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Best known as a contestant on the third season of Fox's American Idol, vocalist Jon Peter Lewis became recognized as much for his impressive vocal range as his goofy personality. Born in 1979 in Lincoln, NE, Lewis was raised in a military family and credits his background for giving him a competitive personality. Interestingly, his father was also a member of the '60s garage-surf band the Marketts. In 2004, Lewis auditioned for Idol in Hawaii and ultimately made it to the Top Ten -- ultimately being voted out a few weeks later after a performance of the Elvis Presley classic "Jailhouse Rock." However, as a member of the AmIdol Top Ten, Lewis was included on the show tour and developed a strong fan following. Subsequently, he spent the next few years dividing his time between pursuing a degree in medicine and writing and performing music. He also started his own independent production company, Cockaroo Records, on which he released the album Stories from Hollywood in 2007. In 2008 Lewis released his second full-length album, Break the Silence, which featured production by Chris Garcia (Santana, Nelly Furtado) as well as a somewhat more reflective, mature sound.
Jon Peter Lewis (born November 7, 1979, Lincoln, Nebraska) is an American singer and songwriter, and was one of the finalists on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series American Idol. He would frequently be referred to by the judges and Ryan Seacrest as simply JPL.
Lewis lived in various cities across the United States before leaving home at the age of 18. He graduated from Central High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1998. He starred in the lead role of Thorin Oakenshield in a local children theater's production of The Hobbit in the summer of 1997. Lewis performed in other numerous theatrical productions and was a band member of various rock and roll bands throughout his high school and college years.
American Idol 
At the age of 23, Lewis cashed in his college loans to audition for the third season of American Idol in Honolulu, Hawaii where he sang '"Crazy Love" by Van Morrison. Praised by Simon Cowell for his "very, very good voice," Lewis went on to display an uninhibited stage personality that won the hearts of millions of Idol fans. Simon Cowell later hailed Jon as "the dark horse to win the competition," and Rolling Stone magazine pegged Jon as a "pick to win," while Elton John praised Lewis's voice for his "excellent pitch and phrasing."
Affectionately known as 'JPL' by his fans, Lewis was a member of the third group of semifinalists and performed the Elton John song "Tiny Dancer". After performing "A Little Less Conversation" in the wild card round, Lewis was put through as a finalist by audience vote, receiving 22% of all votes cast.
On April 15, 2004, Lewis was voted off in eighth place after a flashy rendition of "Jailhouse Rock" during movie songs week. During the competition, he had displayed a three-octave vocal range and developed a strong fan following. As part of the Top 10, Lewis participated in the 50-city American Idols Live tour in the summer of 2004.
American Idol Performances 
Rather than accepting business offers to use his Idol fame to release a quick pop album, Lewis decided to work on his own musical style and create original music. From late 2004 to 2006, Lewis spent the majority of his time composing original music working closely with music producer Alex Gibson of Henson Recording Studios, among other notable entities in Hollywood. "Turn to Grey" was among the first songs that he wrote; he composed it while on tour with the Idol finalists. Jon recorded part of the song as a homage to Jennifer Hudson after she told him that she loved singing the song around her house.
In 2005, he collaborated with Canadian songwriter/actor James Collins to write and record "It's Christmas", which was released by EMI/Universal in Canada as part of the Now Christmas 2 album. The song went to number thirteen on the Canadian radio charts in two weeks. In addition, a second original holiday song "California Christmas" was recorded by Lewis and released in 2006 for the album Breaking for the Holidays by Breaking Records. The upbeat holiday song was called a "Christmas classic" by Chuck Taylor of Billboard magazine.
In September 2006, Lewis released his second single containing the songs "If I Go Away" and "Man Like Me" through his independent label, Cockaroo Entertainment. His limited release debut album, Stories from Hollywood, was released on his 27th birthday, November 7, 2006, making Jon the first Idol finalist to independently release an album of original songs. The album is a collection of energetic rock and roll and intimate acoustic tracks.
Lewis' second full-length album, Break the Silence, debuted July 22, 2008. The album was released through Cockaroo Entertainment in conjunction with Adrenaline Music Group. Chris Garcia, who has worked with Santana and Michelle Branch, Dido and Jewel, produced the album under the guidance of executive producer Don Grierson, a former head of A&R for Capitol and Epic Records. Lewis wrote or co-wrote several tracks for the album, featuring musicians such as guitarist Nick Lashley, drummer Kenny Aronoff and Blake Mills. The CD has received critical praise including a "Critic's Choice" review from Billboard magazine. It was called "one of the best pop/rock CD's of the year" by Monica Rizzo of People magazine and "impressive" by Ken Barnes of USA Today. The title track single hit the top 30 charts on Hot AC radio and in November 2008 was one of only fifty songs pre-programmed into all of the new iPhones on display at Apple Stores and AT&T stores across the country. Lewis went on to release a self-titled EP in February 2010.
In 2009, Lewis launched an internet show titled American Nobody. The program takes an inside look at the music business as well as a tongue-in-cheek view of pop culture. The show received early critical praise. American Idol journalist and biographer Richard Rushfield described the show as, "a hilarious romp through Idol land built around the misadventures of a singer who, seven years after Idol, is still searching to find his place in the industry." American Nobody was added to TV Guide's "Hot Web List" and the Los Angeles Times called it "the most brilliant and biting satire of Idoldom ever written."
In 2010, Lewis produced and starred in a rock opera, Deep Love: A Ghostly Folk Opera. The production, co-written by Ryan Hayes and Garrett Sherwood, debuted in Idaho in October 2010 and garnered support, which positioned the show into a multi-city theatrical event.
Lewis has been a contributor to MTV, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone magazine, Los Angeles Times, and AOL Entertainment.
The Voice 
In 2013, Jon Peter Lewis and Ryan Hayes auditioned for the fourth season of The Voice as duo Midas Whale. In their audition, which broadcast on March 26, 2013, they performed the Johnny Cash song "Folsom Prison Blues." All four judges, including Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher, and Blake Shelton pressed their "I Want You" button and turned their chairs. Lewis and Hayes chose to join Adam Levine's team. They were eliminated in the knockout rounds.