American Idol 9 Spoiler Watch: Is a Scam Artist in the Top 24?
Todrick Hall May Bring Another Scandal to Idol
The word around the campfire is that Todrick Hall has made the Top 24 (voting rounds) for American Idol 9. Each season, a few sites try to release American Idol spoilers before the show reveals its voting-round contestants that make it through Hollywood Week. According to JoesPlaceBlog.com, Todrick is 90% confirmed as of the time of this writing. Of course, the producers will not confirm or deny spoilers, so we will have to wait and see. The interesting thing about Todrick is that he was right in the middle of an alleged show-business scam concerning his involvement in "Oz the Musical," a play which he was involved in running.
The media reports are quite sketchy in several ways on this alleged scam. No one has clearly made the case about the extent of the role Todrick had in "Oz the Musical." According to FirstCoastNews.com, Todrick was the writer and director of the show. Others claim he had a larger role behind the scenes. But no reports I have seen say who the producer was. Todrick appears to be the lead man in public reporting, but we don't know who was behind the scenes. Diana DeGarmo, second-place finisher in the third season of American Idol, has also been mentioned in this controversy. The word is that she was supposed to act in the musical but quit when she realized she was not going to get paid.
Apparently, the parents of kids who wanted to act in the musical paid money for some kind of training or workshop (or audition). In return, the kids were supposedly going to get to act in the musical. Frankly, this sounds sketchy to begin with. What kind of show would charge its actors up front? Acting is a job. If an aspiring actor wants to take acting lessons, then he needs to hire a coach. This "Oz the Musical" scheme was obviously a way to make money with coaching classes. The supposed promise to have the students act in the play was a carrot dangled in front of the parents to increase sales of the audition or whatever it was.
If it sounds too good to be true, then it just might be too good to be true. That is not to say this was or was not a scam. However, when an offer like this seems sketchy at best, it raises a red flag. What was going to happen if there were more students than the slots to be filled for the musical? That is not to blame the parents, but how about thinking of these obvious things before forking over money to an operation that appears to be raising money from its own cast?
In the end, shows were cancelled. In the FirstCoastNews article, Todrick Hall is on record as saying it was not a scam. He claims that the business did not have the money to put on shows. This suggests that a promise to put the kids in the show was, in fact, made. Hall even said another show would be put on to make up for it. In other words, the same old empty promises keep getting made, which makes Todrick look bad.
However, it is not at all clear that Todrick Hall is a scam artist for a few reasons:
1. Who collected the money?
2. Where did the money go?
3. What role did Hall play in the scheme? Was he pulling the strings or just another employee?
4. What exact promise was made to these parents?
5. What intent did Todrick or others behind the scenes have when running this operation?
However, one wonders what Idol is doing if Todrick has made the Top 24. Surely, they know about these accusations. Is Idol using Todrick Hall to create more controversy? That is certainly a possibility. This story is going to explode if Todrick Hall appears in the voting rounds. Idol will risk some harm to its own reputation, but the producers know that the controversy would spark interest in the show. They may see it as a calculated risk which can pay off in the long run. Idol can also just claim that it's only an accusation without proof.
Todrick is an RnB singer - a pretty good singer at that. But if he did make the voting rounds, no one will be talking about his talent. He may or may not last a few weeks, but the backlash from jilted parents will dominate the headlines. Todrick Hall will never be an American Idol favorite. He will never win American Idol. Those parents will probably at least be happy about that.