Like the rain showers and budding flowers, you can count on spring to bring an “American Idol” sex scandal. The show has endured everything from Frenchie Davis’ adult Web site photos to Corey Clark’s claim that he had an affair with Paula Abdul to Antonella Barba’s lascivious pictures . (Check out what Barba’s been up to since then .) This year’s shocker, according to The Associated Press, is that 24-year-old semifinalist David Hernandez used to work as a nude dancer at male strip club Dick’s Cabaret in Phoenix.
The manager of the club, Gordy Bryan, told the news service on Monday that Glendale, Arizona, native Hernandez had performed fully nude and gave lap dances to the club’s mostly male clientele.
“He had the look and the type that people like, so he made pretty good money here,” Bryan said.
A spokesperson for the show declined MTV News’ request for comment on the report, but a “person close to the show, who is not authorized to comment publicly and asked not to be identified” told the AP Tuesday (March 4) that the show has no plans to remove Hernandez from the competition.
Bryan could not be reached for further comment at press time, but he told the AP that Hernandez worked at Dick’s steadily for three years until September 30, well after he auditioned for “Idol” in San Diego on July 30. Bryan said that Hernandez did not renew his licensing with the state, which is why he hasn’t performed at Dick’s since that date.
The alcohol-free club was named the “best gay male revue” in 2004 by the Phoenix New Times, which said that the cabaret’s dancers “fit a flurry of fantasy roles, performing as sailors, construction workers, cowboys, and whatever else tickles their, uh, fancy.”
Though Hernandez has never discussed his stripping past on the show, rumors of his past were posted on VotefortheWorst.com last week, including images of a barely clothed Hernandez working as a bartender at the gay club Burn.
“It was like moths to a flame,” Vote for the Worst founder Dave Della Terza told the AP of the rumor. “As soon as I posted that, we started getting 10, 20 letters every single day from people saying, ’Yeah, he’s a stripper in Phoenix.’ ”
Bryan told the AP that the “Idol” contestant never sang at Dick’s and that he now believes Hernandez stopped working at the club because of his “Idol” connection.
After getting high marks from the judges last Tuesday for his rendition of the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” Hernandez is slated to perform Tuesday (March 4) for a shot at making it into the top 12.
(For a a less-scandalous story about one of the other Davids in this year’s “American Idol,” David Archuleta, head here.)
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[This story was originally published at 12:03 pm E.T. on 03.04.2008]