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Frenchie bounced from Idol
February 12, 2003 8:29 AM   Subscribe

"American Idol" Star Bounced. Evan Marriott's brief career as an underwear model wasn't a problem. And "Joe Millionaire" contestant Sarah Kozer's starring role in dozens of bondage and fetish films also was of no concern to Fox Television. But the network has bounced an "American Idol" contestant because she once posed nude for an Internet porn site. Is this setting a double standard?
posted by Macboy (56 comments total)

 
MacBoy - a double standard? - probably. I'm surprised that they didn't keep her on the show on the basis that her porn site background would improve the show's ratings. I guess that Fox thinks "American Idol" is supposed to uphold "Family Values"?
posted by troutfishing at 8:36 AM on February 12, 2003


Fox was probably afraid that she had a good chance at winning this contest, so they needed to get a reason to get her butt outta there ASAP. She doesn't have the stereotypical "idol" look, so she couldn't have been allowed to win. The others listed, from other shows, all had the looks, so they were allowed to move on.

Yes, it is a double standard. Unfortunately, as long as looks count for more then talent (likely, friggin forever), it will continue...
posted by JaxJaggywires at 8:40 AM on February 12, 2003


Wow. Big surprise when I clicked the link and it was one of the big girls and not a Britney wannabe. It would be nice to see all the protesting fans follow up by not watching the show, but I doubt that will happen.
posted by monkeyman at 8:40 AM on February 12, 2003


[first response]

Oh yeah, gonna see some pr0n... Oh jesus christ she's huge!

[Cleaned up Metafilter response]

I don't think Fox has a standard.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:42 AM on February 12, 2003


This might actually be the single least compelling ethical question in human history.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:43 AM on February 12, 2003


The injustice of it all!! How will we ever trust the folks at the Fox network ever again?
posted by psmealey at 8:46 AM on February 12, 2003


Exactly monkeyman. If she was a trim white girl would this be an issue?
posted by Macboy at 8:46 AM on February 12, 2003


I liked her. She has a fantastic voice and could actually have a career in music, unlike the flavorless hacks they coughed up last year.

I don't care if she posed nude or not. So did Madonna. Get over it.

Now, Vin Diesel's breakdancing days should have been a career ender. It would have saved us the indignity of xXx.
posted by hipnerd at 8:48 AM on February 12, 2003


Fox was probably afraid that she had a good chance at winning this contest

I can see the logic to that statement -- certainly the judges themselves have openly wondered whether Ms Frenchie has the, uh, 'idol look' (read: skinny white thing). But if it was such a concern, why not just bounce her in a proceeding round, when the decisions are completely under the control of the judges?

Call me paranoid, but I think what's going on here is that reality show producers have realized that there is no such thing as bad scandal -- it gets people watching, it adds to the drama, it generates free publicity (witness this discussion.) After l'affaire Rockwell, all of these contestants must be minutely scrutinized. What I'm saying is that the producers knew Ms Frenchie's past -- and leaked it at the right time.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:48 AM on February 12, 2003


I thought she looked familiar.

Actually, this is so hypocritical it's not even funny. This whole show is about winning a contest to be groomed for an industry where teenage girls are dressed up like $20 hookers while still maintaining a "wholesome virginal" image. They want to foist that freudian morass on us, but a few BBW boob shots are verboten? Whatever.

NTM, I dunno why I'm arguing. That abomination of a show has done more damage to what's left of rock and roll than almost anything else around. Soon it's gonna seem like the changes wrought by the last 50 years of popular music never happened.
posted by jonmc at 8:54 AM on February 12, 2003


Isn't this show suppose to be; new talent, no professional experience?

