As we reported a few weeks ago, American Idol finalist Carly Smithson is no stranger to the music business.
The Irish crooner released a CD in 2001 entitled "Ultimate High." Despite a $2 million promotional campaign from MCA records, the album tanked. Now, Carly is getting another shot at stardom on Idol.
Many fans believe this to be unfair. But executive produce Nigel Lythgoe doesn't understand the controversy.
"We have never not shown their past when we can," Lythgoe told reporters during a conference call Friday, claiming the show never intended on hiding Smithson's professional background. "There is nothing wrong with saying she had a deal and she didn't get anywhere in that deal and now here she is. I've got no problems with that whatsoever."
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According to show rules, contestants simply must be free from any recording contracts when they audition.
"[Fellow American Idol 7 Top 24 semifinalist] David Archuleta won [the CBS Star Search revival] Arsenio Hall [hosted] when he was 11. That's fantastic. That's all part of their careers," said Lythgoe. "I'm not worried about that. I don't honestly know what the angle is, because all we're saying is this girl is extremely talented. It's within the rules of the competition. What's wrong with it. She's not broken any rules."
In the end, Nigel reasoned, fans will have the final say.
"They're going to have to decide, 'Is she good enough to be on the show?' It's not what's happened in her past. She's not breaking any rules of the competition. I don't see the logic. I don't see any logic in there."