Television

ABC ready to dish dirt on Fox's 'Idol'

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MUMBAI: While Fox's music based reality show American Idol is going from strength to strength in the US, rival network ABC is determined to steal some of the thunder with a news show special next week.

ABC News will air a special Fallen Idol on 4 May. In a statement ABC has said, "It will explore explosive claims about behind-the-scenes activities."

Media reports speculate that the speciaL will revolve around Corey Clark, a contestant who was dropped from the show a couple of years ago. This was because producers learned about a past arrest. He is reportedly trying to sell a tell-all book about his experiences with the programme including an alleged affair with one of the judges Paula Abdul.

Not one to take things lying down, Paula Abdul had her attorney dash off a letter to ABC News. In return ABC News has fired off a list of questions to American Idol's producers and Abdul. The producers of American Idol are investigating claims by Clark. Abdul issued a statement saying, "I will not dignify the false statements made by Corey Clark with a response. He is communicating lies about me in order to generate interest in a book deal."

According to a report that surfaced first in the US tabloid The Globe, Clark claims that Abdul coached him as to what to sing, wear and also promised to launch his career whether he won or not. Abdul also had some words to say on a recent episode of American Idol when fan favourite Constantine got the boot.

Meanwhile, another judge on the show Simon Cowell defended Abdul on the syndicated entertainment show Extra. "Paula, to be fair to her, will spend more time backstage with the contestants giving encouragement. But that's not a bad thing. I think that the accusations are rubbish. I think that this is a guy who's out there to publish a book."

In a bid to control the effect of the negative publicity American Idol's executive producer Ken Warwick spoke to Fox News. "We have had accusations thrown at us since Day one - everything from being racist, to being fattist, to having the phone lines fixed. Why would you want to endanger the success of the show by manipulating it? You only have to get caught once and the whole show becomes worthless."

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