But the last winner, Kelly had recorded before. So yes double standard from the 1st show.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:54 AM on February 12, 2003


Is this American Idol something you need a TV to know about, because I don't have TV.
Really though, as the saying goes, no such thing as bad press. Me, I'm just waiting for the final 'revelation' on Joe Millionaire that whole dang thing was scripted and that joke isn't on the 'unknowing' girls, but on us, the viewing public- at least those with TV's.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 8:55 AM on February 12, 2003


Macboy:

your thread text could use some quotation marks. but, that aside.

joe millionaire was intended to be trashy. twenty girls, ostensibly gold diggers, trying to get with one man who is supposedly a millionaire? i agree that any news, such as a contestant starring in bondage film or nude for a porn site, would probably boost ratings for either american idol or joe millionaire. but a possible explanation for this behavior is that fox did not want american idol to be as trashy.

i don't know if it's true or not. if i were fox, i don't think i'd care much. but perhaps fox perceives that american idol is held up to a higher standard -- perhaps, in particular, because the last winner of the show turned out to have already had a recording contract and fox would like to avoid future discoveries about contest winners?
posted by moz at 8:57 AM on February 12, 2003


Hmmm, one look at her picture tells me that this has nothing to do with her nude internet porn. She's FAT! Fat people don't represent America! (Except in reality.)
posted by zekinskia at 8:57 AM on February 12, 2003


May I add, as when I see these sites I am concerned: web site that purported to feature naked underage girls (which, of course, would be illegal).

Good theory BrodieShadeTree.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:02 AM on February 12, 2003


Fox Networks, being the moral beacon to millions, has acted in a contradictory, confused manner, upholding the virtuous sexuality prized by so many adults, geared towards so many 13 year olds. The sublime morality of Victorian American has resurfaced, selling sex and fucking chastity, in rhythm and in sorrow.
posted by the fire you left me at 9:08 AM on February 12, 2003


From the Smoking Gun article:

According to a TSG source, Davis posed topless (and appeared to be masturbating) on a web site that purported to feature naked underage girls (which, of course, would be illegal).

And people can't understand why Fox fired this woman from American Idol? Duh!!!!
posted by Durwood at 9:24 AM on February 12, 2003


You know how I watch American Idol? I Tivo it, and fast forward to the judges comments, just to hear someone get chewed out. Most of the singing is terrible, and the performances are worse. I take 10 minutes to watch Simon Cowell chew someone out, and then delete.
posted by benjh at 9:25 AM on February 12, 2003


I think the real question is how anyone could ever possibly be concerned by this.
turn off your tv and go outside. kiss your wife, pat your dog/cat, read a freakn' book in the sun. if you don't have any of those things get busy finding them ... but don't, I repeat, DO NOT worry about what happens on "american idol"!
posted by eyere at 9:27 AM on February 12, 2003


This raises a question that I've wondered about whenever - er, a friend of mine tells me about some of the pr0n he's seen online: There's more and more of this from "amateurs," including of course hardcore, it's there (online somewhere) into perpetuity, and it's becoming ever more searchable. Meanwhile, more venues for amateurs to become celebrities are constantly being introduced. So what happens, a few years down the road, when more and more women (and yeah, let's not kid ourselves about the gender) have explicit Internet pictures revealed? Do we have a national crisis of morality? Or does the standard for what's embarrassing simply get raised ever higher?
posted by soyjoy at 9:27 AM on February 12, 2003


Arg. Double Standard? How loud can I say this. "IT'S A TV SHOW!". The world is not Max Headroom.

It's not the government or some kind of institution, it's a TV show, and thank god, we don't use Nelsons for voting; yet.

End of the day, Idol targets the family demographic, it's the one 'reality' show that doesn't use a lot of sexual elements in the mix. That's probably all there is.
posted by Leonard at 9:27 AM on February 12, 2003


For those of you who have supported the notion that Fox cut Frenchie as opposed to other reality contestants, not because of her actions, but because she is overweight and therefore would be distasteful as a winner, you are wrong. This can only be a shocking example of morality on the part of Fox. As the remainder of the cuts on American Idol are determined by the voting public, if Frenchie didn't fit the mold, she wouldn't continue, and if She won the whole thing, then it was exactly what most of the public(who watch the show and vote) wanted. Removing her from the competition only places a black mark on Fox, as they could have revealed this information with her still allowed to compete, and gotten the same publicity, so it should be deduced that Fox made the decision to cut her based on what they thought the show stood for.

