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Simon Says American Idol Should have kept Josiah

February 23rd, 2008 · 85 Comments

Simon Cowell expresses misgivings over the early ejection of one of AI 2008’s lightning rods By Jeffrey Jolson josiah.jpg HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 2/23/08 – “American Idol” host Simon Cowell said that Josiah Leming, the weepy young hopeful who quickly became a lightning rod for the media and AI fans should probably not have been kept out of the 12 final male contestants. Idol had built Leming, who cried a lot and sang with a British accent, into most every audition show, with a heart-wrenching back story that included a mother with cancer and living out of his car in order to live out his dream. Hollywood Today caught up with Cowell and co-judge Randy Jackson at a Playboy Mansion party for Hotel Byblos, a St. Tropez resort and nightclub hotspot currently doing a promotional soiree tour for its 40th Anniversary. He didn’t want to do an interview at the social occasion but he did tell our reporter that he had misgivings about Josiah getting the boot after the audition phase. “We should have let him go through. It was not my decision and I don’t think we should have had him leave so early.” (See related HT Video of the Playboy Mansion event) The media wanted him to stay as well, and Leming got interview request immediately. He appeared on MTV news and then on the Ellen DeGeneres show among others. He told MTV He has no regrets about any of the choices he made on “American Idol,” not even his critically drubbed take on Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” that got him booted from the show. “There’s a small window of opportunity, and I don’t want to do it too quick or too slow,” he said. “I’ve always been aware of the fact that one day you can be everything, and the next day you can be nothing. It’s sitting in the back of my mind that I could just be another flash in the pan.” Back to the party, which was quite flashy by design. Hotel Byblos is a posh resort with plenty of stars staying at its St. Tropez location on the French Riviera, not too far from other jet-set destinations Cannes and Monte Carlo. It has a hot nightclub, Les Caves du Roy, which it re-created for the evening at the Playboy Mansion, inviting VIPs to dance away the night in a giant tent, given the rain that evening. It is touring other cities with this concept as well and culminates with a 40th birthday party back in Saint Tropez this summer. Hef and his girls from “Girls Next Door” were on hand in addition to the Idol judges and with the lushly tropical ambiance on the Mansion’s famed grotto and pool, it was a fitting celebration spot, though might have been more so if only the weather matched the balmy tanning sun of Saint Tropez. Guess we’ll just have to go there to find out after the Cannes Film Festival in May.

85 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Diana // Feb 23, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Of course Josiah should have been in the top 24. Anyone with ears knows that much.

  • 2 Amy // Feb 23, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Josiah will be more of a household name than half of the previous American Idol winners anyway. He’s got talent, passion, and character, and he will go far. Buy his stuff of his myspace page (www.myspace.com/josiahleming) that he’s selling through Snocap….it’s FABULOUS. :)

  • 3 Elizabeth // Feb 23, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Everytime I watch American Idol I’m bummed that Josiah isn’t on there. ): I was so sad when he didn’t make it. I have one of his songs on my MySpace.

  • 4 Melissa // Feb 23, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Josiah has great talent-musical talent and his ability to write amazing lyrics (have you heard “One Last Song”?)- this alone will open doors for him. Josiah has a lot to share with the music world and AI was only the beginning. It is too bad he was cut short on the show. One door closes, another opens. :)

  • 5 Kate // Feb 23, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    AI usually turns wannabe musicians into drones anyway, causing most people to label them as fake and not worth listening to in the end…So I think that Josiah is far better off without them. He got some of the recognition he needed to get himself heard, and I think that in that way, it was good for him. I would’ve liked to see him go a bit further, but ultimately, I think he will go further without the show.

  • 6 Colleen // Feb 23, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    After listening to Josiah (I bought his music on his myspace page) I’m actually glad he didn’t continue on AI, even though it broke my heart. I can’t imagine him going through that process! (On the other hand it would’ve been INTERESTING to hear his version of a Motown tune). For him, however, it’s best that he was eliminated early and is getting so much attention. He deserves to succeed on his own terms!

  • 7 CASSANDRA // Feb 23, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Josiah would’ve won american idol. hands down. I bet you a million bux he will be more famous then any of the idols so far. just check his myspace or youtube. i lovee that kid sooo much.

  • 8 bethany // Feb 23, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Josiah is SO amazingly amazing
    :]] LoL I know that made no sense…he has the link 2 this on his myspace…thats how i found this & next to it he put : haha. simon misses me (: LoL…

  • 9 Lisa // Feb 23, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Josiah is by far the most passionate person ever. He has tons of talent and character. He would have won American Idol and everyone knows it. He’s such a great person, no wonder Simon wishes American Idol kept Josiah. I am in love with this kidd

  • 10 Rob // Feb 23, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I bought his stuff too. Seeing that it was all home-produced, I thought for sure at least some of the songs would be sub-par, not the case. A half-dozen of his songs are radio-friendly and I would pay to see him in concert today. Boy genuis is the best description I could give him.

