Okay, so this bit’s been out for the past two days, and there’s a reason why I didn’t write it down earlier: I thought these allegations were nothing new.  But there’s something with Junot Joyner’s allegations that make this set extra special: he’s coming out fighting.

Wait, Junot who?  Junot was part of the Top 36 of the past season of American Idol.  You might remember him for giving that soulful spin to “Hey There Delilah” in Hollywood that I actually loved the first time he did it–and then he performed it again during the Top 36 and I wasn’t so struck.  He was eliminated when Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre and Jorge Nuñez got in, and then he was forgotten… until this, maybe.

As the story goes, he was part of a live chat in a fan website a couple of days ago, with several other Top 36 contestants, including Kendall Beard and Felicia Barton.  So it was going well, sure, and then Junot suddenly comes out and launches all these allegations about the show being rigged and being biased towards several contestants.  Well, if you’ve been watching Idol for quite a while now, you’d say these are nothing new–do I have to mention all that talk of Adam Lambert being constantly pimped?

But his claims are quite interesting, you see.  “It’s certainly not the fairy tale most think it is,” he said, before claiming that he was cut by the producers, rather than being eliminated by the viewers, and that he wasn’t brought back to the Wild Card round because he questioned the fairness of the Idol contract.  Just a note: I’m editing his statements only for style concerns.  He uses a lot of ellipses dots.

“They pay for our lawyers to negotiate against their lawyer,” he said.  “They make us collectively choose the lawyer, then they act like it’s in our best interest … I had to ask questions and know what I was signing … Some folks were like, ‘Just shut up and sign on the dotted line.’  I know better than that.  I wasn’t complaining.  I was asking basic legal questions.  There’s a huge difference between the two.”

In the chat, he described the contract as a “slavetract”, and alleged that his actions got Idol producers so annoyed that they called him a “troublemaker”, and led executive producer Ken Warwick to tell him that he’s “not going to ruin my show”.

“I definitely believed that affected my time on the show,” he added.  “They didn’t like the fact that I wouldn’t sign ‘just anything’ and that other contestants were coming [to] asking me questions.  So I think they ousted me the first chance they could get … how did I not get picked for the Wild Card show when I received comments from the ‘judges’ that were better than most of the contestants who were picked?”

He also thought he didn’t get into the Top 13 because he refused to let the producers play with his I’m-from-the-hood back story.  “They wanted me to put that out to the world and expose my personal business for ratings,” he said.  “I wouldn’t do it.”

He also alleged that Kris Allen’s victory on the show was fixed.  While he clarified that he admires his talent and he deserves the win, he says the outcome was manipulated.  “The producers know who they want and they slant it to reflect that,” Junot said.  “They fix it in a way that makes you surprised but it’s still manipulated.  Think about it: Adam, Adam, Adam, then… Kris.  Surprise [smitches]!”

“[American Idol] is a reality show with writers!” he added.  “We’re all actors.  All these shows have writers that guide public opinion.”

So the question is, why is he doing this now?  Why when the show is long over, and why when nobody else from the Top 36 (or 37, counting disqualified Joanna Pacitti) is complaining?  “No one else is complaining because a lot of the contestants don’t understand how this business works,” he said.  “They’ve never had record deals or seen a record contract.  I have.  So I knew what questions to ask.  It’s kinda like ignorance is bliss.  Some contestants may have thought it was just cool to be on TV, but this is my career.  I take this thing very seriously.”

And the bigger question: what’s his end game?  Is he just out to reveal the “truth” behind the show?  Is he just drumming up promotion for his upcoming self-released album?  Is he just a bitter loser?  Personally I felt this was, at some point, a drunken tirade–if he disliked the show so much after being there, he shouldn’t have joined the chat.  But, well, it’s all a debate.  His intentions, not his allegations–that is, after all, very much a given.

– Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: AI Now
(Image courtesy of Fox)

Henrik Batallones

Staff Writer, BuddyTV