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MAR
16
2 YEARS

'American Idol': Jermaine Jones 'Shocked' by Disqualification (Video)

The former contestant, who was eliminated this week for apparently concealing a criminal record, says: "I know that when I filled out my application, I circled 'yes' that I was previously arrested before."

Jermaine Jones portrait P
Nino Munoz / FOX

Jermaine Jones is still reeling from his sudden American Idol departure.

The six-foot-eight New Jersey native was bumped from the Fox competition earlier this week over his criminal record; although Jones' persona on the show was that of a "Gentle Giant" devoted to his mother, the 25-year-old had a history of past run-ins with the law -- namely, five outstanding arrest warrants in three counties.

On Wednesday night's performance show, footage was shown of producers firmly yet politely confronting Jones about his record, then ousting him permanently from season 11.

"I thought they were bringing it to my attention," Jones told HLN's Showbiz Tonight in his first interview since getting the boot.  "Letting me know that now they are aware of, you know, this, that and the third. I didn't know what was going to happen," he said, trailing off.

STORY: Another Finalist Gets The Boot, 10 Remain

"Until they said it, I had no clue what was going to happen," he added, saying: "I was shocked, but I can't really express what my emotions were at that time."

Jones tranformed from promising Idol finalist to tabloid target seemingly overnight when news broke that he had a history of arrests including two last year for giving false names to police officers. The Smoking Gun reported he had attempted to avoid getting apprehended for previous warrants.

The singer and voice coach, who hails from Pine Hill, N.J., was arrested in 2006 on narcotics charges, in 2008 for an open container violation and the following year for once again giving police the wrong name, the site said.

"I know that when I filled out my application, I circled 'yes' that I was previously arrested before," Jones said on Showbiz Tonight. "And, you know, they did a background check on me and there were some information that I had to get a lawyer to take care of before I could even be on the show."

STORY: 'Idol' Contestants React To Jones' Departure

Jones said he was arrested for "minor, small infractions" in his youth, admitting to using false monikers and dismissing "an allegation of a fight, which was not true." He continued: "It was not actually a fight. And then one for driving suspended and things like that."

Asked about those warrants, Jones said he had no knowledge about the situation, noting: "Everything that needs to be taken care of, as far as that's concerned, my team is handling it very well."

Jones said he was not concerned with speculation that producers had planned the show scandal in advance as a ratings ploy. His exit fueled one of the most dramatic weeks this season on the Fox competition. On Thursday's show, Tampa teen Shannon Magrane was sent home, narrowing the field of talented contestants to ten.
 
Check out Jones' TV interview below.