A Bone to Pick with ‘American Idol’

March 6, 2007

After a commercial, Howard tested Artie’s willpower by offering him a bag of cookies, and Artie said he couldn’t eat them…until Jason brought him a Hawaiian Punch to go along with them.

Howard then took a call from Frenchie Davis, the former “American Idol” contestant who was thrown off the show because some racy photographs of her from a few years ago showed up online. Frenchie admitted she’d posed for the pictures – some of them with her breasts exposed – where she was wearing lingerie and that they appeared on a Website she insisted wasn’t pornographic.

Upon hearing that, Howard pointed out he could see “American Idol’s” point of view, explaining the show needed to keep its “image.” However, Howard acknowledged he didn’t necessarily agree with that view point, and Robin added she thought the argument was “thin.”

Howard wondered if Frenchie was asked before she was on “American Idol” if she’d ever posed topless, which she responded she was, and that she made it clear to the show’s producers that she had. Frenchie went on to say she was confident she had enough talent to have an established music career without “American Idol,” and added she’d like an apology from “Idol.”

Because a contestant on this season’s “American Idol,” Antonella Barba, who is white, was also involved in an online scandal – even though some of the pictures of her that came out were taken privately, while others weren’t even of her – Howard asked Frenchie if she thought there was any racism involved in the decision, or if she felt her weight had anything to do with it.

Frenchie didn’t give a direct response, though, saying she preferred to “give ‘Idol’ the benefit of the doubt.”

Frenchie next said she tried to avoid addressing the controversy surrounding Antonella, but that she decided to change her stance after Antonella was allowed to continue to be on the program. Although Robin felt there were important differences between the two scenarios, Howard acknowledged her point, but added he felt Frenchie admitting to producers that she’d shown her breasts in photos meant she should’ve been treated better.