Wearing T-shirts bearing Jeremy Rosado's photo and favorite Bible verse, family and friends of the Valrico singer packed into the on Brandon Boulevard on Feb. 22 to cheer on Rosado during a two-hour edition of "American Idol."
The Durant High School graduate wasn't chosen to be among the 24 finalists last night. However, judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson will choose 10 more finalists tonight, Feb. 23, during an hourlong show at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Rosado's pastor at LifeChanging International Ministry, 2106 Lithia-Pinecrest Road, Valrico, the Rev. Anthony Perez, said he's confident Rosado will be chosen to continue on in the "American Idol" competition.
"I know God has plans for Jeremy to sing," said Perez. "We're all praying for him."
Faith is an integral part of the 19-year-old singer's life, said his mother, Wendy Ocasio. Rosado serves as a worship leader at this church and sings in the church choir.
His favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29 11-14: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
"I got to hear Jeremy sing at church day in and day out," said Perez. "Now he's singing on national television. We're very proud of him."
If named one of the finalists tonight, Rosado has an army of fans prepared to vote for him.
"I'm going all out to see that we get the vote out for Jeremy," said his brother, Jesus. "We'll have T-shirts for sale and I'm even going to have someone stand at the Brandon mall with a sign saying 'Vote for Jeremy.' "
Rosado already has the votes of his co-workers at the Bay Area Infectious Disease Associates. They came out en masse to cheer him on at the Brandon Ale House.
"At the office, we've nicknamed him Germ because he has a germ phobia," said co-worker Carla Capps, who's worked with Rosado for about a year. "But he's always singing. This is surreal. He's dreamed of being on American Idol for so long."
Also on hand at Brandon Ale House were members of Rosado's large extended family.
"This is so exciting," said Jesus Rosado. "He's wanted this for such a long time. There are no words to say how happy I am for him."
"It's awesome," said Rosado's sister, Amy. "All his life he's been singing, and I've been telling him to shut up. Now I just want to hear him sing."
"It's a gift from God," said his mother. "He's never even had a single lesson. It's just a natural ability for him."
The Season 11 auditions in Savannah, GA, were .
Rosado said he couldn't believe it when Lopez, Tyler and Jackson told him he's be moving on in the competition after he performed Luther Vandross's "Superstar."
“When they gave me that golden ticket, I was kind of thinking they were talking to the girl that was waiting on deck to go after me, and maybe they just made a mistake,” said Rosado. “I can’t believe that Jennifer Lopez, Stephen Tyler and Randy Jackson said, ‘Yes, you’re going to Hollywood.’ "
A Hillsborough Community College student, Rosado also serves as the front desk clerk at Bay Area Infectious Disease Associates in Brandon. However, he said his lifelong dream is to become a professional singer.
"I’m the next American Idol, I don’t know why, because this is my dream. But I’m not taking any of this for granted," he said. “I’m trying to be as humble as possible.”
Following last night's show, Rosado tweeted, "I guess we will have to watch tomorrow. God bless."
"American Idol" airs tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox.