Before we really get into sharing the “American Idol” reaction and Twitter account sharing that we always do after audition episodes, we want to start things off here by discussing the bizarre new lawsuit that is being broguht out pertaining to whether or not there is a racial bias behind the scenes of the show.
In case you have not heard yet, TMZ is reporting that nine former contestants, all of African-American descent, are joining forces to sue the show under claims that producers are out to exploit and humiliate black contestants by booting them unceremoniously from the show. The only two contestants on this list that we believe to be particularly notable are Corey Clark (mostly for his allegations against Paula Abdul), and Chris Golightly, who was replaced by Tim Urban going into the live rounds for season 9.
The principal argument behind this suit appears to be that producers are in violation of employment laws when asking contestants if they have ever been arrested during the background check phase of the competition. A New York attorney named James H. Freeman is looking to sue Fox on behalf of these nine clients, and he claims that he was inspired to make this move following Jermaine Jones’ exit from the show last year … even though Jermaine is not a defendant.
So what’s our take on this? That it will probably be thrown out of court. As a reality show “American Idol” is casting contestants for what is basically a game show rather than employing them, and thus there is a distinction between the two. This is why the lawsuit against “The Bachelor” accusing the show of racial bias was thrown out, as the show had no obligation as a television program to be equal-opportunity when it comes to casting its leads. The two cases are of course very different, but our point here is that we don’t see the rules for being involved in a contest as being the same as applying for a job.
As for the strict argument of racism, here’s some crazy stats for you: not only have there been three black “American Idol” winners, but there has been a contestant of African-American descent in the top 7 of every season of the show thus far. In the last three seasons, Michael Lynche, Jacob Lusk, and Joshua Ledet all made at least the top 5. While “American Idol” may not be particularly kind to contestants seeking second chances, the evidence just doesn’t really line up with the idea that there is a racial bias.
Now, let’s get into what some of the contestants from last night are saying.
Paul Jolley – “Thank you everyone so much for all the support and kind words! They mean a lot! :D”
Burnell Taylor – “Y’all Thank Y’all For The Support New Orleans Been The Underdog City For To Long Time To Put On”
Haley Reinhart fan Maddie Assel – “there are many haley reinhart fans in this little world”
Megan Miller – “God is good people. Seek Him and all if your dreams will come true. He will give you all of the desires of your heart!”
Who was your favorite from this past audition episode? Be sure to share your thoughts below, and you can read our review for Thursday night’s “American Idol” over at the link here.