  • 11 Terry // Feb 23, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I’m a grandma and I adore Josiah – I think there is genius in this kid that can appeal to all generations. He’s interesting, unique, and very talented. But I agree with the other posters here – his talent stretches way beyond the Idol mold. If you win Idol – or even are runner up – you have to abide by their rules, make the kind of albums they want, etc., etc., etc……..that’s been very tough on prior year’s contestants and would not have worked for Josiah at all. He’s better off taking the publicity it gave him and running with it. We will hear lots more from this boy and I predict he will be more popular than whoever wins Idol this year. He’s incredible!

  • 12 Samantha // Feb 23, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    He’s better off not making it to the top 24 because he himself as a musician is far ahead than any American idol. He already knows what he likes and is good at and has written many beautiful songs Do you ever notice the American idol winner is never spoke of again, they disappear for like two years and some are never heard of.

  • 13 Carmen // Feb 23, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    I love Josiah. BUT, I thought Simon said that about Kyle Ensley (he said that on Ellen).. hmmm.. I hope the report is true.

  • 14 Shelbie // Feb 23, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    oh COURSE he shoulda kept josiah. it’s SO not fair that he didnt get threw. they all LOVED him, and i’ll admit he had one bad audition. but still they should of at least put him threw.

  • 15 Meredith // Feb 23, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    if Josiah had been on the ACTUAL American idol show i definably think that he would have won. besides he’s remarkable singing he has charm and a happy tingly feeling he makes you get whenever you hear him sing/talk

  • 16 Jenna** // Feb 23, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    American Idol is Gay, they have no idea what true talent is. In MY opinion. Letting him go was plain Stupid. I hate the final 24 And LOVE LOVE Josiah Leming. Im glad he got booted off so AI didnt turn him into another Fag on their untalented show. haha they let a gay kid thru instead.

  • 17 cindi rose // Feb 23, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    well I think Josiah will benefit greatlt from his exposure on Idol. But that wasnt a place for him. He is FAR too talented a musician for that show. He is going ot become a legend. A TRUE star and humble to boot, now thats rare….

  • 18 Kelly McColligan // Feb 23, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    I loved this kid!! I actually cried, like, REALLY cried when he got put off. I was hoping he would be the wildcard this year and they would bring back. Guess not, he really deserves it though.

  • 19 Steve G. // Feb 23, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    If there is a better 18-year-old songwriter in the country, please step forward.

  • 20 Taylor // Feb 23, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Even if Josiah wasn’t the “best” singer this season of AI, he still would have made it very far…if not WIN that show because let’s face it, all the teenage girls in America would vote for him just for being so damn CUTE!

    I know I wouldn’t be the only one.


  • 21 josiah's brother // Feb 23, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Josiah Rocks!! Paula and Randy are out of their minds not keeping the passionate, and talented Josiah Leming. We all know Paula is a talentless, washed up, bi-polar twat, who probably couldn’t see Josiah’s talent while on her Zoloft and Vicodin coctails. But Randy….what the hell were YOU thinking??

  • 22 Steve // Feb 23, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    This guy brings out what burns in most of us when it comes to those secret places of the heart..He is needed and there is a growing demand for his talent…I am very happy to see what is evolving. There is a demand for his gift music is good for the soul and what he brings is what most of us long for..something to relate too and put to words by song what we go thru or ponder personaly

  • 23 Steve // Feb 23, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    and whoever signs him and coaches him will open the door for new music..just watch

  • 24 Stefanie // Feb 23, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    I am so glad he didn’t make it. It would have ruined him. He would have had to sign a contract with them and he would have to do those horrible happy songs that Idol make these poor kids do on the show. He is better than that crap of a show.

  • 25 Josiah // Feb 23, 2008 at 10:00 pm


  • 26 Janice Elaine Allen // Feb 23, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    More often than not, I agree with Simon!! In this case, it rings true as well!! After all, the name of the game is “SIMON says” LOL Everyone loves Josiah!! I know that he was and still is Simon’s favorite from AI’s season 7, and quite possibly the lifespan of the show. He has amazing talent AND desire…..the only thing he should be concerned about now, is to be true to himself!! Trust me guys, he won’t dissapoint!! Janice Elaine Allen

  • 27 Jennifer // Feb 23, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    American Idol said they were looking for originality but left the most original singer go. Josiah is going to make it! He’s far better than many of those singers on there. I think the show is boring without him and I’ve been a dedicated watcher since the first season. Shame on AI!

