Kristy Lee Cook: The American Idol Controversy

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The new season of American Idol is less than 24 hours old. So how can there already be controversy over the results?

Here's why: the singer considered to be most impressive last night, Kristy Lee Cook, was under contract with record company Arista Nashville in 2001, and even inked a deal as the debut artist in Britney Spears' (now defunct) production company.

This raises an interesting question, in regard to American Idol: Is the show reserved solely for amateurs, those whose singing background extends no further than the local karaoke bar?

Or is it acceptable for Cook and others with a professional history to try out?

At the age of 17, Kristy Lee Cook signed a recording contract. Should this disqualify her from American Idol?

In a bit of an American Idol spoiler, this debate may heat up when Carly Hennessy moves on to Hollywood.

The Irish singer - who producer Nigel Lythgow has gone on record as picking to win this season - was given a $2.2 million marketing and production budget from MCA Records in 2005. But her album went on to sell a total of 378 copies.

Last year, Melinda Doolittle was an example of someone with a professional resume, as a backup singer, who made it all the way to the final three. She eventually lost, of course, to a pair unknowns: Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks.


Jordin Sparks was hardly an unknown, she could have been a plant also. Before AI she: released an album, toured with Michael W. Smith, won multiple contests, and performed at Country Thunder, performed with Alice Cooper, appeared in a compilation album, and MUCH more.......... that doesn't sound undiscovered to me.


There are no less than 13 ringers on AI7 this year. the sad truth is it is all a smoke screen to sell cd folks. don't believe me? Visit and see for yourself. the public has once again been scammed ..


It is pretty self evident that American Idol is fixed and stuffed with more retreads than a tire factory.


I agree totally!! To all you out there that have forgot this is supposed to be an amatuer competition not a flopped professionals second chance for free publicity....GREEDY and stupid......especially the blonde that sold her horse to get there after we find out she has had many record deals,,,,yeah right! How stupid does she think America really is?! PEACE


Signing professional failed singers who had mega contracts as artist with record labels is just so unfair to those thousands of folk showing up at multiple cities thinking they actually have a chance to compete or have a reasonable chance. For Idol to pack the top 24 with 9 professional artist is just not what this show has been billed to be. They should be honest about these singers professional backgrounds and expose that fact that they signed contracts with major record labels. Then and only then can the thousands of folk showing up for auditions decide if they want to waste the time to compete. So many great singers are cut in the preliminary rounds and now we all know why. It clear that they are attempting to ensure that America chooses their choice by not choosing great singers in the early try outs.


I agree with Lori. In sports, if you sign a contract with an organization - you become a 'professional' player. I think it should be the same with American Idol. I thought American Idol was supposed to serve as a catalyst for discovering singing talent - not as a means to help salvage those who have already been 'discovered' and failed. If you've signed a contract - regardless if you make it or not - you're a professional! Makes me wonder about the inegrity of the show.


I feel that this show is for those who haven't had a chance to make it. She had a chance and failed let someone else try to make it.


I feel this show is for anyone that can sing. The girl hasnt made it yet and deserves this chance. Her voice gives me goosebumps and Im looking forward to seeing her this season. Rock on Kristy!!


At 16 or 17 its a good thing she didn't make it. Look at most who have at such a young age. She has put in the time and paid her dues. Just listen to her, she is awesome, unbelievable and deserves her day in the sun. In athletics they seay Never Quit, Well she didn't! She kept pushing on, and thats what amkes winners She has my vote


I think people need to back off, Im almost glad that Kristy Lee Cook didnt make it when she was younger. I would like to hear her music for a long time to come, and the one's who make it when they are younger usually turn out to be one hit wonders. So this is a blessing in diguse for her and the rest of us who enjoy her voice and talent.

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]