Well, this is something.  Thanks to the camera-wielding ninjas employed over at TMZ.com, we have photographs of American Idol contestant Chris Richardson hitting the town with Lauren Conrad, of Laguna Beach and The Hills fame.  Lauren Conrad, who has been in the news lately for a rumored sex tape featuring herself and one of her former cast mates, is a big name in some circles.  I’m not a Laguna Beach guy (which shouldn’t really even need to be said), but I’m not oblivious to its (and The Hill’s) popularity. 

What does this sighting mean?  According to the TMZ report, LC was quite enamored with Richardson as they entered the trendy Les Deux club.  In the most cynical, PR terms, this is a mutually beneficial relationship.  The sex tape rumors have placed LC in a negative light as of late, so what better way to get some positive press than to go out with an American Idol while he’s still popular?  On the other side, Chris Richardson, a random dude a couple months ago, gets to go out with a famous, relatively attractive girl.  Everyone comes out a winner.

With only eight singers left on American Idol, you have to wonder how long Chris Richardson will stick around.  He could be eliminated as early as this week (although that is unlikely), so he should take advantage of his fame while he still has it.  In true talent terms, he is better than Phil Stacey, Haley Scarnato, and, of course, Sanjaya Malakar.  I applaud Chris Richardson’s actions here (unknown as they may be).  There hasn’t ever been a whole lot of Hollywood gossip regarding the dating lives of past American Idols.  We’ve had Clay Aiken’s sexuality called into question, we’ve had a rumored romance between Carrie Underwood and Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo, and we’ve had the scandal over Paula Abdul‘s purported extra-curricular activities with a former contestant.  Besides that, not a lot of romance news has ever swirled about American Idol (unless I’m forgetting something, which could easily be the case).

If Chris Richardson is the first American Idol to bag a young, hot Hollywood personality, than good for him.  It probably should happen more often.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer

(Image Courtesy of TMZ.com)

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV