I don’t know what it is about Jermaine Sellers that made him intriguing. But there is something about him.
I kinda hope he reads this and responds. I’d like to talk to him at length.
I mean he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind on the show to the judges. It cost him.
He wasn’t afraid to give God a little shout out now and then. That probably cost him.
He wasn’t afraid to try new things like the judges suggested. That really cost him.
And he certainly wasn’t afraid, in his conference call exit interview to admit that he was “afraid” when he went out there on stage.
Here is what he had to say about that:
About letting fear conquer him:
“I’ve always sang in church, since I was a little kid – the whole 9 yards. It’s just the fact that when you are there, and have millions of people watching you, and you are so scared of what the judges are going to say to you, you tend to lose focus. And that focus is what you actually need to show the sincerity in your voice.
“Every night that I got out there on that stage I was like, ‘Oh God, I’m pulling back right now, I’m trying to see if they’re going to like this.’ I took a lot of risks out there.
“And you still go up there, and they still say the same thing to you and you’re just like ‘OK, oh God, it’s just out of your will.’”
Here is more of what Jermaine said in that exit interview:
Was he confused by the judges’ criticisms?
“I did it the best way that I possibly could.
…I mean, I think about it as you have to stay true to yourself, it’s a certain way that I sing – from my childhood up – but I kept pulling back.
“I felt like if I pulled it any more back, then I’d be basically whispering to them. They constantly said that I did too much. I feel like in general, though, that everything has its own season and has its own course that has to play out the best way it does.”
What was the best part of this whole experience?
“Being in that line first with 15,000 people – just different personalities, from different states. Making it into the Top 20 is a blessing. That’s the best experience about it, just getting on that platform and being able to, not just sing to people.
“People don’t realize that the reason why I sang songs like Marvin Gaye’s
“What’s Going On”, half of the reason I did “What’s Going On” right then and there at that time was, I felt like we’re not paying attention to what’s going on as far as Haiti, as far as Chile, we’re not paying attention to it, we’re spending time focusing on other stuff. We should be focusing on what’s actually going on in the world right now.”
On his faith, did it influence his elimination?
“Though I hate to say it, yeah, I do. Sometimes the camera can make you look more arrogant and diva-ish, because anybody that knows me knows that I’m like, the coolest guy.
“I like to make people laugh, I honestly do wear onesies to bed, the whole nine yards. I hated that I was made out to look like something that I’m not.
“But, you know, it’s television. I felt like every night that I went out there that I sang from my heart, and the part that really messed me up the most was that I couldn’t focus, because I was so scared of what was going to be said, as far as me singing or over-singing so much.
“So, I just felt like the best way to prove a person wrong is by fighting them with God. Let God fight your battles. That’s why I kept throwing it out there. A lot of people don’t realize that with us making it this far in the competition, and without Him we’ll fail, so that’s why I kept having to throw Him out there. We don’t acknowledge Him enough.”
On switching up his songs:
“All the songs that I picked, had meaning behind them. With me picking songs that were so much older and mature, I think that had a lot to do with my votes too, because American Idol is for teeny boppers.
“There’s a lot of young people that want to hear more current stuff, they want to hear the Keri Hilson stuff, “Knocks You Down” type stuff, that’s not where my soul is. I’m more of a “Let’s talk about reality, let’s talk about what’s going on right now. When I sang “Get Here”, I wasn’t just talking about one specific individual.
“I was talking about peace, I was talking about love, respect, joy. I want all of that to come back to us. Even though I try to deliver it the best way that I could, I never got my point across because I let fear conquer me.”
What was surprising about the show?
“Joe Munoz. When I saw him go home, and he was so good, I said to myself, ‘If somebody that good is going home, and I know I’m a good singer too…’ my Dad has been my biggest fan. I know they’ll send me home. That was a shocker. Honestly, to see him go home…
“And other people get comments like, ‘Oh, that was excellent, that was the best performance of the night’ and it’s like, you know in the back of your mind you’re thinking the same thing that Simon is thinking.
“I love the fact that Simon was honest throughout the whole thing, not just sitting here playing with people. He was ‘Look, I don’t know whose ears your listening with, but that’s not what I just heard.’ Because, it’s like the show last night, for instance. You get somebody who critiques you good one night, and the next night you get a bad comment. It’s confusing.”
What kind of artist are you?
“I see myself being a contemporary artist. My style is very much what Bebe and Cece Winans were years ago, how they sang songs like “Heaven” and “I’m Lost Without You”, and it still was marketable where you would see it on the MTV or BET. Basically a show that doesn’t just show Gospel stuff, it also shows R&B stuff. It’s that crossover working.”
Funniest moment on the show:
“The funniest moment was groups night cause choreography. All of us have two left feet. That’s the funniest moment, honestly. Just trying to go out there and remember how to ‘park and bark’ and block in the right place.”