American Idol contestant Frenchie Davis has crossed a decency line few thought Fox had.
The full-figured semifinalist from Washington, D.C., has been booted from the TV talent show for posing nude on an adult Website four years ago--information she disclosed to the producers when she arrived in Los Angeles.
According to The Smoking Gun, Davis, 23, posed topless and appeared to be masturbating on a kiddie-porn site, which would be illegal. However, Davis was 18 at the time she posed for the photos.
She reportedly used the money earned from the dirty pics to pay for tuition at Howard University, where she's a theater major.
During a recent interview Davis enumerated her proudest achievements. "Other than getting back in school after not having the money and not being there for a year," American Idol "has been the proudest moment 'cause I worked so hard," she said.
From the moment the larger-than-life singer and her set of serious pipes appeared on Idol Davis had been a critical and fan favorite.
Entertainment Weekly already had Davis pegged as one of their picks, saying, "Davis is an Idol worth our worship." The magazine noted that from the second that "bodacious beauties" Davis and costar Kimberly Locke "strutted their stuff on stage, all those navel-baring lightweights should have headed home."
The women also attracted the attention of plus-size clothing manufacturer Just My Size, which offered to create outfits just for them, according to the New York Post.
Despite her dismissal and judge Simon Cowell's cracks about her weight, 19 Entertainment, the company that coproduces the show, told USA Today it would "endeavor to do all in its power to help Frenchie further her music career."
Davis is the second Idol semifinalist to be booted before getting a chance to perform. Jaered Andrews was replaced last week for an undisclosed reason.
All references to Davis have been removed from Fox's Website, but fans have been rallying behind the would-be star online, logging their protests on Idol's boards.
"Fox, you can't do this to us! Frenchie would have won, hands down!" read a Tuesday post from one Strigz. Other online Idol addicts agreed. "This sucks! Frenchie was my favorite!" wrote MissSweetPie.
An impromptu online petition has also been launched to bring the zaftig singer back into the spotlight.
But fans' efforts are in vain, said a source close to the production, who told E! Online, "There's an enormous difference between working as a topless dancer and a stripper and someone who's posing on website geared to men's fantasies toward underage girls."
Fox has been generating protests all week ever since they failed to deliver on Joe Millionaire Monday night--a reality series which ostensibly shows just how far some women will go for (fool's) gold.
Close to 25 million fans tuned in to watch two-faced Evan Marriott (an underwear model posing as $19,000-a-year contruction worker posing as a multimillionaire) choose between good (Zora) and evil (Sarah, who was recently exposed as a fetish-film star), but all viewers got was hot and bothered as the show's climax was delayed until next week.
Disappointed tubers fired off complaints to the network and its affiliates and flooded Websites with anti-Fox sentiments. Even Regis Philbin groused about the letdown on-air during Live with Regis and Kelly.
Meanwhile in other reality TV news, CBS prez Les Moonves failed to make peace during a hillbilly hoedown with an Appalachian advocacy group that objected to the Eye's proposed Real Beverly Hillbillies series.
Last month, the Kentucky-based Center for Rural Strategies leveled accusations at the Eye network in some of the nation's leading newspapers charging it of conducting a "hick hunt" as producers conducted a search for real-life rural kin that they could uproot and install in Beverly Hills.
The rags-to-riches series is still on the schedule despite not being cast five months after it was announced.
Maybe CBS execs should consult with Fox, which is planning its own role-reversal series. The network will ship two high-falutin' society girls out to the country and watch them wallow in the muck, à la Eva Gabor in Green Acres.
The Simple Life will star socialite Paris Hilton and friend Nicole Richie (daughter of Lionel) roughing it on a family farm that lacks the platinum-level amenities the pampered princesses are accustomed to.
Maybe if CBS asks nicely the girl will bring some of those funny country folks home as souvenirs?