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Corey Clark Booted for Beating Accusations
by David Bloomberg -- 04/01/2003
Yesterday it was revealed that Corey Clark was facing criminal charges for allegedly beating his sister and resisting arrest. Fox has acted quickly to remedy their part of the situation and now Corey has been given the boot.
I guess I was wrong after all about how American Idol producers would handle the case of Corey Clark. And I'm actually glad to have been wrong, to tell the truth.
Yesterday, The Smoking Gun broke news that Corey had been arrested for, and was still facing charges of, beating up his sister and resisting arrest. You can read more of the details in my article discussing the situation. In that article, I wondered if posing for some topless photos, which is what got Frenchie Davis booted, was worse than committing violent criminal acts. I predicted that Fox would say they don't comment on the private lives of their contestants and that Corey would simply end up losing the vote this week.
However, Fox has actually decided that, indeed, idols shouldn't (allegedly) beat their sisters or resist arrest to the point that the cops have to threaten them with a stun gun. Or at least they shouldn't lie to producers about it.
Several news organizations have now reported that Corey has been given the boot (although he remains on the official website as of very early in the morning on April 1). Fox issued a statement that he withheld information about the arrest which "might have affected his participation in the show." Might?! I mean, I know Simon said popstars should have a bit of "bad boy" in them, but this goes a bit far. Fox added that full disclosure was required of all contestants. Indeed, Fox did know about Frenchie's nude photos long before they gave her the boot, and they also apparently knew about Trenyce's past arrest.
The network, which has had numerous issues crop up with its reality TV participants and failed background checks, blamed this one on Corey's name being misspelled in the police report. Yet somehow The Smoking Gun managed to find it. Hey, perhaps Fox should just hire The Smoking Gun to do their background checking - it would save a lot of time.
In any event, Fox said that they felt that "Corey's behavior warrants his disqualification." They also added that they did not yet have a decision on whether he would be replaced. Considering that it is now Tuesday and the performers have to compete tonight, that would be an awfully short time to find somebody to bring in. In addition, many fans - not to mention the other performers - would likely see it as completely unfair to have somebody brought in after there have already been three people in the original Top 12 sent packing. If they did decide to bring somebody back, it has already been suggested by some viewers that the most fair thing to do would be to bring back Julia DeMato, who was voted off last week. However, even that idea would not be well received by many fans. Fox may simply have to end the series a week earlier than expected, which would mean one less week of May Sweeps. Or they could do as Survivor does and insert an extra episode of "looking back" later in the series. In fact, as much as many fans dislike such episodes, I suspect the majority would look upon such a show more favorably than bringing somebody else in.
Fox deserves kudos for doing the right thing here. As much as it would have been better if they had actually found out this information during their background checks or if Corey had been upfront about it (did he really think he could keep it a secret?), they acted quickly to get rid of somebody who could have become a liability to the show.
Hopefully, there won't be any more surprises this season.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of Foxes On Idol, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org