Once again, American Idol has begun preparations for the next season. Do these people every get any rest? Each year there seems to be something to talk about besides the music. Let's rewind and see why the show has sparked the interests of millions for reasons outside of incredible, and greatly flawed talent.
Season 1 – "No Homos Allowed"
Unlike Adam Lambert, who kept his homosexuality to himself until after the season ended, contestant Jim Verraros made no such efforts. FOX, which is often speculated as a right-wing network, couldn't handle it. They demanded that he remove any comments that suggested his sexual orientation from his online journal, but they did still allow him to wear his right ear ring, and sleeveless shirts. FOX claimed that they were worried that he was trying to gather votes from gay organizations in order to win. Past season one, FOX has been more careful to stay away from homosexuality.
Season 2 – The Secret Affair
"Corey and Paula sitting in a tree… K-I-S-S-I-N-G". Corey Clark, who also lied about his criminal record, claimed that he and Paula were having a secret affair. Although he insisted that he had hard proof and incriminating evidence, he never revealed it. Later he shopped for a book deal about the alleged affair. SNL loved the news and Amy Poehler played Abdul in a news skit, in which Poehler said "Corey, that was beautiful, You really blew me away. It's like I rolled over and said to you this morning, 'You have real star quality.' I'll see you at home." The skit ended with Abdul (Amy Poehler) critiquing Corey Clark, saying "You need to perfect the clap a little more and be a lot more sexier so contestants will be willing to sleep with you."
Season 3 – Racism or Lack of Talent?
Jennifer Hudson, LaToya London and Fantasia Barrino, all African Americans were widely known as the three divas, all landed in the bottom 3 relatively early in the show. The real controversy begain when Sir Elton John lashed out to the media saying, “The three people I was really impressed with — and they just happened to be black, young female singers — all seem to be landing in the bottom three… They have great voices. The fact that they’re constantly in the bottom three — and I don’t want to set myself up here — but I find it incredibly racist.” Hudson, who was the first of three to be voted off, reported to Fox News, “I don’t know what it was based on, but it wasn’t talent.” As always, when America raises suspicion about the voting procedure, Seacrest remind TV viewers how important it was to vote. In the end, look what happened; Fantasia went on to win the contest. Meanwhile Hudson, blew everyone away with her stellar performance and emotional performance of "And I'm telling you, you're gonna love me".
Season 4 – It's Just Not Right
For once, the show went relatively smoothly. In fact, Carrie Underwood, how was crowned the Idol champ, continued on to achieve the greatest success of any former or present idol. About the only curious moment, was when Mario Vasquez, who was an early favorite, quit the show. Mario, who was as an early favorite, claimed he was quitting the show because of a family situation. He later revealed that he did not believe competing on American Idol was the right move for for his career. TMZ gave us a very different story. In a lawsuit filed by Magdaleno Olmos, who was an assistant account for the company that produces American Idol, he claims that Mario sexually harrassed him by trying to masterbate on top of him while the two were in a bathroom together. Olmos, who may have had the upper hand in their bathroom squabble, lost his job.
Season 5 – Double Trouble
Twins, Terrell and Derrell Brittenum, had more in common than just their birth dates. As it turned out, both had outstanding criminal warrants. Ironically, they were both wanted for identity fraud. Derell was arrested immediately, while Terrell, who you may consider a high profile character, managed to evade the police for several months. Needless to say, they did not win the competition. But why not give AI an applause for their thorough background checks.
Season 6 – Ooh La La
No, it's not "Ooh La La" as in any kind of Doo Wap music. Antonella Barba, who did not win among the final twelve contestants, was a favorite at votefortheworst.com. It's possible they may have had different intentions for once. She received mainstream attention when her scandalous photos leaked on the internet. In just one week, her name became a search term that increased by 47,000% as excited internet users were able to get a peak of her naked body. One picture showed her smiling while sitting on the toilet. Hey, we're just reporting the news. Antonella did a great job of ignoring the media frenzy over it and held on to her dignity.
Season 7 – Already Signed?
I know I don't set the rules, but I was under the impression that American Idol was about finding "new" talent, and helping them to launch their musical career. During season 7, three of the contestants had already been signed with major labels. The biggest controversy focused on Carly Smithson who had been signed with MCA. The company had spent over 2 million dollars to promote her album, "Ultimate High", which in turn sold 378. I'm not a mathematician, but that sounds like a major loss. To fuel the fire even more, Randy Jackson had worked for MCA during the same time that she was signed. As it turned out, she did not win the competition, but she did have a great voice.
Season 8 – Not again…
In this season, American Idol seemed to be in the habbit of repeating mistakes. First they brought in Joanna Pacitti, was originally a top 36. She was later "disqualified" when it was discovered that she had lived in the same apartment complex with two of the producers at 19 Entertainment, which is led by Simon Fuller. Hmmm… does that sound like a strange coincidence? To further the topic of repetitive mistakes, the producrs ran overtime multiple times. In on paricular incident, they were so behind, that the show completely cut off Adam Lambert's performance of "Mad World", which received the very first standing ovation from Simon Cowell. So, for those of you who may have missed it, we were able to find a live version from the Regis and Kelly show.