As an aside, I don't own a TV and have never seen the show, and the show is ruining society, and is proof that everyone with anti-American feelings is dead on correct.
posted by Mushkelley at 9:32 AM on February 12, 2003


thank god, we don't use Nelsons for voting;

Yes, because then all our votes would just be: "HA-ha!"
posted by soyjoy at 9:40 AM on February 12, 2003


I was surprised about her size because I had forgotten that the fat chick was still on the show. I saw her on an early episode and assumed she was bounced by now. Going out on a limb here, I think Fox would have kicked anyone appearing in nekkid pictures off the show due to the huge marketing opportunities available to the the top 10 finishers. Evan and Sarah from "Joe Millionaire" are not going to be going on tour or cutting albums aimed at a teenage market or making silly musicals. I'm sure that Fox enjoys all the free publicity, but there is no way that anyone with scandalous pictures is going to stay on the show.
posted by monkeyman at 9:46 AM on February 12, 2003


I don't think she shoulda been kicked off, but if it was a violation of the contract she signed to appear on the show, they kind of had to kick her off. It would be unfair to let her stay. But if it didn't have anything to do with her contract and was just a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the producers, well, they oughta be ashamed of themselves.
posted by spilon at 9:46 AM on February 12, 2003


Please, lord, end this reality show thing. I'm sorry I ever slammed TV writers, because real people are even more grating. The whole thing makes me wish for the days of "Daddio".
posted by owillis at 9:49 AM on February 12, 2003


This might not be Fox's decision. "American Idol" is produced by FremantleMedia & 19 Productions, while "Joe Millionaire" is produced by Rocket Science Productions. What's acceptable for one production company (and/or set of producers) may not be acceptable for another. This happens all the time.

And even if FOX had wanted to keep Frenchie (not saying that they did) the decision may have been out of their hands. I've worked "in the biz" for about seven years now and from what I've seen, once a television show becomes a mega-hit the power shifts from the Network to the producers. For example, I doubt NBC tells "Friends" what to do, rather "Friends" does whatever it wants and NBC backs up the truck and says "thank you."

I can't believe I've just defended FOX...
posted by herc at 9:54 AM on February 12, 2003


So, this American Idol, she vibrates?
posted by robbie01 at 9:57 AM on February 12, 2003


soyjoy sed: "thank god, we don't use Nelsons for voting;
Yes, because then all our votes would just be: "HA-ha!""

Or worse

It's totally Fox doing two things: A) Making an audible stink about a contestant's immorality so that it can B) keep some foothold in the family market. (Spare us all, though, from the buying habits of the family that hunkers down and blithely watches American Idol together every week).
posted by chandy72 at 9:59 AM on February 12, 2003


As an aside, I don't own a TV and have never seen the show, and the show is ruining society, and is proof that everyone with anti-American feelings is dead on correct.

Harsh. Especially from someone who has never seen the show, but you go ahead and form your opinion that it is ruining society because you know so much about it.

A lot of opnions from a lot of people who claim they don't watch the show! I watch it and admit I watch it. It's entertainment folks, and it entertains me. It's pop culture and has to be taken as just that, not of any barometer of the quality of American music today. And as pop culture it is a reflection of our pop society, and nothing says America more right now than shameless exploitation, do-anything-for-a-buck, show-me-yer-titties, and no-fat-chix.
posted by archimago at 10:02 AM on February 12, 2003


y'all need to stop watching so much empty v (So where are the newsfilter zealots when you need 'em??)
posted by BentPenguin at 10:07 AM on February 12, 2003


It's really not that outrageous that they kicked her for appearing in faux kiddie porn now is it folks ?

