Todrick Hall: Controversial Contestant on American Idol

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American Idol took its show to Dallas last night, where it encountered a few contestants with moving personal stories (one overcame cancer, another struggles with Tourette's Syndrome) and one with a controversial background.

Todrick Hall, a 24-year old from Arlington, Texas, wrote an original song for his audition and impressed all four judges.

He's a budding playwright who appeared with Fantasia in The Color Purple; had a small role in High School Musical 2; and wrote, choreographed and directed a Nashville show called "Oz, the Musical."

But that's where the controversy comes in: as chronicled by a local Tennessee station, Hall was the alleged mastermind behind a plot to fool families into paying for a play that was never actually in production, at least according to some sources.

In June 2009, parents brought their children to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center to audition for this remake of The Wizard of Oz. Its website billed former Idol star Diana DeGarmo as playing a role in it. But after shelling out $75 for costume fees, the families were told the play was canceled - and their money would not be refunded.

Hall said producers simply ran out of funds, but no local theater had been reserved for the event. Moreover, DeGarmo had no knowledge of the Nashville production.

It sounds a bit shady, but there's often a lot of behind-the-scenes details to these stories. Check out Hall's performance on Idol below and keep your eyes this contestant. He may be in the news for a variety of reasons in the near future.

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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]