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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Chris, you are right. This article speaks to a specific city, but saying that implies that she wasn't involved at all-and I wanted to make sure people knew that at one point there was actually a show(not just a scam), and she was a part of it.

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WOW!!! My nephew was also a part of Oz the Musical in Chicago and it was a wonderful experience. He was so excited to see Todrick on American Idol. I don't know all the facts about what happened in other states, but Chi-Town gives Todrick a THUMBS UP!

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WOW.. youre right Rob, its great to finally hear the other side of the story! It seems that every negative comment made is by a parent who just wants their money back. I understand both sides, however to call Todrick the "mastermind" is ridiculous! I also understand that if i were a parent in this, I too would be seeking someone to blame. I guess Todrick is the only name you can find attached to the musical. But lets not attack someone just because their name is on the website as "writer, director."

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What "The Producer" states in this mess is completely accurate. Todrick had no fault in this musical what so ever. His main goal starting this was to change kids' lives all over the country the same way his life was once changed. The musical was no scam in any way! Everyone needs to understand that NO ONE involved with the musical made ANY money. Infact, the producer lost an incredible ammount trying to keep the musical afloat.

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I also don't think anyone ever involved in this production is going to talk or single Todrick out, so this issue might never be clarified. I think there was a lot of misrepresentation in the marketing as well. I don't know who the blame falls to, but VFTW has a somewhat balanced story on the whole issue. http://www.votefortheworst.com...

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Cicley, actually, if you read the article in question, DeGarmo says that she was never part of the stop in Nashville, as billed. If you read articles online, you'll find Degarmo was apart of the first leg of the Oz: The Musical tour, then left (along with other cast members) after only one month (February 2009) due to all these behind-the-scenes issues. Todrick and Oz producers tried to do Oz again a few months later in other cities, including Nashville, with someone else in the lead, but never took DeGarmo off their website. Then this story came out.

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I'm not sure what happened in Nashville, but Oz the Musical came through my hometown in Texas and my two daughters were able to be a part of it as munchkins. The original fee to be in the play was waived to make sure there were enough kids for the roles. Ms. Degarmo was in and the play was a great success. Very smart and original. Todrick has tremendous talent.

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The same "mastermind" visited Jacksonville, Fl ....and well, he owes me $75 also. There has been no attempts from him to contact me advising that he was even going to attempt to repay for this fraud. My child was very upset and I (a single mother)am out $75. I was shocked when I saw him on AI last night, I knew the name as soon as I heard it. FanofToderick....he may be ONE person but his name is all over the "Oz" musical, therefore he is responsible. Where is the money, since the musical didn't take place here in Jacksonville, where did the Jacksonville money go??? Not back to the parents, that is for sure. The nerve of him knowing he fooled all these people and dissappointed all these kids, to pop on national TV to try out for idol. He is NO idol!!!

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"mastermind behind an alleged plot to fool families into paying for a play that was never actually in production"
Please, get the facts straight. There was no "masterminding" or willfully cheating people out of their money. Todrick was the WRITER and DIRECTOR of Oz, not the producer. Money ran out, simple as that, and it wasn't his fault. If anything, he worked and is working so hard to make amends to the families that the production disappointed. He is ONE PERSON, and he alone can't repay the debt that the PRODUCERS still owe. It's unfortunate that his AI experience is going to be overshadowed by gossip when people don't know the whole story.

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]