Millionaire woman wasn't even nekkid, and being an under wear model is really just another job but faux kiddie porn star, that really is a different level.
posted by zeoslap at 10:11 AM on February 12, 2003


soyjoy - I've wondered about that too. It's not only what we choose to put out on the net, whether it's our writings or ramblings or pictures, it's also what we choose to peruse on the net which could hypothetically come back to haunt us. But since just about everybody is at least surfing something from time to time that is potentially embarrasing, maybe they will be less likely to call out others for fear of being exposed as hypocrites.

In other words, the Internet has made the dirty stuff so incredibly accessible that more and more are succumbing to the temptation, and it will be less of a big deal in the future.

I fervently hope
posted by vito90 at 10:43 AM on February 12, 2003


what makes me think she's going to produce a single or album that takes off commercially to a greater extent than kelly clarkson's single or this year's american idol winner's creative output may be, and will go on to tremendous popularity? what makes me think getting canned from american idol might be the best thing for her career?

i wonder...
posted by pxe2000 at 10:47 AM on February 12, 2003


She'll have a contract before the year is out, even with this 'scandal.' Frenchie has a voice that just won't quit, does anyone really give a rat's ass if she posed nude?
posted by SuzySmith at 10:48 AM on February 12, 2003


Is it known whether she specifically posed for that web site or did she simply pose, collect the cash and then the pictures were sold to the site? It may be splitting hairs, but it seems unfair to punish someone for an act of desperation.
posted by tommasz at 10:49 AM on February 12, 2003


pxe2000, a NSFW would have been appreciated.
posted by goddam at 10:57 AM on February 12, 2003


No doubt, Suzy. I can't wait for Frenchie and Missy to do a duet about gettin' their hair did.
posted by Pancake Overlord at 11:07 AM on February 12, 2003


I wish they would have left her, and let people voice their approval or disapproval via votes.

I really was looking forward to seeing her in the competition. If enough people didn't vote for her, it wouldn't be an issue.

though, of course, i didn't read the contest contract, it might have had a clause in there for something like this.

I'll be interested in hearing how far she goes, musically.
posted by dreamling at 11:09 AM on February 12, 2003


UK MeFi'ers, does this have any parrallel with Rik Waller's mysterious "throat ailment"?
posted by PenDevil at 11:10 AM on February 12, 2003


Sure, shows like American Idol and Joe Millionaire are ruining society. Sometimes, though, it is good just to shut up, turn off your brain, and just laugh at the idiots on the talking and blinking box. Perhaps this incessant scrutiny of lowest common denominator entertainment is what's wrong with America. Although it's not as enjoyable to endure.
posted by mnology at 11:12 AM on February 12, 2003



So, this American Idol, she vibrates?
posted by robbie01 at 9:57 AM PST on February 12


Wow, it's been a while since that's actually been appropriate and funny. Good job, robbie01.
posted by padraigin at 11:16 AM on February 12, 2003


I kind of have a doubt that this decision had anything to do with fox but more likely with the record company (RCA I believe) that will be signing the winner to a contract. It isn't like the are competing for a cash prize, but for a contract of employment. To some degree this might dampen the "legitimacy" of the whole contest, but I think it would have been worse if she had been allowed to compete and had in fact won and they chose to deny her after "the people have spoken"
posted by Restlessavenger at 11:29 AM on February 12, 2003


Hmm..
Ok, a girl was an underwear model.
Another was a fully-clothed extra in a "bondage" film (for a sex-driven, trashy show)

This girl has topless, mastrurbating shots on the internet (and is on a family show).

