"American Idol" top 12 finalist Jermaine Jones -- who tweeted his departure from the show last night -- was booted because of a past criminal record, according to reports.
TMZ first reported that the New Jersey native had two arrests last year, one involving "violence," and that he also has outstanding warrants. The news was later confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter and Deadline. And the Smoking Gun...
Fox and "Idol" had no immediate comment,
So, how unusual is this -- if "Idol" indeed confirms later today? Extremely: There was Corey Clark's disqualification back in season 2 after this report appeared in the Smoking Gun -- "An 'American Idol' finalist is facing trial next month on charges he assaulted his teenage sister and battled with cops while resisting arrest..."
The show, of course, scrutinizes backgrounds, and it's unclear why Jones' alleged record did not come to the attention of producers until now, particularly after Jones was prominently added back to the Top 13 final guys a few weeks ago.
Another question: How will the show address this departure on the air tonight? And a third question: Will another booted contestant be brought back? Answer: Probably . . . right?
Photo: Getty Images. Singer Jermaine Jones arrives at Fox's "American Idol" finalist party at The Grove in Los Angeles. (March 1, 2012)