Jeremy Rosado: 'American Idol' judge Jennifer Lopez tried to save me
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/09/2012
Jeremy Rosado was ousted from American Idol, which determined its eleventh season's Top 12 finalists, during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox.
Jeremy, a 19-year-old from Valrico, FL, became the first finalist sent home from American Idol's eleventh season after he and fellow contestant Elise Testone received the fewest home viewer votes -- the lowest guy and the lowest girl -- following Wednesday night's performance show, and Idol judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson then chose to eliminate Rosado over Testone due to a recently announced twist.
During a conference call with reporters on Friday, Jeremy talked to Reality TV World about his American Idol experience and early elimination from the competition -- including whether he believed he was at a disadvantage going into the rest of the season's performance shows since he had been selected as a "Wild Card" pick and five of the other six male finalists had advanced in the competition thanks to a larger amount of home viewer votes, whether he got a better explanation as to why the judges eliminated him in a split-decision vote and how many times he had auditioned for the American Idol before making it to the Hollywood Week Round.
Reality TV World: You were a "wild card" pick by the judges during last week's results show. So did you think you were kind of on "borrowed time" going into the rest of the performance shows considering at least five of the six other guys had already received more votes than you last week? How confident were you that you would or wouldn't be part of the bottom vote-getters this week?
Jeremy Rosado: That's kind of a rough question. (Laughs) I definitely felt like I had something to prove because I didn't get voted into the Top 13. I was just hoping that what I had done the night before [was enough].
Reality TV World: Jennifer Lopez was obviously a huge fan of you and seemed to be pulling for you. So have you gotten any details of how close the vote amongst the judges actually was? You made a comment earlier in the call that made it sound like you talked with Jennifer after the show and told you it was a split vote and she was outvoted -- did I understand that correctly, and if so, did you get any explanation why Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson voted against you?
Jeremy Rosado: You know, all I can say is that she was trying to save me. I'm not sure what happened, but I'm forever grateful not only to her for fighting for me until the end, but to Randy, and Steven and the producers.
Because if it weren't for all their votes that got me to this point, I wouldn't be here. So, I'm grateful. I believe Randy didn't think my performance was very strong the other night and then that's why he didn't want to put me through. But I'm blessed to have had his and their support this whole way.
Reality TV World: When American Idol decided to add Jermaine Jones to the Top 12 making it a Top 13, there was obviously one more guy than there were girls. So do you think the fact there was an extra guy played a role in your elimination in that maybe you weren't necessarily sent home because of your singing potential in the competition, but rather because the judges thought it would be good to even out the playing field?
Jeremy Rosado: That's a great question. You know what? It could have played a part, you know? But like I said before, I will never know. All I know is that they gave me an incredible opportunity to be standing on that stage for the past few weeks and I will be forever grateful.
Reality TV World: You mentioned you'd always wanted to be on American Idol -- was this the first time you ever tried out for the show?
Jeremy Rosado: I actually auditioned five times for the show and this was the first time I ever made it to Hollywood. And then that went on to making it all the way to the Top 13, which is crazy. Out of 2,000 people -- crazy, crazy blessing. I never dreamed that I would actually make it this far and I did, so praise God for that!
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Reality TV World: Did you audition for the row consecutively or were there seasons you decided to skip in between? How did that play out?
Jeremy Rosado: I tried out consecutively for the past, what was it? Four years? Three years.
Also in the call, Jeremy told reporters how close he was with his fellow contestants, to what extent he was emotionally affected by his early ouster from the competition, whether he'd ever consider trying out for The Voice or The X Factor, and how much of a role he thought his Stevie Wonder song choice played in his elimination.
Jimmy Iovine had some harsh words for you last night, while judge Steven Tyler said he would've picked you to go home over Elise? What was it like hearing those comments considering you were already nervous?
Jeremy Rosado: It definitely didn't help. (Laughs) You know, it definitely made you think that you were definitely the one going home. But at the same, you just sit there hoping and praying that the outcome would be in my favor.
I'm grateful for the three of them -- for the four of them -- Jennifer, Jimmy, Steven, and Randy Jackson -- for the judges and the producers for bringing me this far. They obviously saw something and last night, Jennifer came up to me and told me she wanted to keep me and it definitely made me feel pretty good. I just lost the battle last night I guess.
How did it feel to have Jennifer Lopez in your corner? She seemed to really believe in you and care about you?
Jeremy Rosado: It was crazy. It was amazing. I will forever be grateful to her, you know what I mean, for her being on my side and fighting for me down to the last minute. But at the same time, I'm grateful for the judges and the producers, like I said before. Getting to the Top 13 of 100,000 people is not something that happens everyday and I really am just so blessed.
What was your relationship with contestant Colton Dixon like? He had some nice things to say about you following your elimination.
Jeremy Rosado: He became my big brother, completely -- my big brother. I'm going to miss him so much and I'm going to miss him and all my other brothers and sisters from the show. I love them so much and it's probably going to be the biggest thing I'll miss the most. Yeah, it's going to be not being with my family, my [fellow] contestants.
