Wendy Ocasio responded as a mother would to her child’s brush with fame, which for her son, Jeremy Rosado, had an ending that promises a bright beginning.
“It was such an emotional roller coaster,” Ocasio said. “What he got out of all of this is that he sees the opportunity for his dreams to come true.”
But first, a collective congratulations from a hometown community eager to get an up-close look at the talents of Valrico resident Rosado, whose voice captured the imagination of a nation and the wild-card save of “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez.
“The Tampa Bay area will be showing its support for Jeremy Rosado by receiving him with a huge community bash,” said Sara Leffler-Ocasio, in a Facebook page devoted to the Saturday, March 24 event at . “Please join us as we celebrate my amazing nephew.”
The March 24 celebration is scheduled to run from 6-11 p.m., with “a bounce house, snow cones, kettle corn, face-painting and, of course, wonderful food,” Leffler-Ocasio noted. “The radio station 98.7’s morning show, ‘That Guy Kramer, ‘ and his crew, will be on site to support our ‘JerBear’ as will the band, Soul Circus Cowboys.”
Rosado will be performing, signing autographs and posing for fan photos.
Rosado, who entered the contest as a student at the Brandon campus of Hillsborough Community College and an employee at , left the show March 8 as a Top 13 finalist.
He was followed a week later by Shannon Magrane, , who at age 16 is a student at the performing arts magnet program at Blake High School in Tampa.
As for Rosado, a 2009 graduate of Durant High in Plant City, the “American Idol” journey brought together his family and friends at at the .
“Jeremy’s been special all his life,” said Rosado’s stepfather, Damon Gonzalez. “This is a humbling experience he’s going through in his life. He wanted this for a lot of years. That we’re watching him live his dream is just amazing, just absolutely amazing. We’re a family that loves God so much. It’s just a blessing to see him do this."
Rosado himself praised God for his success.
"No matter what happened there were 112,000 people that auditioned for the show and praise God, they chose me to be in their Top 13, you know?" he told MTV News. "I couldn't be more grateful."
Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill at Brandon Harley is at 9847 East Adamo Dr.