Corey Clark, one of the nine “American Idol” finalists, was booted from the competition Monday after producers learned of misdemeanor charges of battery and resisting arrest on his record.
The 22-year-old Kansas native and third contestant to be disqualified this season “withheld information about a prior arrest, which had it been known, might have affected his participation in the show,” Fox said in a statement. “The producers and network feel that Corey’s behavior warrants his disqualification.”
Fox does background checks on each of the “American Idol” contestants but missed Clark’s arrest because a police report misspelled his name. The report surfaced on the Smoking Gun, a Web site known for unearthing legal records of celebrities, which last week published mug shots of finalist Trenyce, who was arrested on theft charges in 1999.
Trenyce, however, had disclosed her background in advance and was allowed to remain on the show. She also successfully completed a pretrial diversion program and had her record erased.
Clark’s arrest stems from an altercation with his sister at his family’s Topeka home in October.
An “American Idol” spokesperson said Clark’s departure will be addressed on the show Tuesday (April 1). Clark is best known for almost blowing the semifinalist audition by going out partying in Hollywood instead of rehearsing.
His disqualification follows the removal of popular singer Frenchie Davis in February, after producers discovered the semifinalist posed topless on a Web site that advertised pictures of underage girls. She was reportedly over 18 at the time.
Jaered Andrews, another one of the 32 semifinalists, was booted a few weeks earlier when Fox learned of his arrest on assault charges in connection with a bar fight in Pennsylvania that ended with a man’s death (see “Former ’American Idol’ Contestant Faces Possible Involuntary Manslaughter Charge” ). Producers discovered Andrew’s record without the help of the Smoking Gun, and he was cut before the first semifinalist episode aired in January.
Fox will likely not have to deal with past arrests when “American Idol” spinoff “Junior Idol” kicks off June 3. It will feature kids under 16 competing in a similar format.