On the same night that “American Idol” whittles the competition to the final four, ABC News plans to air its interview with a former contestant who alleges judge Paula Abdul coached him through the competition and had a sexual relationship with him.
The Fox hit has been seemingly under siege this season, but it has made little difference to viewers. An estimated 23.8 million people watched Tuesday’s competition.
The contestants are headed to a May 24-25 finale sure to be among the year’s most-watched TV events.
Fans were watching Wednesday to see if an Internet campaign by voterfortheworst.com continues its success. Organizers are conspiring to get the least talented contestant the record contract prize, and they’ve made Scott Savol their pick.
Meanwhile, ABC News’ “Primetime Live” intends to air its interview with Corey Clark, a 2003 contestant who said that Abdul, after she took a shine to him, helped him with wardrobe, grooming and song selection. Clarke was dropped from the show for failing to reveal a past arrest record.
In a snippet of the interview aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Wednesday, Clark said Abdul’s coaching was designed to “knock the dust off the dirty diamond and help me shine.”
ABC gathered seven former contestants who had lost to Clarke to show them an interview where he made the allegations.
“They watched, their silent faces saying everything about disappointment and disillusion,” said John Quinones, who reported the “Idol” story.
Fox said Clark had never informed the network about his allegations. The network promised to look into them, but noted Clark was writing a book and had an incentive to seek publicity. An Abdul representative called Clark “an admitted liar and opportunist who engages in unlawful activities.”