No, this has nothing to do with her size. It has to do with the fact that she was double-clicking the mouse and sent it to a pron site. Mozart himself could be on the show, and if there were pictures of him wacking it, I'm sure he would have been sent the pink slip too.
posted by Kevs at 11:33 AM on February 12, 2003


Your search - "Mozart wacking it" - did not match any documents.
posted by Samsonov14 at 11:46 AM on February 12, 2003


Actually, Fox may have done this woman an extreme favor. I have been told that the American Idol contract is an extremely bad one as far as the performer is concerned-that is if said performer wants any kind of control over his/her career. Meanwhile, this gal gets publicity, and will probably wind up with a much better singing career in the long run.

As to the photo shoot-i think it was wrong for her to do it, but that was in her past, done and over. I know I've done things that I look back on and regret, just like almost all of the rest of us here. If it were me I would give her the benefit of the doubt.
posted by konolia at 11:48 AM on February 12, 2003


I have been told that the American Idol contract is an extremely bad one as far as the performer is concerned

Plus the last winner is such a huge superstar now!! You are right, Konolia, they did Frenchie a favor.
posted by archimago at 12:21 PM on February 12, 2003


okay folks, the pictures of vanessa williams are nude and depict lesbian action. DON'T LOOK AT THEM AT WORK.

(geez, and here i was thinking something from "dyxploitation.nu" was pretty self-explanatorily not safe for work. chill, goddam!)
posted by pxe2000 at 12:33 PM on February 12, 2003


Cutting her because she is fat? Nope, two fat people sang on American Idol last night, and got standing ovations from the judges. Both sang great, and I think the big dude honestly has a shot at winning the whole thing.


and Yes, I watched American Idol, and I enjoyed it.
posted by jbou at 12:35 PM on February 12, 2003


i'm not sure i'm the one that needs to chill here, pxe2000. i was just pointing out something that seems to be a common courtesy around here (even when urls are self-explanatory). sorry if comment was inflammatory. but, geez, it's not like i called you a cunting fuck or anything. relax.
posted by goddam at 1:33 PM on February 12, 2003


yeah, pxe2000, that was a bit over the top. One, I agree wholeheartedly with the Vanessa Williams point, and was thinking of making it myself, but two, it's up to you to put NSFW in your text, not up to us to check and decode every URL, and three, even if we did, how in the hell is "dyxploitation.nu" self-explanatory? I looked at it several times before even getting the wordplay in the first three letters (URLs often contain acronyms, ya know) - and even that doesn't mean it's NSFW.
posted by soyjoy at 2:13 PM on February 12, 2003


What are you guys talking about, American Idol ruining society? If society survived Jerry Springer I don't think Simon Cowell is going to do much damage. Not that I'm defending him.
posted by MetalDog at 5:36 PM on February 12, 2003


Please, lord, end this reality show thing. I'm sorry I ever slammed TV writers, because real people are even more grating. The whole thing makes me wish for the days of "Daddio".

Jesus, Michael Chiklis has come a long way...

From the Commish to Daddio to The Shield. If they combined all three, that would be TV gold.
posted by SweetJesus at 6:25 PM on February 12, 2003


Some music stars went through a lot more in their day...
posted by gimonca at 6:33 PM on February 12, 2003


She'll have a contract before the year is out, even with this 'scandal.' Frenchie has a voice that just won't quit, does anyone really give a rat's ass if she posed nude?

If there is any justice, that's exactly what would happen.

Is it just me, or isn't there a weekly story on Entertainment Tonight, etc. about some other celebrity who posed for Playboy, fully nude? Or someone else who posed for Playboy who ended up with a series (or a couple of series - Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy immediately spring to mind, nobodies until they hung it all out there for Uncle Hugh) or a movie role? History shows that the public won't hold this against Frenchie, so hopefully a record company won't let it stop them from helping her get her true talent out there to the world. The girl's got a voice. The next Jill Scott/Angie Stone and then some, without a doubt.
posted by Dreama at 6:50 PM on February 12, 2003


Follow up from Washington Post
posted by Macboy at 11:05 AM on February 13, 2003


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