Josiah is “thankful” despite producers “trying to make me look like a crybaby”

Josiah Leming, the American Idol 7 contestant who was living in his car, says he’s grateful for the experience despite the way he was portrayed. That’s because he’s sold records and landed at least one TV gig.

Josiah “has sold over 1,000 albums on his MySpace page and has earned himself a cool $9,000 in the process,” Access Hollywood reports. In addition, “[t]he President of Fox has called him and requested a meeting about casting him for something else and ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’ is flying him out on Monday to perform on the show.”

As to his time on the show, which ended with his (somewhat) controversial elimination Wednesday night, “My belief is that they were trying to make me look bad. They were trying to make me look like a crybaby and then trying to make me look like I was overconfident — but I’m thankful. If I could see them right now, I would give them the biggest hug ever because they have launched my career.”

He also denies that he was responsible for leaking the identities of the top 24. “That’s incorrect and I don’t let things like that phase me. People are gonna say what people are gonna say. It holds no substance,” he said, although he suggests other contestants were responsible. “You have definitely got your people that are bitter and I believe that’s the people it comes from. I wasn’t bitter. I was fine either way.”

Eliminated ‘Idol’ Josiah’s Next Step [Access Hollywood]
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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.