American Idol 12- Contestant Preview #2- Jimmy Smith

Name: Jimmy Smith
Age: Early-Mid 20’s
Hometown: Nashville

So, he’s a white guy. He sings country. He’s from Nashville. And… he can play the guitar. Your American Idol Season 12 Winner? There’s a really strong possibility. Here’s my thing though… he’s REALLY GOOD. Like, listen to The Secrets We Keep, and you’ll understand that he’s actually a better singer than the past couple WGWG winners we’ve had. So, while we may roll our eyes at him because of that, he’s finally someone who deserves to be where they are.

He also went through some weight loss, I’ve been told, which could be a good story. He works at a dialysis clinic, so he’s got a “nice guy” job. He’s being compared to Clay Aiken a bit.

His Youtube Channel:


It wouldn’t let me embed the videos individually. Lame…


Contributor to EIC of, Contributor at Holds a BA in Film from the University of Central Florida.

  • Wally.


  • IrisandLilies

    I’m probably in the minority on this board, but I do think that past two winners of AI deserved to win.  Did Scotty and Phillip have the best voices from a technical standpoint out of all the contestants their season — no.  But, they’re both “believable” when they sing, and they have a pleasing, distinctive tone.  That, more than technical ability, is what sells records and garners fans.  Put me in the group of AI fans who believes the show is about finding a musical artist whose records I would want to buy and whose live performances I would want to attend rather than about finding the next great technical singer.   

  • SullyD

    Here’s your winner.

  • Sara M

    Not impressed. He doesn’t seem very unique, and his voice is very bland. 

  • Last Laugh Lane

    Congrats Jimmy!!

  • zaclona77

    Ok, folks, let me call it first: Say hi to your American Idol Season 12 winner Jimmy Smith right here, right now!

    I mean a guy with THAT name and that background… c´mon, gimme a break…the show might as well end before it even started…

  • Mateja Praznik


  • Leandro

    As a singer, I think he’s the best WGWG since Kris Allen. He’s good. He deserved to win. Congratulations.

  • SullyD

     He can sing, but I don’t think he’s better than Kris. I could change my mind when the live shows start tho.

  • Leandro

    Sorry, I edited my post. I meant Kris. Now there are 6 wgwg winners, It’s kinda hard remember the order.

  • Mateja Praznik

     Kris Allen is barely passable as a singer, so if Kris is better than this guy, all I can say is YIKES. I tried to listen to one of Jimmy’s videos, but I can’t really judge him by his singalong to a song playing in the background. He doesn’t seem anything special through.

  • SullyD

    Lol, now I can agree with you. At least this one can sing.

  • Anny_nanny

    “Now there are 6 wgwg winners”

    The first – Carrie Underwood apparently?

  • Larc

    Ha!  WGWG!!!  I thought there would be none of those this season.  His singing isn’t bad, though.  I ran across this video of him at Y-T duetting on “The Love We’ll Never Make” with a girl named Alina Smith (no kin, evidently).

  • suenigma

    Leandro, you crack me up, and I’ve gotta agree with you. As long as he’s not a douchebag (or doesn’t get the douchebag edit) he’s got this in the bag.

    Watched a couple of videos and his voice doesn’t seem to have huge range, power or particular uniqueness, but his tone is quite beautiful and pleasing, and he is a very good technical singer. No pitch issues here, as far as I can tell. Coupled with his frat-boy good looks and nice guy demeanor? Yeah, he’s a shoe-in.

  • Leandro

    He may have some dbag edition, but there will be Johnny Keyser there (I think?), to be a even bigger douchebag and save Jimmy.

  • kmd23

    I have to agree. This guy has a very good chance of winning. lol.

  • kmd23

    I did see this video of Jimmy on you tube. Not sure that it will post here:

  • Anny_nanny

    The boy has a cover on all the songs of all the participants, apparently. At least we have fan of the show. As correctly said IrisandLilies, his voice is nothing memorable. Let’s see if he can do something other than copy of original.He plays guitar no better Scotty, I think. He sung under the accompaniment of the guitar-player. He was a pillar in the middle of the stage and sung. Scotty this did not prevent, but Scotty can I learn from the voice and I like this sound, though I do not like country.It’s not my style of music, but it’s easier for me – I will stop to watch the season as only goes my favorite, if such will be. I was unlucky in the last season, I chose Phillip.

  • fantoo1

    Let the meltdowns begin!

    He’s not winning. Remember, only 5 guys are getting through. There’s other good guys. People are overreacting. They can easily cut him when they are picking the top 10.