Did you cry after you got eliminated from the show? What emotions were you experiencing?
Jeremy Rosado: Oh yes, definitely happened. I definitely cried a lot. I cried and prayed and called my mom and my dad. So, yeah. It hurt a lot. I'm still devastated, but I'm recovering and I know only the best things are going to come from this. American Idol is a humongous platform and I've been so tremendously blessed to be on the show.
Are you interested in pursuing an acting career?
Jeremy Rosado: Yeah, I love acting and singing -- hopefully do some TV, movies or something -- a record deal. Big dreams, you know? So I'm just hoping that maybe someone will reach out to me. We'll see what happens. I know God has got everything under control, so I'm excited.
Now that you have the time, do you think you will try out for other singing competition shows like The Voice orThe X Factor?
Jeremy Rosado: No, I think American Idol was the show that I've always wanted to try out for, and this show has done so much for me. The two reasons I wouldn't audition for another show like that -- I think the first one is because they won't take me because I've made it this far onto this show, and second, I thinkAmerican Idol has done a lot for me and given me a huge head start in my career. So I'm hoping for just doors to open just from having this in my life.
What are your plans for the near future?
Jeremy Rosado: I've got some more press to do over the next week. That's pretty much it for now. I'm going to go home to be with my family and my church and yeah -- just hope and pray for something.
You were surprised to be eliminated?
Jeremy Rosado: I think my performance was strong enough to still be in the competition. I thought I would still be there today, but in that moment when we were standing there together, I had a gut feeling that it wasn't going to be me. Elise is amazing and she so deserves it, so I'm sad it had to be me, but I'm happy for her to the end.
What did you think about the twist in which it came down to the judges' decision and how that might have impacted you going home? Do you think if the rules had stayed the same and based the elimination on America's vote that you'd still be in it over Elise?
Jeremy Rosado: You know, I will never know if I was the one with the lowest number or if I would have been the one staying, but I kind of wish it was down the regular way so I could have seen how it played out by America. But at the same time, she's amazing. It might have just been her anyway. It might have remained the way it was by America's vote. I will just never know.
Why do you think you had such a strong connection with Jennifer Lopez?
Jeremy Rosado: That was a huge blessing and it will forever be a huge blessing, and you know, just to think that she saw something in me that was special to her. I honestly believe it was just my heart and I lied my heart out on my sleeve every time that I performed, and I know she felt it. And I praise God that I made it this far.
You all were expected to sing Whitney Houston or Stevie Wonder songs, which is a pretty tall order for your first performance. How did you feel when you learned you'd have to sing a Stevie Wonder classic?
Jeremy Rosado: I was scared. (Laughs) It's not easy being Stevie Wonder -- nobody will ever be Stevie Wonder. He's one of the greatest of all time and I was just hoping that I could do my own thing with the song and it definitely worked Jennifer. Jennifer, she loved it, and Steven liked it too the other night. Randy not so much, but I don't know. I thought it was pretty good for what it was.
Was there anything you would have done differently?
Jeremy Rosado: I don't know, maybe sang better I guess. I don't know what I could have done to make it better. I thought that my journey was pretty good, you know? -- All the way. I can't change what's already done, but I can praise God for how far I've gotten. I'm just so grateful, very grateful.
"Ribbon in the Sky" seemed to be a difficult song choice. Looking back, do you wish you had selected another song to perform?
Jeremy Rosado: I probably would have, you know? I probably would have picked a different song. It wasn't a bad performance. I thought I did pretty good, pretty well. I wish they could have been -- things could have changed. I'm not sure what I could have done differently. I think I sang my heart out and I put my heart out on my sleeve and got eliminated, which stinks. But what can you do?
Now that you've been eliminated, who are your favorites to win the competition?
Jeremy Rosado: I honestly can't even pick anybody. I honestly love each and every one of them as my brothers and my sisters, and they're all in their own right absolutely amazing. Every one of them deserves to still be there, so I'm just excited to see how it all plays out and see who ends up being the winner.
Ryan Seacrest had basically said that everyone needs to get to know Jeremy Rosado. How much do you think it hurt your place in the competition that you weren't featured in some of the earlier episodes as much as some of the other contestants? When you made it far in Hollywood Week, that was basically the first time viewers saw you. Do you feel like that may be why you initially didn't make the Top 12, because the audience just wasn't that familiar with you?
Jeremy Rosado: I think that could have played a part, definitely. But at the same time, I can't be upset at the producers for the way it was edited. I mean, I wasn't featured in the beginning, but I was featured on the show and they brought me this far, do you get what I mean? So, I'm just grateful that I got to this point and it was just meant to be.
You said you have always been a fan of American Idol. Watching the show over the years, has there been a contestant who really inspired you or motivated you to audition?
Jeremy Rosado: I saw the last episode of the very first season when Ryan Seacrest said, "The winner of American Idol is Kelly Clarkson." And from that moment on, she completely inspired me to be like, "Whoa. This is my dream. This is what I want to do one day." That was the first time that I've ever seen the show and I was like, "Wow, this is what I want to do."