Although Salisbury native Jeremiah “Jay” Copeland was eliminated from “American Idol” on Sunday, preventing him from making it into the top five, the Jay Train is still rolling strong.
The singer released a behind-the-scenes video for his new dance tune, “Unlonely.” The song is available for download across multiple platforms at jaymusic.lnk.to/Unlonely.
In the comments section on YouTube, Copeland’s fans have been eating up the sugary song.
“This song is a whole bop!! You did amazing and voice is such a gift. Keep it up!!” one excited fan wrote.
“I’m so proud of you!!! SUMMER BOP!!” another cheerleader echoed.
“Such a vibe!!!! Can’t wait to play on repeat, SUNROOF OPEN!” an enthusiastic supporter said.
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“You’re a star! I hope you and Noah (Thompson) stay friends forever! You two were my favorites!” a fan said, referring to an “Idol” contestant who’s currently competing in the top 5 on the show. “Please have a positive career like Michael Jackson and change the world with huge amazing songs full of positivity and dance.”
‘American Idol’ judges praised Jay
Copeland made it to the top seven of “Idol,” before America shocked his fans by voting him off last weekend on episode 18, after the judges praised him that same episode.
While the show has three superstar judges, they weren’t responsible for voting contestants off last week. It was the show’s audience.
“We’re so proud of you, Jay. The growth for you has been phenomenal,” judge Katy Perry said after he delivered Boyz II Men’s “A Song for Mama” on Mother’s Day. “I feel like you have found exactly who you are and you’re never going back.”
Fellow “Idol” judge Luke Bryan noticed during the Boyz II Men tune that Copeland added some new musical notes to his repertoire that weren’t there a few short weeks ago.
“You’re hitting everything perfectly right now,” Bryan raved.
His superstar peer Lionel Richie recognized Copeland’s talent has gradually evolved.
“You have finally stepped into your own. You’ve got your timing right. You’ve got your stage presence right,” Richie said.
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The Platinum Ticket holder has been showered with plenty of compliments during season 20. This includes getting love from new “American Idol” mentor Jimmie Allen, who debuted on episode 11 at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii.
“Jay, he is just someone that’s super-talented,” Allen said. “You doing things with your voice that I only wish I could do.”
‘He’s like a movie star’
Last week in downtown Salisbury, hundreds poured in to cheer on Copeland.
The pep rally was a reminder that even though only one person will be crowned winner on season 20 of “American Idol,” locals are still inspired when they can see one of their own competing on national TV.
Ashley Hill, 32, of Salisbury, testified to that.
“It feels like a piece of us is on the stage when he is singing. It gets me so emotional. I grew up here and sang in high school, so it’s a big deal,” Hill said.
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“His performances have been excellent, very seamless. He’s like a movie star,” Felicia Fontaine, 48, of Salisbury, said at the pep rally.
Jay’s uncle, G. Mandel Copeland, was humbled to see his nephew continue to carry the musical torch in their family, a torch that looks like it’s far from flaming out.
“For the last two months, there’s been no words to describe watching him grow and work hard and develop into this person that our city is really proud of and our family is definitely proud of,” his uncle said.
“He’s representing the area very well,” G. Mandel continued.
“Our entire family is musically talented and it’s part of what we’ve been doing for generations and generations. It’s a musical lineage that’s been passed down; a rich heritage of music.”
Andre Lamar is the features/lifestyle reporter. If you have an interesting story idea, email Andre Lamar at [email protected]
Olivia Minzola contributed to this report.