    Everybody thought Paul was winning at first too, so yeah.

  • Leandro

    Watch his version of At last. He has a quite good range.

  • chessguy99

    The guy has been doing online singing competitions, and he had a tendency of coming across as desperate, begging for votes in clips he posted. He’s a good cover singer, but not exactly what the show needs this season. I expect with the rumored lack of public voting until Top 10, this guy will be cast into the live shows, and shockingly cut before the public can push him to his glitter shower in May.

  • Anny_nanny

    In the past year, all said that Chase will necessarily because he is “the only country boy”. How many people remember how he looked? I do not even remember his name written, damn!

    By the way, guy named Scotty, which in the boy-band sung the song of Elvis in LVR, auditioned again. He was not, as I understand. He was leader on sites before the start of the season 11, I saw it.

  • Tinawina

    Did Scotty and Phillip have the best voices from a technical standpoint
    out of all the contestants their season — no.  But, they’re both
    “believable” when they sing, and they have a pleasing,
    distinctive tone.  That, more than technical ability, is what sells
    records and garners fans.  Put me in the group of AI fans who believes
    the show is about finding a musical artist whose records I would want to
    buy and whose live performances I would want to attend rather than
    about finding the next great technical singer.

    I don’t think the beef is about “technical singers” vs “pleasing tones” LOL… the only reason that’s even in the mix IMO is because Jessica was this year’s runner up. Last year is was about Scotty’s “authentic-ness” as to why he beat Lauren and Haley, the year before it was Lee’s “likeability” vs Crystal’s supposed non-likability. The target always moves. Phillip was not the only non-belter on the show just like Scotty wasn’t the only one being true to himself. But they still won. Heh.

    I like both as people BTW, they seem like good dudes, I’m glad they are having nice careers. I like some of the songs from both. I thought Scotty was a good winner – didn’t mind his win at all. But while both are talented, I think part of the reason they and the others won is about being the best representative their year of an archtype the audience seems to prefer at the moment. It is what it is. It doesn’t mean they are not talented.

    As for this dude, I’m not overly moved, but if the recent past holds true he and Johnny Keyser will be duking it out for the top spot. LOL This guys seems nice but I agree he’s a little bland. Maybe he’ll be more exciting on stage, who knows. I think we have to wait and see the field as to who actually makes the voting rounds before we can declare the winner.

  • fantoo1

    Taylor Hicks. People tend to forget.

  • getaway1

    He needs to bring something to the table that will fill a niche for Jimmy Iovine.  He already has Scotty.

  • Anny_nanny

    Damn! We should not forget about Johnny Keyser.

  • Loretta

    Ugh I love me a few WGWG Cook, Allen, James but this guy nope. 


  • Anny_nanny

    I love Taylor, he played the harmonica. I vote for Carrie.

    to getaway:
    “urban R&B type”

    Singing Etta James and James Brown? I love them, but I do not want to have to hear “Man, man, man…”, I just yesterday relooking White Diamond.

  • jdanton2

     he did have some good diva like runs on At Last so i guess we could have worse winners.

  • stargazed

    I truly hope AI has some better offerings than this guy.  P2 had something special and unique .. this guy not so much.  

  • Bazzle

    If your talking about a recording artist, I’d rather have a pleasing/unique tone, subtlety and control over power and range. P2 was my favourite outta the 4 (Scotty, does not count as WGWG… how many times did he even play the guitar on Idol and even now in his career). He really had something weird/quirky about his style and voice. Volcano was the best performance of his all season cos he didn’t push his vocals. Everything was subtle and controlled. Of course he was worse than the others when he was pushed over his limits.  

  • Bazzle

    I think the breaking point with people thinking how could Jessica not win over P2 was definitely that final duet with Jennifer Holiday….. that was the most stupendous duet of all time. 

  • girlygirltoo

    So much for the rumor about no WGWGs :)

  • sdmama

    Phillip Phillips and Jimmy Smith. At least it gets easier and easier to remember the names. Who is next? Tom Jones?

  • renzy24

    Are you ready for WGWG show season 12? me yes. lol

  • MellyPer1692

    Eh, I’m tired of the “believable” tag. It’s not believable, it’s the “Everyman” angle. The “he’s so humble, aw shucks, small town, just like my son, grandson, fantasy boyfriend, religious (Christian) boy next door”.

    I think whoever wins, deserves it, they get the votes. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t bore me tho lol.

