Jon Peter Lewis (born November 7, 1979, Lincoln, Nebraska) is an American singer and songwriter, and was one of the finalists on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series American Idol. He was frequently referred to by the judges and Ryan Seacrest as JPL.
Lewis lived in various cities across the United States before leaving home at the age of 18. He graduated from Central High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1998. He starred in the lead role of Thorin Oakenshield in a local children theater’s production of The Hobbit in the summer of 1997. Lewis performed in other numerous theatrical productions and was a band member of various rock and roll bands throughout his high school and college years.Lewis is a Mormon and attended Brigham Young University–Idaho for a time hoping to pursue a career in medicine.
At the age of 23, Lewis cashed in his college loans to audition for the third season of American Idol in Honolulu, Hawaii where he sang ‘”Crazy Love” by Van Morrison. Praised by Simon Cowell for his “very, very good voice,” Lewis went on to display an uninhibited stage personality that won the hearts of millions of Idol fans. Simon Cowell later hailed Jon as “the dark horse to win the competition,” and Rolling Stone magazine pegged Jon as a “pick to win,” while Elton John praised Lewis’s voice for his “excellent pitch and phrasing.”