updated 03/14/2012 AT 10:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/14/2012 AT 10:45 PM ET
At this point in the season, American Idol should be a celebration of the top talent that has survived weeks of auditions, judges’ critiques, eliminations and grueling rehearsals. But Wednesday’s episode had dark cloud hanging over it. Caution: spoilers ahead!
Following news that broke earlier in the day that contestant Jermaine Jones was booted off the show, Ryan Seacrest introduced the live performance episode by addressing his absence. But instead of ripping it off like a Band-Aid – this is a ratings game, after all – producers waited a whole hour to finally get to the details of his removal.
Turns out, Jones was kicked out of the competition for not disclosing four outstanding warrants for his arrest, dating back to March 2011. Sitting before two of the show’s producers, who chided him for not revealing his criminal history, Jones explained that he was “scared and nervous” and “didn’t want to get judged or penalized” for his past.
Alas, one producer said it was against show policy to “have someone with any outstanding warrants on the program” and he was shown the door.