The controversy surrounding this season of "American Idol" continued to grow on Thursday (April 28) following word that finalist Bo Bice had been arrested for cocaine and marijuana possession in the past.
The Helena, Alabama, singer had both charges dismissed, however, after completing a diversion program, according to the Smoking Gun Web site, which unearthed his court documents Thursday.
Twenty-nine-year-old Bice, widely considered a favorite to win the fourth season of "American Idol" (see " 'American Idol' Recap: Anthony Tugs Heartstrings, Pulls Off Celine Dion"), will continue to compete.
"The information disclosed on various salacious gossip Web sites regarding Bo Bice's past was already well-known to FOX and the producers of 'American Idol,' " a show spokesperson said in a statement. "From the beginning, Bo was honest and forthcoming in revealing his previous indiscretions and their outcome."
In June 2001, Bice, whose real name is Harold Bice Jr., was arrested by Huntsville, Alabama, police for felony cocaine possession, according to the Smoking Gun.
He was arrested again in 2003 near Birmingham for marijuana possession, as well as public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The cocaine charge was dismissed in August 2001 when the investigator was no-show for a preliminary hearing, according to court documents. When prosecutors threatened to refile, Bice entered a drug program overseen by the district attorney's office to have both drug-possession charges dropped. In December 2004 he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges.
Word of Bice's arrests is yet another chapter in what is turning out to be the most controversial season in "Idol" history.
First, just after he was voted into the final 12, Mario Vazquez walked away from the competition for "personal reasons" he has yet to divulge (see "Mario Vazquez Quits 'Idol' — 'It Wasn't Right For Me' ").
Then, earlier this month, the Smoking Gun unearthed court documents on fellow top-five finalist Scott Savol, who was once charged with domestic violence (see " 'Idol' Finalist Scott Savol's Past Domestic Violence Rap Surfaces"). Like Bice, he was honest to "Idol" producers about his past and was allowed to compete.
Last week, Paula Abdul came clean about health issues that were causing her quirky behavior on the show (see "Paula Abdul Says Quirky Behavior Isn't From A Drug Problem"), and now this week reports have surfaced that the judge may have had an affair with season-two contestant Corey Clark (see "Paula Abdul Denies Affair Allegation As 'Idol' Producers Investigate").