"I tried out for 'American Idol' because I had always wanted to be in the music business," said Lewis, who was 24 at the time. "I had not really done anything in music. I didn't want to get to be 40 years old and then think, 'I never tried.' "
Lewis had been attending school at BYU-Idaho and was working toward a career in medicine. But before he knew it, he was competing with the top 10 contestants on "Idol."
Former American Idol contestant Jon Peter Lewis.
"It was definitely kind of like a whirlwind thing," Lewis said. "It was like one week I was here, going to school, and the next week I was jamming with Elton John," Lewis said.
His favorite part was getting paid to sing. He also appreciated that "American Idol" was a family-friendly show.
"The kind of people that would come to the show were usually mothers and daughters," he said. "They'd come as a family and leave as a family."
However, there were some downfalls to this new-found musical career.
"The hardest part was that I rarely ever had a chance to go to church while I was on the road," Lewis said.