Coming on the heels of nine former contestants accusing American Idol of racism (even though they were disqualified for not being truthful to producers), we’ve got another liar in our midst, and this time it’s someone who just auditioned in the past week. Also in today’s Roundup, Forbes has released a list of the top earning Idol finalists. And read on to see where Phillip Phillips and two other winners landed this week on the Billboard 200.
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Auditioner Matt Farmer Lies About Military Service
Cory Clark, listen up — there’s another contestant who lied to producers about his past. Matt Farmer auditioned for the judges this week in Long Beach, CA, performing “A Change is Gonna Come.” He provided a sympathetic story of serving in Iraq, being hit by an IED and suffering from traumatic brain injury. He wouldn’t be able to have children because of the medication prescribed to him. But that changed when his wife became pregnant six months later. And he even brought his cute little daughter into the audition room:
A story like that would make anybody want to root for him. But the story is a lie. Those who served with him are telling a different story of Matt. One soldier says, “Matt Farmer is a fraud. He is currently auditioning with American Idol under false pretenses. I served with this person from Dec 2006 until he prematurely left theatre for using banned substances specifically medication not prescribed and alcohol.” Another gave this warning: “I have a whole list of soldiers who were there and will back this up, he is a fraud and deserves to be called out. If he is collecting disability from the VA an investigation needs to be arranged as well.”
Guardians of Valor is a website that roots out phonies like Matt; they contacted him and it seemed at first he was trying to defend himself, but eventually came around and now admits that the story he told on the show is a fabrication: “Everything you have read is correct. It was ALL lies. I in fact HAVE lied since a younger age and had a problem with it. …In NO way was I looking to take from everyone who has served. I started to believe my own lies. And after I believed them… I would catch myself talking like it had happened to me my entire life.” It sounds like Matt is a pathological liar and needs some professional help.
Matt continues by saying, “I am EXTREAMLY (sic) remorseful and VERY upset that I allowed myself to take from the hard work of the guys that I was deployed with among others. To think that I would go on a national TV show and get away with continuing a lie so big, and so deeply [embedded] in my life and brain… is [ridiculous].” Along the way, he keeps saying how the lies end here and he’s going to work hard on living an honest life. He finishes with, “I at no time was a sniper, was never deployed to Afghanistan, did a single tour in Iraq, and was never at any time hit or wounded by an IED.”
Because of this revelation, we most likely won’t see Matt during Hollywood Week — it wouldn’t be that hard to edit him out anyway, considering he got cut on the first day.
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Forbes’ List of Top Earning American Idols
Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Adam Lambert and others have had huge success post-Idol. Have you ever wondered how much they earn? Well, wonder no more because Forbes has released their list of the top earning American Idols. (The dollar amounts below are earnings from May 2011 to May 2012, and haven’t been adjusted down for taxes or other fees that go to Idol, managers, agents, etc.)
1. Kelly Clarkson: $8 million
2. Carrie Underwood: $5 million
2. Daughtry: $5 million
4. Scotty McCreery: $4 million
5. Jennifer Hudson: $3 million
6. Jordin Sparks: $2 million
7. Adam Lambert: $1.5 million
8. Katharine McPhee: $1.1 million
8. Kellie Pickler: $1.1 million
10. David Archuleta: $1 million
10. David Cook: $1 million
Forbes notes that Adam Lambert’s new album came out after this time frame, so he could move up on the list next year as a result. And with the huge success that “Home” has brought Phillip Phillips, there’s a chance he could be included next time.
Are you surprised by anybody on this list, or by the amount of money they’re making?
The Top Idol Album Sales
Performing at the start of the season 12 premiere gave Phillip Phillips a boost on the charts. But he doesn’t have that luxury this time around, with The World from the Side of the Moon falling eight spots. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood make some gains, with Stronger moving up 19 spots and Play On making a reappearance on the Billboard 200. Here’s all the stats for the latest Idol album sales, courtesy of USA Today:
Phillip Phillips’ The World from the Side of the Moon at #16, selling 19,000 units (Total Sales: 663,000)
Carrie Underwood‘s Blown Away at #37, selling 10,000 units (Total: 1.257 million)
Kelly Clarkson’s Greatest Hits — Chapter One at #40, selling 10,000 units (Total: 250,000)
Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger at #167, selling 3,000 units (Total: 1.016 million)
Carrie Underwood‘s Play On at #172, selling 3,000 units (Total: 2.174 million)
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(Image courtesy of FOX)