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]