The Top 10 American Idol Scandals [CONTEST!]

This is a guest post by Richard Rushfield, the author of American Idol: The Untold Story. For three years Richard has covered American Idol for the Los Angeles Times, writing hundreds of columns and conducting thousands of interviews with cast and crew. He is currently an entertainment columnist for The Daily Beast, a Vanity Fair contributing editor, and author of its long-running “Intelligence Report” column. For more information please visit and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.
Idol was perhaps the first show on television to have as much of a life off the screen as on.   These days we are used to The Hills girls, Bachelor contestants, Real Housewives and Jersey Shore housemates seeing their dramas spill over from the shows that made them famous to the covers of the tabloids and the greater celeb-obsessed blogosphere.
But when Idol debuted on the US airwaves in 2002, such a phenomenon was relatively unknown.  The internet was still in its infancy and network programming was a remote, pristine world, largely untouched by the hurly burly press.
What brought Idol out of its shell was the steady stream of scandals it provided as fodder for the ravenous new media.  Each year it seemed, some gotcha shattered Idol’s peace; some disqualification brought it face to face with the public beast.
Ten years later, the stream of scandals doesn’t seem to have hurt entertainment’s greatest juggernaut.  If anything, the blow-ups have kept us all talking about the show, even when the singing got a little dull.
Here then, in order of appearance, are the ten greatest scandals of Idol’s first decade:
[Click on any scandal to get started.]

© 2011 Richard Rushfield, author of American Idol: The Untold Story

Want to win a copy of Richard’s book? It’s easy. To enter, head over to our Facebook page and cast your vote for American Idol’s biggest star of all time. Simply open the American Idol photo album and “like” the Idol contestant’s photo of your choice to vote. Then, not only will we finally prove to the world that Clay Aiken wasn’t the biggest thing to come from Idol, but we’ll randomly draw two (2) people to take home the prize and announce them on Facebook tomorrow, January 19th, just in time for the season 10 premiere!!

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