Isn't "American Idol" supposed to launch the music careers of well-rounded, squeaky clean superstars? Well, yes, that is the idea. But throughout the years, we've seen some contestants' personal lives crumble in the public eye. From extramarital affairs to questions of sexual orientation, here's a look at some of the most controversial "American Idols."
Fantasia BarrinoWhen news broke in August 2010 that Barrino's boyfriend was already married to another woman, the Season 3 "Idol" winner was hospitalized for an Aspirin overdose. Rumors were swirling that Barrino was to blame for her boyfriend's divorce, as her name was listed in the divorce petition, which said she was dating Antwaun Cook while he was estranged from his wife. But she spoke out in her defense on VH1's "Behind the Music," stating, "I didn't care about anything, I just wanted out. At that moment I wanted out. I wanted it to be over with."
Barrino has been able to transform her negative situation into a positive one as she has just announced that she is pregnant with a baby boy.
Clay AikenIs he gay? That was the question that everyone was asking about Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken . For years Aiken dodged the question about his sexuality when it came up in interviews. But in August 2008, Aiken announced that he had fathered a child with record producer Jaymes Foster, the surrogate mother to his son Parker Foster Aiken. And then in September of that year, Aiken confirmed to People magazine that he was, indeed, gay.
He was named one of the front runners of Season 8 with his elaborate stage performances and killer pipes, but when racy pictures of Adam Lambert kissing another man surfaced online, the controversy surrounding his sexuality immediately became the media focus. Lambert confirmed it was him in the pictures, and he has always been open about his life. After "Idol" declared him the first runner-up, Lambert admitted that he was gay in an interview with Rolling Stone. But Lambert caused a whole lot of controversy during his 2009 American Music Awards performance when he was shown kissing a male bassist, grabbing the crotch of a dancer, and grinding another dancer's head against his pelvis. Thousands of complaints rolled in after the cheeky performance, and Lambert's television appearance on "Good Morning America" was canceled.
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- Fantasia Barrino
- Clay Aiken
- Adam Lambert