Speaking with journalists via conference call Friday morning, Jeremy “Jer-Bear” Rosado — the first American Idol contestant to be ousted on the Season 11 competition — lived up to his teddy bear with a heart of gold reputation, having nothing but kind words to say about the AI judges and producers and his “brothers and sisters” who remain to sing on.
“I cried and prayed and called my mom,” Rosado said when asked what he did when the cameras stopped rolling. “I’m still devastated. But I was so tremendously blessed to have been on the show.”
Even before he and Elise Testone found themselves in the voters’ bottom two and at the mercy of the judges’ lifeline on last night’s inaugural results show, Rosado suspected he might be the one sent packing.
“It definitely didn’t help,” he said of show mentor Jimmy Iovine’s stinging criticism and judge Steven Tyler’s prediction of his fate.
“I think my performance was strong enough [for me] to still be in the competition, but when we were standing there I had a gut feeling that it wouldn’t be me.”
Asked multiple times about judge Jennifer Lopez’s fierce championing of his talent, Rosado said he would be forever grateful to her and that he would welcome the chance to perform on her FOX network talent search Q’Viva! The Chosen if the opportunity arose. He also said he would welcome acting offers in addition to chances to further his music career.
“Hopefully some TV, movies … a record deal,” Rosado said, “The big dreams, you know?”
Revealing that he had auditioned unsuccessfully for the past five seasons before landing in this season’s top thirteen via Lopez’s wildcard slot, Rosado said it was possible that his lack of exposure during the pre-Hollywood episodes and ambitious song choice (Stevie Wonder’s Ribbon In The Sky) contributed to his early ouster — which evened the playing field to six men and six women. But he demurred when asked to make prediction of who would come out on top, even when pressed for his feelings about early front-runner Jessica Sanchez.
“I love Jessica Sanchez,” Rosado said. “We are definitely close friends. I’m blessed to have met her and blessed to have sung with her.”
Rosado also said he considered his roommate Colton Dixon “a big brother,” and that fellow Tampa resident Shannon Magrane would remain a best friend for life, though the two only met when they auditioned one after the other.
Asked about his future plans, Rosado said he would perform on Live! With Kelly on Monday and on Today on Tuesday. Once the whirlwind of press is over, “I get to go home and be with my family and my church.”
As for the infectious disease clinic at which he was a much-loved employee before striking AI gold — well that one’s a wait and see. “I love my coworkers; they’re like my family,” Rosado laughed. “But I don’t want to go back there yet.”
American Idol airs Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm ET on FOX.
Photo: Michael Becker/FOX