  • Blou38

    Much depends on the IT factor and what he can do with different genres.  I’d have to see the rest of the contestants.  Scotty held my interest from the audition through the finale. 

  • Tammy Luebrecht

    Ummm no! He reminds me of a cross between Clay Aiken and Chris Sligh. If the rumors are true, the super conservative country fans may not vote for him anyway.

  • Jonathan Frahm

    There’s still plenty of these types in the Top 40. Jimmy Smith, Johnny Keyser, Josh Holiday, Paul Jolley. Take your pick. One of them is going to win. LOL

  • Taylor

    What are the rumors? Is he gay? If so, he won’t be the designated WGWG.

  • milwlovesadam

    This guy actually looks and sounds promising. Maybe he’d be a country/pop crossover. Maybe he’ll bring a little more showmanship to his type of music than ( boring ) Scotty, Tate ( yawn ) Meh.

    I am not a country fan, but, I liked Bo and Casey James on Idol. You know why???

    I never yawned or skipped through their performances.

    This guy looks like he’d make good TV, and actually have a career.

  • John Rocketship Potter Clayton

    For the record, I never thought Paul McDonald would win AI. 

  • girlygirltoo

    Kris is a good singer. Unlike some of the other WGWG winners, he’s never had trouble with staying on key, for example.

    As for this guy? He’s not bad. But I don’t know if I see “winner winner chicken dinner” just yet.

  • Karen C

    I think he has a good voice, not very distictive or original, though, from what we’ve seen.   He reminds me a bit of Casey James, from what I’ve seen so far.

    It might be that when they say no WGWG, they are talking about the alternative rock singers, because they did say there would be country singers.

  • Tammy Luebrecht

    That’s what I’ve heard but who knows if it’s true. I had a couple friends at my house earlier who are gay and they swore up and down that he is. As long as he can sing, that’s all that matters to me. Something about him just really bothers me though. Maybe I’m just not crazy about the tone of his voice. 

  • Landon Cox

    He’s definitely gay.

  • Miz

    He reminds me of Chris Colfer.

  • MellyPer1692

    Do your gay friends know him?

  • fantoo1

    How do you know for sure?

  • Anny_nanny

    On the basis of all the signs, Casey James should have won season 9 with the Crystal in second. But I liked only a Jealous Guy, the rest of the time I watched the game on the guitar (amazing!), or felt sorry for the poor naive Casey, or wanted to kill Kara. And Lee won. I love all of the Top-3 and I wish them only the best of luck, but Crystal is the best girl on Idol for me.
    Returning to this boy, if he can’t come up with a nickname, it will remain there, where he was – with the same name can act only in group.

    You can not compare he with the PP. Phillip was clever enough to keep the name – he can talk about his name everytime. And it is not difficult to remember.

  • windmills

    Thanks SirMac for these previews!

    I only listened to Jimmy’s studio recordings at Reverb Nation and his Sara Evans Anywhere cover (which was solid on the verses, not so great on the chorus). I’ll be very surprised if it doesn’t turn out Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts are his idols because his phrasing borrows very heavily from them, especially Keith.

    He’s not great but he’s not bad. He may be one of those people who has a very  strong audition but, I’m not sure how he’d fare with a band in the live rounds.

  • Jason Scott

    You just described the past five WGWG winners for me ;)

  • jumpstart4u

    Not impressed.  

  • coltoniseverything

    I was not able to connect to the song “The Secrets We Keep”, but on the reverbnation

    site, I had the chance to listen to 3 songs; “Broken”, “What If She Loved Me”, and 
    “My Baby”. I am impressed. Nice tone in his voice. My. my, from the heartland and with a
    name as natural as can be. Is it possible I heard a hint of a Christian message in
    “Broken”??!! At this point, MJ, I can see the reasoning in your statement that Jimmy Smith 
    will win AI12; I believe Jimmy will certainly be among the top finalists, with a strong
    possibility of winning…….

  • irockhard

    Another archeotype Idol needs to stop casting.

  • John S

    I have never seen a contestant like him before. Nobody from the show has his tone.

  • Taylor

    Are there pictures with boyfriends or a facebook status or something more concrete than “my gay friends think he’s gay”, because you implied that there were rumors swirling around the internet. Some random observations by a couple of gay guys doesn’t qualify as a rumor.


  • Christopher Auyeung

    Woah, “barely passable”? I generally have pretty high standards when it comes to objective vocal ability and IMO Kris can hold his own. Obviously technically inferior to Adam, but I’d personally much rather listen to Kris’s voice. Beautiful tone.

