance of "This Ain't a Love Story.  "His lips were really soft and thin."

Kisses aside, Jones said she had a good relationship with Cowell, adding her favorite comment from him was "She's in a league all of her own," while she didn't agree with his frequent criticism of "You're shouting."  But he had positive thing to say to her following her elimination.

"He told me that he was really proud of me, and that he knows that I'm going to have a successful career," said Jones.

With her song choices coming under criticism several times during her Idol 6 run, Jones also surprised viewers when she performed Idol 4 champ Carrie Underwood's award-winning single "Jesus Take the Wheel" during the Top 7 performance episode, and then sang Idol 3 winner Fantasia Barrino's "I Believe" during the next week's Idol Gives Back performance episode.

"I was thinking that they were two winners," revealed Jones.  "I was also thinking the message within the song, 'Jesus Take The Wheel.'  I was going through some things and I needed Jesus to take the wheel.  I was like, 'You know what, I can't do this competition by myself so, Lord, you're going to have to help me get through it.'  I do believe in myself, and I do believe that no matter what happens, God has a plan for me, and that I will be successful."

While she couldn't predict a frontrunner, Jones said each of the remaining Idol 6 finalists -- Melinda Doolittle, Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis -- all have reasons why they've made it so far in the competition.

"They're all talented.  Whoever supposed to be the American Idol will be the American Idol," said Jones.  "I like Jordin.  One, she's so doggone cute.  She just has a wonderful spirit about herself.  She's really genuine... Blake, I love him.  Blake keeps me going.  At times that I was like, 'Oh my God,' Blake was like, 'No, come here.'  He'd start making up something to make me laugh and smile.  He was really cool and he has originality and personality, and he's great... Melinda, that girl has so much soul and power."

Jones will be reunited with the Top 3 as well as the other members of Idol 6's Top 10 for the American Idol 2007 summer tour, and she's looking forward to it.

"I loved [all the Top 10 finalists]," said Jones, before revealing which one she is most excited about being reunited with.  "Probably I would say [Sanjaya Malakr]... He has just this energy.  Sanjaya was like a little brother that got on your nerves all of the time.  He'd be jumping all over the place, and he has this energy.  And I could be like having a moment and he's jumping all over the place.  I'm like, 'Sit down somewhere.'  But I appreciate the fact that he trusted my judgment, he took my advice, and that he was also there for me when I needed him."

Someone else who's been there for Jones is her family, who helped care for the single mother's four-year-old daughter during mom's Idol journey.

"It was really, really hard [not begin with my daughter], but I have a strong support system," said Jones.  "I have my mother who takes care of my daughter while I'm away.  I have my grandmother who's supporting me and encouraging me, and praying for me.  Every chance they get, they are out here, so it's good when you have a good support system."

Following Idol 6's tour, Jones said she "just plans on singing" and is hopeful "great opportunities" will find her.  She also already has plans for the money she's almost guaranteed to make from Idol.

"A new home for me and my daughter.  I don't ever want to rent again," said Jones, who told reporters she's called Flint, MI, Houston, TX and Fort Meade, MD home throughout her 27-year life.  "I want to have a home.  It don't even have to have anything in it.  I just can't wait to get the keys and open the door and let my baby run through the house."

And if there are any doubters out there that think Jones won't be able to make it big in music, she has Idol's fifth season fourth-place finisher as inspiration.

"The only thing I can say is look at Chris Daughtry," she said.


(Photo credit Fox)


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