He revealed on The View on June 14, 2007 that all the male contestants on the show would be playing musical instruments on the tour (for the first time ever), "doing like a folk band," and that he would bring along his loop pedals for his beatboxing.He performed "She Loves the Way" on the last show, becoming the first Idol who sang their pre-Idol original materials on the tour.In many of these videos, he portrayed his alter ego, Jimmie Walker Blue, the character he introduced during the semi-final round of American Idol. He picked up this talent purely by ear, listening to CDs of beatboxing, after he was inspired by Matthew Selby, a former member of the Los Angeles-based a cappella group M-Pact, of which fellow American Idol semi-finalist Rudy Cárdenas was a member.Being a member of the a cappella group Kickshaw for four years after graduating from high school in 1999, Lewis worked with the group on a 10-track album titled Put It In the Microphone, but he quit the group in 2002 to become a solo musician going by the stage name Bshorty, which was basically inspired by the nicknames of the members of 311 and "aggressive inline-skate videos during the 1990s", "doing drum and bass shows, and conscious hip hop shows, singer-songwriter stuff, and electronica and hip hop".All three judges acknowledged the huge risk of Lewis' arrangement, but also praised him for his originality including beatboxing.Randy Jackson believed that it was the most original performance ever on the show.He performed Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet (combined with a snippet of U2's "With or Without You"), The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly and The Early Show.
Lewis' first performance on-stage, "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane, re-entered the chart at number 26 (number 19 on Hot Digital Tracks chart); On May 11, 2007, Lewis visited his hometown, Seattle, Washington for the traditional Idol Top 3 hometown visits.Lewis, upon entering the top 2 on May 16, 2007, he thus became the first ever contestant from the Northwestern United States (specifically, Washington) to compete in the finale.Lewis' beatboxing and scat singing skills had been featured occasionally throughout the competition, notably in the performances such as "Virtual Insanity", "All Mixed Up", "Time of the Season", "You Give Love a Bad Name", "You Should Be Dancing", "This Is Where I Came In" and "This Love".But soon afterward, the judges began predicting Lewis' "front runner" status.
In an exclusive interview with X17Online on March 4, 2007, Simon Cowell foresaw Lewis' chance to take the crown.
After Lewis' performance of "Lovesong" by The Cure/311 on March 27, Paula Abdul said that she would love to see him in the finale.