    On a more related note… I can’t see any of his Youtube videos. Looks like Jimmy made em all private.

  • irockhard

    White dude from the south who plays guitar and sings country.

    But I think the other country guy, Paul Jolley, is a bigger threat than Jimmy.

    Hopefully both of them get cut soon.

  • John S

    We have really only had one of those, and that is Scotty. And Scotty was old school, this guy is more pop.

  • irockhard

    Still too may similarities to a too recent winner. They had a chance to put a beatboxer through but they cut him (Tony Foster). While we’ve already had that before (Blake Lewis) at least that’s not an overdone contestant and hasn’t been cast recently.

  • Miz

    I just love how some people here damn someone before they sing a single note on the show based on personal bias and unfair stereotypes. The reality is they want their personal favorite to come back and finally win and will continue to disparage anyone who is not that person forevermore.

  • kmd23

    I actually thought Jimmy’s vocals sounded good to me. He could be a country/pop crossover artist and that is where the money is. There are always rumors about celebrities and music artists being gay that are not so I would not believe rumors. Either way it does not matter to me but I think the rumors are not fair if they are not accurate.

  • kmd23

    Could not possibly agree with you more. That is the problem.

  • irockhard

    No. This is TV show and I want to be entertained. Variety is entertaining, monotomy via over casting a certain genre/contestant type is boring.

    As for my fave type of contestant, those are better off signing with rock labels so I would prefer them not to win actually.

  • YankeeFan08

    LOL, no one is wishing a former contestant will come back to win … that’s actually quite hilarious. As irockhard said, it’s about variety.  It’s boring when the same type of contestant wins year after year.  I have nothing against these WGWGs, but for the most part, their music is just not my thing.

  • irockhard

    Exactly. Glad someone here gets what I’m saying!

    It’s also boring when one genre is over cast in one season, like this season it’s R&B. And they didn’t even put the more interesting/edgy/comtemporary R&B types like that beatboxer dude through.

  • MellyPer1692

    Please. Nobody wants their favorite to come back to Idol and compete again to win. It’s about a TV show. When the show results in the same genre of winner over and over again, it’s less entertaining for me. With the ratings falling last year and direct competition with what seems to be a rising “The Voice”, Idol needs to be as entertaining as ever.

  • kmd23

    I agree that the WGWG winning all the time can be  boring and repetitive.  I am not really a fan of any of them. But the winners of the The Voice and the first year’s winner of X Factor did have more diversity and were not WGWG and they did not do well. We will see how Cassadee does in the long-term.

  • irockhard

    I’m beginning to wonder if this monotomous and boring cast is deliberate so that they can make the judges (and their fake feud) the entertainment value instead.

  • Tess

    To what information do you attribute that this is “monotomous and boring cast”.  I don’t think any of the auditions have yet been distributed to the general public, have they.

    I think I’ll wait until Hollywood week airs to make any decisions or to pick a winner.  

  • kmd23

     To me it is clear that these all reality talent shows are all about the judges and the entertainment of the show to attract the viewers. I am not even sure they care who wins anymore as they already move on to the next seasons show.

  • getaway1

    But Scotty McCreery was the first male Country singer that won and who found commercial success.  Phil Phillips was the first AAA winner who got to make a CD that was reflective of that type of music and who found commercial success at it.  Out of David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze, the only one that was even remotely Pop was Kris.  Neverless Cook & Dewyze were basically pushed in that direction.

  • girlygirltoo

    It’s one thing if the majority of the contestants in any season are all similar stylewise. That has never really been the case on Idol. There has been variety in the contestants. People may complain about WGWGs winning too much, but it’s not like any of those seasons the only type of contestant that made the Top 10 were WGWGs. Last season, Philip, Jessica and Joshua were the Top 3, yet neither Jessica nor Josh have anything in common stylistically with P2. The only season where the Top 3 were all very similar was probably S9, where Lee & Crystal are pretty similar in the whole indie singer/songwriter thing (although Crystal is more folk/country than Lee) & Casey, while a country artist, could also be considered (sorta/kinda) a singer/songwriter type. Other than that, has there been a season where the Top 3 were all similar types? I don’t think so (S1o’s Top 2 were similar, but Haley wasn’t like the other 2; I can’t remember who finished 3rd behind Carrie & Bo S4 — was he/she a country type, as well?).

