Jeremy Rosado
| Chris Haston/NBC

For Jeremy Rosado, a former Lakeland worship leader, 2021 has been a year of second chances. A few months after recovering from COVID-19, he found out he would be a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice.”

“I never thought I’d get another chance like this in a lifetime,” said Rosado, surprised he’d be selected to be on “The Voice,” considering he’d already competed on “American Idol.”

“I don’t feel like that happens too often. I’m trying my best to live every single second of it. Thankful is not even enough of a word.”

Watch “The Voice” on NBC Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

He is appearing in the season that is airing now, but the call from NBC came in March, a week before his 29th birthday.

“Life is so wild right now … Being on ‘The Voice,’ it’s pretty surreal,” said Rosado, a Tampa resident.

He was the worship leader at Free Life Chapel on North Socrum Loop Road from 2015 to 2018. He got that job just a few years after finishing 13th on the 11th season of “American Idol” back in 2012.

Jeremy Rosado
| Greg Gayne/NBC

Rosado spent several weeks this past summer in Los Angeles filming for “The Voice.” When the show premiered, he almost thought he’d get kicked off during his blind audition. The judges have their backs turned and they only turn around to face the singer if they think they should stay on the show. There was about ten seconds left in the song before they turned around for Rosado.

“There’s almost like a moment where I didn’t realize that Kelly turned,” he said, referring to “The Voice” judge Kelly Clarkson. “They waited. They made me sing and fight for those chairs to turn. By the time Kelly and Blake (Shelton) turned, it almost felt like it didn’t happen. Like I had given up.”

It’s a feeling he never wants to feel again.

“It’s a type of nerves that I can’t  even really explain. As a singer, a performer, I’m used to singing to people, seeing the emotion in their faces, whether they like it or they don’t … Having them turn [their] backs toward you and there’s kind of this desperation to get them to turn … It was insane,” Rosado recalled.

From there, Rosado got to choose which judge he wanted to be his coach. He chose Clarkson, someone he’s admired since he was 10 years old. He called it a full-circle moment.

“I saw her when I was 10 years old get announced as the winner of [American] Idol for the first season. I remember walking into the living room and telling my parents, ‘I’m going to be on the show. You’re going to vote for me and I’m going to do this, do what she did,’” Rosado said.

Rosado loves Clarkson’s genuine spirit and calls her incredible to work with.

“It’s just crazy because she’s such an amazing human being. When the cameras are on. When the cameras are off. She’s the same person,” Rosado said. “That’s just one of the greatest things I’ve gotten to tell her is how much she means to me on a personal level.”

Clarkson has stayed loyal to him in the show thus far. During the battle round, she had the opportunity to choose him or his teammate Jershika Maple to advance to the knockout round. She chose Rosado, despite judges Ariana Grande and John Legend siding with Maple.

 “I still can’t believe I won that battle,” Rosado said. “I’m not trying to downplay myself. I know that I’m a good singer. But at the same time, there’s just so many things that go into play when you’re on a singing competition show. It’s just unbelievable to still be here. “

Through the show, he’s been able to share with the world how he took on parental responsibilities at the early age of 13, raising his biological niece, Jocelyn Miller, who is now 18 and a recent high school graduate.

“This story is tough. My sister, she had a struggle that never allowed her to be the mom she needed to be. When I was 13, Jocelyn was two. Joci is my baby girl. My mom got full custody of her through the state. And  I started to learn how to become a dad at that age helping my mom. My mom was a single mom working a full-time job,” explained Rosado, adding that about seven years ago, he gained full custody of Jocelyn.

“She has been honestly the best thing that could’ve ever happened to me. The man that I am today is because I learned how to become a dad to this little girl. I would do it all over and over again if I had to,” Rosado said.

While Rosado is a big Kelly Clarkson fan, Jocelyn is a huge fan of Ariana Grande. Rosado has been tagging Grande on his Instagram posts, hoping one day his daughter will get to meet her.

“She hasn’t met her yet. Hopefully sometime in the future, who knows what happens. Hopefully, she gets to meet her,” Rosado said.

For now, he’s focused on “The Voice,” and promoting his current album, “You.” He plans to release a new album once the show is over. He hopes this second chance on a musical competition show leads to him getting a major record deal as a Christian singer.

“Things are good right now. I can’t really say much but I’ve already kind of got a game plan in my head for what are the next steps,” Rosado said.

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Stephanie Claytor has been a broadcast and digital journalist in Lakeland since 2016, covering Polk County for Bay News 9 and currently free-lancing for LkldNow. She is an author of travel and children's books.

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