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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 7

Simon Cowell: Josiah Leming should have been 'Idol' semifinalist

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/20/2008 

Simon Cowell admits that Josiah Leming should have been an American Idol seventh-season semifinalist, however he's placing the blame for why it didn't happen on his fellow judges.

"We should have put him through," Cowell told the Knoxville News Sentinel in a Friday report. "I was all for it. I wanted him in the competition."

Leming 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.

While Randy Jackson called it Leming's "worst performance" and Paula Abdul added it "didn't work," it's not as though Cowell was completely blameless, as he characterized the 18-year-old as being "a teensy-weensy bit annoying" and singing with "overconfidence."

Still, Cowell said he wanted to send Leming through to the Top 24 only to be shot down by both Jackson and Abdul.

"I don't know what they were thinking," Cowell told the News Sentinel. "I wanted him through."

Idol's loss worked out pretty well for Leming, who recently signed a recording and publishing contract with Warner Bros. Records.  His debut album is currently scheduled to drop in September.

"I think I was proven right," Cowell told the News Sentinel.

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