‘American Idol’ Finalists: ‘Racism? What Racism?’

A recent spate of accusations against singing competition show American Idol allege that the show’s producers and the FOX network discriminate against minority competitors. Two African-American finalists have stepped forward to shoot down these criticisms, saying that they couldn’t be father from the truth.

MSN reports that last week, nine disqualified American Idol contestants accused the show and FOX of discriminating against African-Americans by disqualifying hopefuls who have criminal backgrounds that they lied about on their applications.

Now, Season 6 finalist Melinda Doolittle and Season 4 finalist Vonzell Solomon have responded to the charges, arguing that the allegations of racism on the part of Idol are patently false.

“It is shocking to see such allegations,” Doolittle told TMZ. “It is shocking to see such allegations. In my experience on the show, the ‘Idol’ team strives to champion everyone, regardless of race.”

Vonzell added: “I didn’t experience any of that [racial discrimination] … all of our contracts were clear about how the background checks worked and that we could be disqualified if we lied about our past.”

Backing up their claim is a timely scene that occurred months before disqualified American Idol contestants Terrell and Derrell Brittenum began their legal proceedings against the show. They were caught on video publicly thanking American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe for handing them their big break.

Terrell and Derrell Brittenum

The clip shows Terrell outside of a Broadway show hugging and introducing Lythgoe to the video camera as the man “who gave me my start.”

Do you think that American Idol is racist?