American Idol's most controversial contestants: Where are they now?

These memorable contestants made their mark on viewers for all the wrong reasons, generating some of the most scandalous moments the show has seen in its existence

                            American Idol's most controversial contestants: Where are they now?
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

'American Idol' hasn't always entertained people with just vocal performances and nail-biting eliminations - there is much drama that goes on offstage and behind the scenes that is filmed to delight viewers hoping to see dreams fulfilled and hopes crushed. The show has seen friendships being born and rivalries escalated along with tantrums thrown by celebrities looking for their ten minutes of fame.

A number of memorable contestants made their mark on viewers for all the wrong reasons, generating some of the most scandalous moments the show has seen in its decade-and-a-half on air.

Read further to find out what they've been doing since 'American Idol.'

1.Corey Clark

Corey Clark was notoriously disqualified from 'Idol' after it was revealed that he had charges of assault against a police officer and resisting arrest pending against him in Kansas. The singer pleaded no contest to the charges against him and was put on probation for six months. However, that was only the tip of the iceberg.

A few years later, Clark alleged in an interview on ABC's Primetime Live that he'd been in a physical relationship with judge Paula Abdul during his stint on the show.

He even brought evidence in the form of a voice mail from Abdul telling him to keep mum about their relationship. Ever since the show, Corey has been in and out of courts for legal troubles, and he continued to record albums, but with barely any promotion, his career failed to take off.


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2. Frenchie Davis

Frenchie Davis was forced to leave 'American Idol' after she disclosed that she had posed topless when she was younger. This was done to maintain the family-friendly image of the show. However, a few seasons later when Antonella Barba was allowed to remain on the show despite revealing pictures of her surfacing on the net, there was outrage about the double standards on the show.

Despite the disqualification, Davis went on to star in a number of musicals, including 'Rent,' 'Dreamgirls', and 'Cinderella,' and she had a successful stint on the first season of 'The Voice,' finishing in fifth place. She continues to star in musicals and has become a vocal advocate for the LGBTQIA community.


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3. Brittany Kerr

Season 11 contestant Brittany Kerr came under fire long after 'American Idol' when she was caught kissing country singer Jason Aldean, who had been married to his high school sweetheart Jessica since 2001. The two of them apologized for the kiss and blamed it on alcohol.

In a strange twist of events, Aldean's wife ended up divorcing him in 2013, and two years later, on March 21, 2015, Kerr and Aldean tied the knot. The two have since welcomed a son together, whom they named Memphis, a fitting name for a country singer's offspring, and are still together in 2018.


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4. David Hernandez

David Hernandez placed twelfth on the seventh season of 'American Idol' after wooing the judges with his vocals. However, it was later revealed that he had been a nude male stripper in Phoenix, working at a place called Dick's Cabaret that was a gay strip club. FOX did not disqualify him or disclose the nature of his work prior to his appearance on 'Idol,' and chose not to discriminate against him like it did with Davis.

Ever since the show, Hernandez has been touring the country with other 'Idol' alumni and working on a number of albums. He had his own show at the nightclub Barcelona Scottsdale in Arizona in 2009. He was reportedly working on a single with Printz Board of The Black Eyed Peas.


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5. Sanjaya Malakar

Sanjaya Malakar is credited with single-handedly reviving the popularity of 'American Idol,' becoming a fan-favorite on the show despite his apparent lack of talent, eventually finishing in seventh place on the show. His wacky hairstyles on the show, including his infamous 'ponyhawk' earned him notoriety and made him the subject of many parodies.

After 'Idol,' Malakar hosted the show 'Idol Stars: Where Are They Now?,' before writing his autobiography, 'Dancing to the Music in My Head: Memoirs of the People's Idol.' He even participated in reality show 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here,' finishing in fifth place. He laid low for a while after that, bartending in Manhattan, but now he has returned to Seattle, his home town, to record new material with his band.


(Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)