David Hernandez, the American Idol contestant with a past as a male stripper, will remain on the show, a source confirmed on Tuesday.
The A.P. is reporting that an insider close to the show said Fox had no plans to remove Hernandez from AI, despite his controversial past. The 24-year old from Glendale, Ariz., once worked as an adult entertainer at Dick’s Cabaret in Phoenix, appearing fully nude and performing lap dances for the club’s "mostly male" clientele, said strip club manager Gordy Bryan.
Fox and the producers behind the hit show declined to comment on Hernandez, who was scheduled to perform a song from the ’80s during a live telecast on Tuesday with the other male singers as the semi-finalists are narrowed down to the final 12 this week. Hernandez was unavailable for interviews.
This isn’t the first time a contestant on American Idol has dappled in adult entertainment. In 2003, semifinalist Frenchie Davis was dismissed from the show because of her appearance on an adult Web site. Last year, Antonella Barba was allowed to stay despite racy photos of her that surfaced on the Internet. A source close to Idol said Davis’s situation was different because of the site’s age-themed content.
Dick’s Cabaret manager Bryan said he was aware that Hernandez was a vocalist but that Hernandez never sang at the club. Bryan said he now believes Hernandez stopped working at the strip club on Sept. 30, 2007, because of his participation in Idol.
Hernandez, who originally auditioned for the show in San Diego on July 30, 2007, has never been referred to as a stripper or former stripper during the competition. Last week, he earned rave reviews from the judges for his performances.
On a video posted on AmericanIdol.com, Hernandez said he broke the lease on his apartment and lived out of his car before auditioning for Idol. And, when asked in a Q&A posted on the site on what talent he would most like to have if he couldn’t sing, Hernandez responded: ”Dancing! I’m horrible at that.”