American Idol Finalist Jermaine Jones Joins Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

American Idol season 11 finalist Jermaine Jones has jumped on board a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against the show filed by 10 other former black contestants. The plaintiffs in the suit all claim that American Idol wrongfully disqualified them from the show because of their race.

AMERICAN IDOL 2012: Jermaine Jones. CR: Nino Munoz / FOX

According to the now 11 former American Idol contestants in the lawsuit, the show unfairly disqualified black contestants for reasons “unrelated to their singing talent.” The lawsuit also claims that the show did not treat white or non-Black contestants the same way.

Former season 11 finalist Jermaine Jones, who was removed from the show after reaching the Top 12, announced this week that he would be joining the American Idol racial discrimination lawsuit. Jermaine was disqualified as a finalist because of undisclosed outstanding warrants.

All American Idol contestants are required to reveal such police records as part of their paperwork to compete on the show. American Idol claims Jermaine failed to do this, and lied about his arrest history. Jermaine was confronted by producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick about the issue before he was disqualified from the competition.

Jermaine, who later also tried out for The Voice but failed to make it through,  previously mocked the contestants who originally filed the suit, calling their allegations “ludicrious.”

“Some of these cases are over 10 years old,” Jermaine told The Hollywood Reporter two years ago. “What have you been doing since the show that you feel you deserve $25 million?”

Now, however, he has apparently changed his mind big time.

“I was and continue to be appreciative of the opportunity to perform as a Top 10 contestant during Season 11 of ‘American Idol,’ which was once considered the world’s biggest stage for up-and-coming recording artists. And I wanted to believe that my humiliating public disqualification in March 2012 was just part of the show and an experience that could be internalized and ultimately forgotten. But I realize now, with the support of my family and friends, that Equal Rights under the law (or in this case, under contest rules) is something we must always strive for and never take for granted,”  Jermaine told ABC News.

“I am therefore honored to join my fellow brethren in their continuing struggle to enforce this Nation’s Civil Rights laws against the powerful forces who discriminated against top-ranking Black American Idols for more than decade.”

A source allegedly told ABC News that Jermaine decided he wanted to join the lawsuit because he “began having nightmares and panic attacks” about what happened back in March of 2012 when he was confronted by the American Idol producers and then thrown off the show.

The other plaintiffs in the American Idol racial discrimination lawsuit include:  Corey Clark (season two), Jaered Andrews (season two), Jacob John Smalley (season two), Donnie Williams (season three), Terrell Brittenum (season five), Derrell Brittenum (season five), Thomas Daniels (season six), Akron Watson (season six), Ju’Not Joyner (season eight), and ChrisGolightly (season nine).

Currently, the case is under consideration by a judge on whether it should be dismissed or be allowed to move forward.




  1. As long as the rules that lead to disquqlifications apply equally to all contestants, they have no complaint. If all of these former contestants falsified their applications to compete, then they broke tb rules, pure and simple. It has nothing to do with their ethnicity.

  2. This is crazy you did not make the cut due to your lack of singing talent so grow up and get a real job and stop trying to sue a famous tv show!!! What about all of the Caucasian, Mexican, Asian, etc. people that did not make it? They are not trying to sue the show!!! This makes me very mad and by the way I am in no way racist at all.

    • I believe Ju’not Joyner made it to the voting rounds to get into the top ten but then didn’t get the votes for that. Is he going to sue people for not voting for him?

      • No…but I do wish I could sue people who come on the internet and speak on subjects regarding me as an authority when they weren’t on the stage, backstage or on the production team. As a matter of fact, you were sitting at home watching me on TV so you know exactly – nothing. You are simply a fan who knows absolutely zero about how AI works so why don’t you just sit back and chill. Or if you actually want to educate yourself to avoid looking the ignorant in the future, you can read the 500 page complaint my attorney filed so the next time you decide to speak on this subject, you’ll be properly informed.



  3. other than being disqualified for arrest records etc that is made clear before signing contract I do not see where they have a case as is it not the public who chose if the contestants stay or go???

  4. typical, claim the race card when you are the ones who screwed up. you were either voted off by America or you lied and broke the rules that applied to all. you’ve all had opportunity over the years to have a career but obviously you aren’t talented enough to make it so gee, let’s claim race. BS

  5. why does it always have to be about race? shouldn’t it be about talent or lack of it thereof???

  6. How many black people actually won American Idol. I am not sure, but it is something like 4 or 5. With that in mind, can anyone actually keep a straight face, when they are claiming racial discrimination with this how. Now if there was a TV show called American Rapper … You can bet your bottom dollar racism would be a big issue.

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