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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 7

Report: Ex-'Idol' hopeful Josiah Leming lands major record label deal


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/25/2008 

Josiah Leming is reportedly living proof that you don't even need to be an American Idol semifinalist to snag a major label recording deal.

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The 18-year-old Morristown, TN native -- who was eliminated on the cusp of becoming an Idol seventh-season semifinalist -- has reportedly signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. records, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported Friday.

Leming is still currently living in Morristown -- a Knoxville suburb -- however he'll be moving to Hollywood "soon enough," according to the News Sentinel.  In addition to acquiring an agent and entertainment lawyer, Leming also recently purchased a new truck for his dad to celebrate his blossoming music career, according to a News Sentinel source.

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."

Leming was subsequently the final seventh-season hopeful to learn he wouldn't be a Top 24 semifinalist.

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. 

Leming went on to ask what his supporters thought of him signing with a major record label and didn't seem too sure about the idea himself.

"The problem with signing a big deal would be the fact that they would want to change and then own my music," he wrote.  "I'm not worried about the money or the fame, I just want to make music that comes directly from my soul, and if you guys will back me 100%, I promise never to compromise that."


(Photo credit Fox)


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