REXBURG, Idaho — When Jon Peter Lewis stepped on the
"American Idol" stage five years ago, he had no idea how his musical
career would change.
"I tried out for 'American Idol' because I had always
wanted to be in the music business," said Lewis, who was 24 at the time.
"I had not really done anything in music. I didn't want to get to be 40
years old and then think, 'I never tried.' "
Lewis had been attending school at BYU-Idaho and was working
toward a career in medicine. But before he knew it, he was competing with the
top 10 contestants on "Idol."
__IMAGE1__"It was definitely kind of like a whirlwind
thing," Lewis said. "It was like one week I was here, going to
school, and the next week I was jamming with Elton John," Lewis said.
His favorite part was getting paid to sing. He also
appreciated that "American Idol" was a family-friendly show.
"The kind of people that would come to the show were
usually mothers and daughters," he said. "They'd come as a family and
leave as a family."
However, there were some downfalls to this new-found musical
"The hardest part was that I rarely ever had a chance
to go to church while I was on the road," Lewis said. "It's one of
those things you don't really realize you're missing until you go back to
church and are like, 'Wow, I've really been missing out on some great spiritual
Lewis was voted off the show in eighth place. He went on to
form his own label and released two albums independently. He's currently
working on a third.
He also produces an Internet show called the "American
Nobody Show" — a satire of "American Idol."
Most recently, Lewis returned to BYU-Idaho as a part-time
student. He said it's hard going back to school — especially since he's
already started a career — but views the experience as a good investment.
"I don't anticipate the music business lasting
forever," Lewis said. "That's kind of an enigma to me. At this point
the game for me is to finish my degree while I'm working on a career and then
to see what happens."
Lewis is pleased with how his entertainment career is going
and doesn't believe it will end anytime soon. His Internet show received a good
review in the Los Angeles Times and was listed in TV Guide by its third
episode. His single, "Breaking Silence," was in the top 20 at East
"There have been a lot of things that have been great
about it," Lewis said. "I haven't had to work at McDonald's