There might be trouble ahead for the "American Idol" contestant Curtis Finch Jr, if history serves. According to Wetpaint and other media outlets, the church-going Top 10 finalist has an arrest record, something that has sent former contestants, like Season 11's Jermaine Jones, packing from the show. And even if everything is copacetic with the "Idol" producers, what will happen when voting viewers find out Curtis was arrested for stealing while inside a church?
Wetpaint reported March 13, the same day the Top 10 were to hit the stage in Hollywood and sing "Music from the American Idols," that Curtis might suffer the same fate as Jones, who was unceremoniously kicked off the show last season for having lied to producers about his arrest record. "Idol" producers have been quick to deal with contestants with what appear to be shady pasts by booting them. In fact, several former contestants got together in January and filed a discrimination lawsuit against "American Idol" for the way they were treated. It was discovered by their attorney that all who had been dismissed were black.
So what did Curtis do? According to a St. Louis, Mo., police report, Curtis was arrested on Dec. 9, 2010, after trying to sell a laptop computer to a friend for $700. Said friend turned Curtis in after finding out the computer was hot. Turns out, Curtis stole the laptop, a MacBook valued at $1,500, from a choir student while in church. He later pled guilty and paid a judgment of $1,800 and court costs.
Publicity from the lawsuit and the fact that Curtis' brush with the law was adjudicated two years ago might save him from the show's producers. Besides, the Wetpaint story is just a rehashing of a story that broke exclusively through the National Enquirer at the end of January when Curtis Finch Jr had made it into the Top 40. If he had lied about having an arrest record on his application or hadn't divulged his misdeed to producers, it is likely they would have ousted him by now. (Besides, nothing makes headlines quicker than a scandal, and scandal brings in viewers, and the producers like more viewers, so...)
And there's something else to consider. Curtis has made the Semi-Finals before. In fact, he was cut by last year's judges in the Vegas Round (after a performance from a group that included Top 12 finalists Shannon Magrane and Joshua Ledet).
Curtis has no other marks on his record.
But what about the fans who will be voting? Will the story of the theft turn off audience and see Curtis, a judges favorite that hasn't missed a chance yet to go hallelujah chorus with every performance, turned out by the voters? Or will they be forgiving and give him a shot at redemption?
Professional oddsmakers already had Curtis as having the longest shot at winning Season 12. A story like this resurfacing just at the time when he'll need every vote he can get won't help those chances. In fact, the story, along with the 25-year-old's facial calisthenics and inability to appear humble, just might see him the first of the Top 10 finalists sent home.
He performed Fantasia Barrino's "I Believe" for his "Idol" tribute on Wednesday night's show. A few of the other finalists weren't on top of their vocal game, so he might have some competition heading for an early "Idol" exit.
America will find out if Curtis Finch Jr survives the first cut on the "American Idol" Top 10 results show on Thursday, March 14, beginning at 8 p.m. (EST) on Fox Television.