Today's Evil Beet Gossip
Frenchie Davis

Remember Frenchie Davis?

She’s back, you guys!

Frenchie, a one-time American Idol contestant, was kicked off the show rather unceremoniously for being the first contestant to have internet nudes in circulation (the scandal! the outrage!). Eight years later, she’s on television againThe Voice with Christina Aguilera.

She sang Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed a Girl,’ and though she’s definitely got a voice, I was more pleased at the mere idea that she was even there. It takes a lot of guts to get kicked down by a show like American Idol after being told you’re unsuitable for family shows, only to get back up, try Broadway and make your dreams come through by other means.

Way to go, girl!

Actually, I Have More to Say About This David Hernandez Thing


So I wrote yesterday about how American Idol contestant David Hernandez used to dance fully nude at gay strip clubs. And I also wrote about how the American Idol producers were all like, “Yeah, that’s okay with us, it was just his job, no biggie.”

And at first I was all like, “Yeah, that’s all good. I don’t think it’s a big deal either.”

And then I’m driving to my friend’s house to play Guitar Hero (that’s my new obsession) and I’m just in my car, drinking my Red Bull, enjoying my life, and all of a sudden I’m like, “Holy shit. What about Frenchie Davis?”

Frenchie, if you’ll recall, was the fan favorite booted from American Idol in 2003 after producers learned she’d posed for topless photos on a racy website. At the time, Frenchie was all like, “Dude, I was doing it to pay for college,” but the producers at Fox were all like, “We don’t care. You’re out.”

I interviewed Frenchie on camera at an event in Hollywood about six months ago. Before the interview began, her publicist pulled me aside and was like, “Whatever you do, do not ask her about American Idol. Don’t even say the words. She doesn’t want to talk about it.” So obviously it’s still a sore subject. (And, for the record, the interview started off really rough — she was guarded and rude and I hated her — but once it became clear that I was not going to make her talk about American Idol, she was a total sweetheart and we had a great time. It turns out her best friend is Eva Pigford — the ANTM winner — and she told me this really cute story about how Frenchie had to move out of her NYC apartment on short notice but was really busy with auditions and shows, so Eva came over while she was gone and packed up her entire apartment for her. That’s a true friend.)

So why is David’s stripper past a non-issue, while Frenchie’s topless photos were cause for expulsion?

When the nude photos of Antonella Barba surfaced last season, this same issue came up. But I get the difference. Antonella took those pictures privately and they leaked, whereas Frenchie’s pictures were taken for pay and public consumption. But I don’t get the difference here. Both David and Frenchie got naked for pay. Professionally. And legally, I might add.

Why is David’s past somehow more palatable for the producers? Is it more acceptable for men to take their clothes off for money? I demand an explanation.

Will Frenchie Davis Get Another Shot at Idol?

The racy pictures [NSFW] of American Idol contestant Antonella Barba, which have been circulating the Internet en masse the past couple of weeks, have ignited quite a firestorm. Remember Frenchie Davis? She was the season two front-runner who was booted from the show when sexy pictures of her were found on an adult website. Davis, who is overweight and black and incredibly talented, claimed she told the producers about the pictures when she first auditioned for the show, but they kicked her off anyway. Meanwhile, Antonella, who is thin and white and not talented — at least not vocally (although “orally” is a different discussion) — remains on the show despite the pictures. The situation is racist, claim some fans, and “weightist,” according to Rosie O’Donnell.

“I think it’s fantastic if Idol has evolved and I think it’s fantastic she won’t have to go through what I went through four years ago,” Davis told the New York Post. “But if the rules have changed, I believe there should be something to make up for the fact that I was humiliated needlessly.”

Now, in fairness, there is a clear difference between these sets of photos. Antonella’s photos were taken privately, by her boyfriend, and intended for their eyes only. The fact that they leaked is (probably) not her fault. Davis, on the other hand, worked as a paid model, accepting money to pose for photos that she knew would end up on the Internet. Do I, personally, find either of these actions morally reprehensible and/or grounds for dismissal from a reality show? No. But some of Antonella’s competitors reportedly feel different — rumor has it that the more religious faction of the Idol contestant set is disturbed and disgusted by Barba’s photos, and hopes she is sent home soon.

Meanwhile, a group called Friends of Frenchie Davis, led by civil-rights activist Najee Ali, is protesting today at the Kodak Theater, where the show films, hoping to raise public awareness of this “double-standard.” Says Davis: “It’s unbelievable that such movement is being made for me without me having to say a word.” The end goal of this protest — or so says the rumor mill — is to encourage the Idol producers to give Frenchie, who currently appears in Rent on Broadway, another shot on Idol this season. This should be fun. I can’t wait for the pictures.