    I like to see a wide variety of styles/genres at least in the Top 10, because that is more interesting/entertaining. Yeah, I like singer/songwriter types, but of the WGWGs that have won the show, I only really follow one person’s career (and y’all know which one that is) — the others don’t really appeal to me enough to care that much about — so even in that “WGWG” definition, it’s not like they are clones of one another. And my personal musical tastes are not restricted to any one genre — my iPod has rap, r&b, soul, pop, hip-hop, country and rock (mainstream & alt) music on it — and I really doubt that that is all that unique among Idol viewers. So it’s not like most viewers think that only a contestant who is a XYZ genre artist should win.

    My main complaint has always been more about the overpimping of one or two contestants, because that is far more annoying than if an artist who I don’t particularly enjoy wins. For instance, The Voice pimped Cassadee from Day 1 — “OMG she is the most amazing artist ever, she’s going to be a superstar” — blahblahblah. That actually made me want anyone other than her to win, even though I recognize that, by the last few shows, she was actually having the most consistent performances. I’m ok with her winning now, but I still would prefer if they had just let her grow organically into a favorite, rather than screaming about how fantastic she is every freaking show. For one thing, this overpimping isn’t fair to the other contestants. And this has been a major issue for me with Idol pretty much since S1. Do not scream at me telling me that contestant XYZ is the most OMG amazing singer/artist ever — if he/she is, I’ll figure that out for myself without TPTB telling me this every 2 seconds. I don’t want to be told who to like, I will like who I want to, thanks very much, even if sometimes that person isn’t who TPTB want to win.

  • irockhard
  • maymay

    WGWG has nothing to do with the ratings.  Lee was WGWG but season10 ratings was up because of these new judges. Scotty was WGWG but season11 ratings was down beacuse of these new singing shows.

    AI viewers love WGWG. If AI this sason cut WGWG, I think WGWG finally will have something to do with the ratings. If AI doesn`t want WGWG to win, it should try to find the great female contestant like Carrie Underwood.

  • irockhard

    It’s best for both Scotty and P2 if the S12 winner is different to them and won’t be competing with them in their formats, otherwise the PDs will see them as disposable and their sophomore eras will flop.

  • roarpen

    I tried to listen to his youtube but all the videos are gone now.

  • irockhard

    S10 ratings being up was due more to the diverse cast of contestants than the new judges.

    If AI doesn’t want the WGWG to win again they must either not cast him or give him a major asshole edit.

  • Sara M

    How can this be true when the ratings were up from the very beginning of the season, before anyone even knew who would be cast into the live shows?

  • maymay

    S10 ratings was up from day one. I don`t think the diverse cast had something to do with the day one ratings.

  • maymay

    I don`t think Scotty and PP`s sophomore eras will flop beacuse season 12 winner is WGWG.

  • mjsbigblog


    Please stick to discussing Jimmy. Past seasons and other contestants are NOT THE TOPIC.  Only bring them into the discussion if you are making a point about Jimmy or Season 12.

    Also WHOA NO at accusing fellow commenters of behaviors and assuming their motives. PLEASE DON’T DO THAT.

  • getaway1

    I don’t see Jimmy Iovine wanting to repeat that.  He already has who he wants in place in those genres with Scotty and Phil.  I think it’s also an advantage to have that mentor role from the start to establish the artist-label relationship.  But then Jimmy’s success has been more with the winners. 

  • Larc

    For me, Jimmy Smith has the primary requirement: he can sing.  Time will tell if he has more.  But without that primary requirement, no amount of anything else could make up for it, IMO.

  • Taylor

    The winner will be the person that Iovine eventually signs.

    The winner will be who gets the most votes from the viewers and Jimmy will sign the winner, whether he wanted that particular contestant to win or not.

    Jimmy doesn’t pick the winners, the voters do. If another country WGWG or singer/songwriter WGWG wins this year, he will have no choice but to promote him in the same genres and to the same radio formats.

  • Cory ??

    If someone wins American Idol this year that is anywhere near Country or Rock with a damn Guitar, I am giving up all hope for not only this show but the Music Industry in general. LOL

  • Cory ??

    Let’s crown a vocalist this year please. *crosses fingers* 

  • irockhard

    Oh I beg to differ, just ask Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, Bieber ect.

  • suenigma

    Can a Country or Rock singer not be a vocalist also? JMO, but I’d say Carrie, Daughtry and Cook are fine vocalists. And they are just three examples of many.

  • girlygirltoo

    Interscope will have to sign the winner. But they don’t have to promote him/her.