  • 28 Jaz // Feb 24, 2008 at 2:05 am

    What a waste of slot to see the AI judges putting through some contestants that obviously don’t have the slim chance to make it in the music industry and they were able to let go of Josiah. Could be their stupidest decision ever! Josiah could have won. AI could have also benefited from Josiah for the show ratings. Josiah will have the last laugh soon enough! ;-)

  • 29 Carolyn // Feb 24, 2008 at 5:13 am

    As an English viewer of AI I think that Josiah should come over here. People that write their own songs and play instuments are very popular here at the minute and i think Josiah would fit right in, I have downloaded all of his songs and have watched his Youtube vids a million times, he is one very talented young man! x

  • 30 Philbert // Feb 24, 2008 at 5:40 am

    His last audition was terrible. He shouldn’t have been so arrogant about booting the band off the stage. He got as good as he gave. That’s life. Stop the damn crying and get on with it.

  • 31 michelle // Feb 24, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Haha simon is crying his head off now.

  • 32 aok // Feb 24, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Josiah and Kyle Ensley should both have been put into the top 24, especially considering the amount of time TPTB spent featuring them during the audition episodes. But I guess they felt they needed to choose more CANNON FODDER instead! I see sharks jumping!!!

  • 33 Ana // Feb 24, 2008 at 8:59 am

    The producers didn’t put him in the Top 24 because that would split America’s teen votes between Leming and David Archuleta, this season’s pre-crowned winner. Leming and Archuleta appeal to the same kind of audience (teen fangirls, moms and grandmas) and having both around would defeat their purpose.

  • 34 mariah // Feb 24, 2008 at 9:34 am

    bring him back then!!!!!!! if u think he should be on the show bring him back throw a twist into the show!!

  • 35 mariah // Feb 24, 2008 at 9:35 am

    bring him back then!!!add twist into the show!!!

  • 36 sonreuijung // Feb 24, 2008 at 9:48 am

    I love his passion. he is not singer. he is real actually artiest.

  • 37 songeuijung // Feb 24, 2008 at 9:52 am

    I love his passion. he is not singer. he is real actually artist.

  • 38 howard // Feb 24, 2008 at 9:55 am

    i wish randy and paula wouldve listened to simon. the boy has great talent,the best thing that has happened here in morristown in a long time go josiah

  • 39 Tiffani // Feb 24, 2008 at 10:19 am

    I totally agree! Simon, Randy & puala made a HUGE mistake! I’m an American Idol fanatic & I was soooo mad! Josiah was one of my favs.! He’s now one of my friends on myspace & he’s an amazing person! He truely cares ‘cout his fanz!

  • 40 Karen from Ohio // Feb 24, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Josiah is everything that American Idol judges claim they are looking for – TALENTED, CURRENT and ORIGINAL. He has the total package–so they missed out when they didn’t pick him. Already half the guys on AI are boring and forgettable. But I do believe Josiah will be better off and he still is getting recognition to make him a huge star. So American Idol ultimately still gave him an extra boost to get him off and running! And I can’t wait to catch him on the Grammys with one of his originals!

  • 41 JG // Feb 24, 2008 at 11:56 am

    seriously though, it’s better for Josiah to stay away from American Idol! Now that AI producers have seen what Josiah can actually do, and that he now has more supporters than those in the top24 combined (some, not all), they’ll just use his popularity for their benefit. Indeed, if it weren’t for Idol, we would have never heard of Josiah. But the AI-connection should end there. good luck Josiah!

  • 42 Cindy // Feb 24, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I love Josiah and think this season would have been exponentially sweeter with him in it. They missed the boat in letting him go. But, Josiah will be great. I also purchased his music off his myspace page and he is a special person and singer whom you feel when he sings.

  • 43 josiah leming music // Feb 25, 2008 at 2:33 am

    …is great! And hes a very talented boy. I know hes gonna make it without American Idol.

  • 44 Maryl // Feb 26, 2008 at 7:29 am

    If you’re a Josiah fan like me, you should also check out his two videos on access hollywood. He performed two of his original songs on their stage last week (“To Run” and “One Last Song”).

  • 45 Jasper Dominguez // Mar 6, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Thanks for the replay Janey. I hate that I missed this interview. He is getting so good at them.

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    i love that’s song!! u go david!!

  • 49 Gregory Ryan // Mar 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    I will always love David!

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