What Gives With American Idol?


February 12, 2010 by esarsea

Yes, I am one of millions who watch American Idol. It’s a guilty pleasure. I’m not necessarily a fan of the music the show produces, but I do enjoy the program none the less. I know that makes me, “Less than cool” in the eyes of some (including most of my peers)…but so be it.

This season a young lady from Seattle by the name of Danelle Hayes impressed the judges during her first audition. Danelle was given a golden ticket to advance to the next step of the competition in Hollywood, and she broke down in tears of joy right there on TV. Watch her audition here.

But her happiness was short lived.

The producers of the show decided to dismiss Danelle from the competition as a result of her being on probation while she satisfies the terms and conditions of a deferred prosecution for DUI. She had been honest and disclosed this at the time she entered the competition, but it was later decided that Danelle should be disqualified. It seems the show preferred not to ask the State of Washington for permission for her to go to Hollywood, and on tour if she progressed that far in the competition.

In a recent interview with a local TV station is Seattle, Danelle was candid and open about her past mistakes, and held no ill will towards the American Idol program. Click here to watch the interview.

She seems like a good kid who made some bad choices, accepted repsonsibility for her actions, and is now doing what she can to get her life going in a positive direction.

I have no issue with American Idol’s decision. It’s their program, it’s their rules, and they’re free to run their program any way they want to. That should be the end of the story…but it isn’t.

Radio personality Bob Rivers hosts the morning program on KZOK FM in Seattle. Bob also plays keyboards with Spike and the Impalers, a great local cover band. They really are a fun (and quite talented) bunch of guys. Check out this recent live performance of Paradise City at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma. 

Yesterday morning after Danelle’s TV interview, Bob called out to the audience and asked if anyone knew how to contact Danelle. Bob wanted to invite her to do an interview on the show, and also wanted to invite her to sit in with the band at their next upcoming gig. Bob had been impressed with her candor, honesty and attitude during her TV interview, and wanted to help her along with her music career. Some initial contacts were made, and everything was tentatively set up.

Re-enter American Idol.

Danelle’s agent was contacted by American Idol and told that Danelle was not to do any more interviews and not to perform with Spike and the Impalers.


I’d love to see one of the contracts American Idol forces these kids to sign before they are allowed to take part in the competition. Especially the part that says, “If we dismiss you from the competition you cannot do any interviews, of perform with other bands…”

Excuse me American Idol. It seems you’re getting a little too big for your prime-time britches. Leave the girl alone! Let her promote herself, and pursue her musical career.

If you’re of the same opinion as I am, let them know.

Feel free to share your thoughts with Fox TV at askfox@fox.com and on the American Idol forums located here.

3 thoughts on “What Gives With American Idol?

  1. Stu says:

    UPDATE: Danelle did eventually appear on the Bob Rivers show. It seems she was only contractually muzzled until American Idol announced their “Final 24” at the end of Hollywood week.

    You can watch and listen to her appearance with Bob Rivers at http://www.bobrivers.com/#v10663 and http://www.bobrivers.com/#v10664

  2. Da Goddess says:

    This is one reason I don’t like AI — they’re very heavy-handed with those who audition and those who appear on the show.

  3. Bill says:

    Well, cute little David Archuletta is from the ‘burbs right here in SLC. His Dad was so pervasive and obnoxious backstage during David’s rise to #2 on AI that year, that they actually banned him from the backstage area. Then, when David came home to be a local hero and example (his family is “very” LDS), his Pop got busted asking for a happy ending at a local message parlor. American Idiot!

    I’m not comfortable watching AI auditions because it’s obvious they load it up with people who are clearly untalented and vulnerable and they tear them apart for fun and ratings profit on national TV. It’s a blood sport and people get hurt. Most of them shouldn’t have even been there in the first place. I theorize that rather than having 25 qualified contestants trying out, they have 5 good ones and 20 that are just embarassingly, freak-show horrible.

    After the 20 untalented rubes walk into the spinning metal blades, the rest look pretty damn good, instead of 25 looking pretty good.

    Fuck! I can’t believe I’m blogging about American Idol. I don’t watch it, although I live with someone who readily admits she would watch it every chance she got if she could just wrestle the remote control from me.

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