James Conrad 'Jim' Verraros (born February 8, 1983) is an American singer/entertainer and native of Crystal Lake, Illinois who is most notable for being one of the top 10 finalists in the first season of American Idol. Because he was raised by deaf parents, he is fluent in American Sign Language. Verraros quickly became a celebrity in the American gay press because of a controversy that erupted when it was reported that Fox Broadcasting Company made him remove his online journal that included discussion of his homosexuality in the summer of 2002. However, Jim Verraros later stated that 'it wasn't because I was gay. It was because they thought I was trying to gain more votes and have that little extra edge.' While Verraros was out to fellow contestants and Idol employees, he did not mention his homosexuality on air. Following the end of the show and the subsequent tour, Verraros came out publicly in an article in The Advocate.
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