Is he or isn't he?
That's the question "American Idol" fans have been asking themselves this week in the wake of online media reports that contestant Robbie Carrico, the self-proclaimed "rocker" who was voted off of the show Thursday after being routinely criticized by the show's judges for not being "authentic," is rockin' a blond wig — or, at the very least, hair extensions. But Carrico's bandmate back in Florida insisted to MTV News that the long locks are the real deal.
TMZ.com first published the claim following Tuesday night's performance episode, during which Carrico belted out his take on Foreigner's "Hot Blooded." According to TMZ, Carrico's unkempt hair is actually a wig, which has the show's producers "flipping out." The site further claims "sources tell us Robbie never talks about his matted-down piece and that makes production members feel like it's the blond elephant in the room."
Like the show's producers, Carrico — the 26-year-old from Melbourne, Florida, who briefly dated Britney Spears and was a member of defunct pop act Boyz N Girlz United — has yet to address the claims.
So is David Cook's comb-over the show's only duplicitous coif?
One man who claims he can clear this whole wig rumor up is Kevin Scott, the lead guitarist for the band Carrico fronts, Missing Picket. The Florida band formed in 2002, has released four albums and opened for Shinedown and 3 Doors Down. This week, the group issued a statement that called TMZ's report "both untrue and kinda funny," but Scott elaborated further on the situation in an interview Thursday (February 28) with MTV News.
"Robbie does not wear a wig," he said. "I've talked to him about some of the pictures they've taken, and the way they style his hair, the way his bangs were overlapping, I guess it kind of looks like that. I've know him for six years now, and I think I'd know if he had a wig on. He lived in my house six, seven months, and I never saw him without his hair on."
While Carrico is remaining mum, "Idol" fans are debating the issue over at the show's online forums. For the most part, people aren't buying the rumor and even point to evidence — like an online video interview, during which Carrico takes a bow, sending his trademark skull cap plunging toward the floor, thus revealing the singer's receding hairline and a mess of long locks — as proof that he hasn't gone the Marv Albert route.
"It is unusual, but if dude wants to wear extensions or a wig, that's all right with me," one fan wrote. "It's a lot more important to sing/perform well and be respectful of everyone and just be a nice, cool person."
"How do you know it's a wig, for goodness sake?," another fan asked. "I mean, I looked at his younger pictures and his hair, if you look at his hair it's rather thick on the top. I don't think it's a wig, and even if it is, so freaking what? There may be a reason ... that he wishes not to have to explain. Cancer, burns, big scar — there could be reasons, but I still do not think it's a wig."
"I'll tell you why it matters," another viewer countered. "We can't hear him singing when his hair is shouting: 'I'M A WIG!' If he was a true rocker ... how come he got his start in a pop band and not a metal band?"
"Robbie's hair has to be real because he has the frizzies on the ends," another reasoned. "If it is a wig, he needs to pull a Chris Daughtry and just shave his head."
So what does Scott think of Carrico's detractors, who think his rock-and-roll image is a sham? "I play with Robbie, and our songs are all rock," he said, adding that fans can hear those originals over at Missing Picket's MySpace page. "People need to listen to Robbie singing his originals and judge for themselves. He has a definite rock voice. He did play pop music for years, so he has that as well. I guess it depends on the song. If it's a melodic-type song, he's going to sing more melodic, and when it's a harder, crunchier song, he'll take that approach with it."
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