Fair warning to future Idol wannabes: If you have any skeletons, bodies or even bones in your closet that you want to keep hidden, don't audition for Idol. You can't run and you can't hide from all the off- and online organizations that live to smear the show and its contestants (though skeptics might surmise that Fox, itself, is feeding this information to outside sources. After all, there really is no such thing as bad publicity).
To wit, TMZ.com , one of the
organizations most successful at digging up Idol dirt, reports that Thomas Daniels, the contestant who won a Golden Ticket to Hollywood on his third Idol tryout in Minnesota on Tuesday's season premiere, has a criminal record dating back to 2004. The first incident involved a DUI guilty plea in Clackamas, Ore., that resulted in a one-year alcohol diversion program and $680 fine. The incident was wiped from Daniels' record after he completed his sentence, but has now been revealed to the world through the Web. Daniels told TMZ.com, "I was young and dumb and drinking and driving."
Daniels, who was arrested again in 2005 for failing to appear in court for an arraignment on a hit-and-run accident, called the second incident "another young and dumb situation" but would not comment to TMZ.com on whether he had disclosed his criminal past to Idol producers.
Will he be booted from the Hollywood segment? Fox has
precedent to release Daniels if he hasn't been candid with them. He could follow in the footsteps of Season 2 finalist Corey Clark, who was dropped from the show after it was revealed that in 2002 he faced charges for a variety of misdemeanors, including battery on four law enforcement officers, battery on his sister, and endangering a child. (In 2005, Clark claimed he had an affair with Idol judge Paula Abdul during his run on the show). Similarly, twin brothers Terrell and Derrell Brittenum were eliminated during last season's Hollywood segment when it was revealed that at the time of the tapings they were facing forgery and theft charges.
But other contestants have survived, including Season 4
finalist Scott Savol, who had been convicted of two prior misdemeanors, including one for an assault on the mother of his 4-year-old son, and Season 4 runner-up Bo Bice, who had been busted in 2001 and 2003 on a series of charges that included cocaine and marijuana possession, public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. One charge was eventally dropped and Bice completed a diversion program after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors.
And then there is perpetually embroiled in controversy Idol
judge Paula Abdul, who was charged with hit-and-run in 2005 for allegedly leaving the scene of a minor auto accident in late 2004. In spite of that, and the Corey Clark charges (which Fox said held no merit after its own internal investigation) and speculation on numerous occasions that she was under the influence of something while on live TV, Abdul has survived.
IN OTHER IDOL NEWS
... TMZ.com reports that Rosie O'Donnell
is now picking on American Idol. On Thursday's edition of "The View," co-hosted by Season 5 finalist Kellie Pickler, a clip of Wednesday night's Idol was shown in which Simon, Paula, and Randy mocked a particularly ridiculous contestant. O'Donnell called the show "so sad," blasted the "millionaire" judges for laughing at contestants and suggested that one judge was "probably intoxicated."
IDOL ALUMNI NEWS
... MJ's Big Blog says MTV has reported that Season 5
finalist Chris Daughtry’s “Home” is in contention to replace Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” as the show’s unofficial elimination song. Producers are also looking at a number from Will Young, the original “Pop Idol” winner in England.
... PRNewswire.com reports that Season 5 finalist Mandisa
Hundley will release a debut album and book in upcoming months. Her album is expected to drop in May and will feature songs that reflect her struggles and success. The book, "IdolEyes," co-authored with Angela Hunt, hits shelves on June 1st and looks at the singer's journey to the No.1 reality show in America, how both difficult and triumphant events put her faith to the test, and her lifelong battle with food addiction.
... According to The Associated Press, Kelly Clarkson has
partnered with NASCAR in the biggest partnership NASCAR has ever made with a music artist. “Anyone who knows me knows I’m a race fan and love NASCAR,” said the Season 1 Idol champion and Grammy Award-winning recording artist. “I look forward to hanging out with the fans, drivers and the entire NASCAR community.” Clarkson will be “integrated into all aspects of NASCAR,” including TV spots, charitable events and NASCAR’s awards dinner. Other artists who have partnered with NASCAR include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Lenny Kravitz and LeAnn Rimes.
... CelebritySpider.com says that Season 5 runner-up
Katharine McPhee's self-titled debut album will hit stores on Jan. 30th. The first single, "Over It," went to radio earlier this week. To promote the album and single, McPhee will be making multiple TV appearances over the next few weeks, including "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (Jan. 29), "The Today Show" (Jan. 31), "Live With Regis & Kelly" (Feb. 1), "TRL" (Feb. 5), "The Early Show" (Feb. 6), "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (Feb. 7) and "Larry King Live" (Feb. 8). As previously reported here, McPhee will also be a guest star on the hit TV series "Ugly Betty" on Feb. 1, portraying herself. The TV campaign kicks off today with a Webisode appearance on Lonelygirl15, the most watched and fastest growing Internet video series.
... According to Reality TV Magazine, Season 4 winner
Carrie Underwood and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo were never dating. The site says that Tony Romo apparently made a joke about dating Carrie Underwood to the Illinois Times-Courier newspaper, and other newspapers and magazines across the nation picked it up and reported it as fact. In regards to Tony Romo, Tennessean columnist Beverly Keel quoted Carrie Underwood as saying, “I have read some of the most ridiculous things about that. The first time I ever met him was on Christmas, right there on the field. Everybody was like, 'Ooh, they are together.' And then I was blamed for Dallas not winning that game. . . . He is a very nice guy and I've talked to him a few times, but we are very much not together.”
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