ABC’s Primetime Live has revealed the thrust of its “explosive” expose on American Idol that runs tonight at 10 pm. The show’s website states that the show will reveal that Paula Abdul provided provided contestant Corey Clark “with off-camera tips and assistance while he was a contestant, even helping him select some of the songs he would sing.”
Ethically dubious if true, to be sure, but this is the bombshell that is going to rock the foundations of the most popular show in America? This is a “jaw-dropping claim,” as this lurid purple ad screams? Maybe if you have a really weak jaw.
The site continues, “She was opening my eyes to like, ‘Look, you sing this stuff. This is how you’re going to get through,'” said Corey Clark, one of the 12 finalists during the Fox show’s second season.
Clark, then 22, said that during the competition he had an off-camera relationship with Abdul, then 40, which was at first platonic but later became sexual. Clark said Abdul initially told him, “I want to look out after you like I’m your mom,” but then quickly changed her mind and said, “Well, maybe more like your special friend.”
Ooh la la.
Idol has already responded: “Disqualified American Idol contestant Corey Clark was removed from the show for failing to disclose his criminal arrest history [he beat up his sister]. Despite documented procedures and multiple opportunities for contestants to raise any concerns they may have, the producers of American Idol, FremantleMedia, 19 Entertainment and FOX were never notified or contacted by Mr. Clark, nor presented any evidence concerning his claims. We will, of course, look into any evidence of improper conduct that we receive. In the meantime, we recommend that the public carefully examine Mr. Clark’s motives, given his apparent desire to exploit his prior involvement with American Idol for profit and publicity.”
Clark is recording his first album and writing a book.
In a statement, Abdul’s representative said, “He is communicating lies about Paula Abdul in order to generate interest in a book deal.”
Primetime says Clark’s parents verified that their son told them at the time that he was involved with Abdul and that they sometimes spoke to Abdul themselves when she called their home looking for Clark.
The Primetime site also claims that Clark played a recorded voice message from Abdul that “implored him not to talk about her or publish his memoirs.”
Will they air that tape?
Again, if any of this is true, it’s bad for Abdul because she definitely crossed the line of judicial ethics if she privately gave extra help to a contestant, but it doesn’t do anything in particular to the show itself.
And it sure doesn’t do anything for Corey Clark other than give him an extra 15 minutes under the most un-gallant of circumstances.