There was little disappointment in the Ledet household Thursday night, even as youngest son Joshua was eliminated from “American Idol.”
Ledet’s departure left Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez to compete on next week’s finale of Fox’s singing talent show.
As has been the case all year, the elimination wasn’t announced until the final minutes of the show.
“Actually we clapped because we were so happy and proud he made it this far,” said older sister Trista Ledet-Ames.
Ledet-Ames said the family gathered to watch the show at the Westlake home of their parents, Nathaniel and Jacklyn Ledet.
“To see Joshua live his dream and go that far, you couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Ledet’s older brother, Jason Ledet. “I’m so proud of my brother. He came from a little bitty town and he showed the world his talent. And, he rebirthed old R&B.”
Ledet was the first Louisianian to reach top three on the show, a distinction that brought with it a homecoming and parade.
Between 7,000 and 8,000 people turned out for the parade down Westlake’s Sampson Street Saturday afternoon and 7,900 attended a concert at Burton Coliseum.
“I’m good with what happened,” Ledet’s father, Nathaniel, said. “He always told me he wanted to make top three and come home and have a parade, and he did that.
“I always told Josh, no matter what happens, he’s still the best singer in the world to me. I told him that early on.”
Ledet’s departure song was as gracious as Hollie Cavanagh’s was the previous week. Ledet sang one of his hottest numbers, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” and brought his mother onto the stage with him as he sang.
Nathaniel said he had talked to Joshua and Jacklyn, and both were doing well.
“We said before the show and after, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times,’” Ledet-Ames said.
Jason Ledet said finishing third could actually help Joshua in his career because he won’t be tied to a record contract.
Ledet, a 20-year-old Westlake High graduate, was consistently praised for his renditions of soul songs.
He tried out for “American Idol” three times to land a spot on the show.
“He’s persistent, so I don’t think that’s the last you’ll see of him,” Ledet-Ames said.
What others said through email about Ledet:
“While I’m sad that Josh won’t be in next week’s finale, I’m still so very proud of him! He went from little old SWLA to number three on the biggest show on TV. We love you, Josh! Thanks for making us proud!” — Angela Walker.
“So proud of the stellar ending that he provided on the show in front of millions of people! There is nothing better than humility and Southern manners that Josh displayed” — Vicki Sensat.
“I am disappointed that Josh didn’t make it to the finale, because it would have been great for Southwest Louisiana. But, I was doing research the other night, and noticed that only a couple of the winners went on to greatness, and yet the runners-up became more popular … I believe Josh is going to go far” — Jaimi Hansen.
“I know Joshua Ledet will be a great success!!! He is already a superstar!!” — Rachel McConathy Broussard Gayle.