Should escorts, adult stars or strippers be allowed on “American Idol”?
ABC / John Fleenor
Every season of the year, participants come to American Idol from all walks of life. Some are students, soldiers, or full-time musicians. Others like season 19 contestant Erika Perry have made careers in sex work. The show has a fairly controversial history of dealing with candidates who have careers in sex work.
Should escorts, adult stars, and strippers be allowed on American Idol? We address that question in this week’s summary, which you can see below.
Should candidates in sex work be excluded from the “American Idol”?
Erika started life as an escort in a podcast with popular internet personality Adam22. The podcast took place in 2019 and featured her two friends Hayden and Richelle. Erika admitted using the Seeking Arrangements website to find men to date for money.
“I fucked this guy in Laguna Beach, it was about $ 1,000, and after that I was like I can’t believe how much money I made fucking someone,” says Erika in the video. She is also one of the many contestants sent to Hollywood by American Idol this season. Erika played her own unique version of Katy Perry’s “ET” which received mixed reviews from the judges. But in the end everyone decided to take a chance on her. Erika remains in the competition.
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As we discuss in the executive summary, Erika and other current or former sex workers should not be excluded from the competition. Erika openly admitted to working as an escort on this podcast and has nothing to hide. This, of course, lets us look at the history of American Idol as a whole, and how the show deals with such scenarios.
The shows history with participants in the line of sex work
In the past there has been one case where a participant was disqualified because of online nude photos. Frenchie Davis was kicked off the show in 2003 for topless photos she took for an adult website when she was around 19 years old. Many pointed to a double standard a few seasons later when Antonella Barba also posted her nude photos online. Antonella was allowed to stay in the competition.
In 2008, former nude stripper David Hernandez was allowed to stay on the show after reports surfaced that he was working at a Phoenix strip club. “We’ve had strippers on the show before,” executive producer Ken Warwick said at the time. “We never judge people who do such things.”
“If it were some kind of heavy porn, maybe we’d have to do something. But certainly not ”, he continued. So that’s definitely still in line with the rules of competition today.
Former American Idol candidate Becky O’Donohue posed in Maxim on almost topless photos before auditioning for the show. The pictures were taken in 2004 and reappeared when Becky made her way onto the show. Becky was allowed to stay on the show and even made it into the top 24 in 2006.
ALSO SEE: HOW WILL THE NUDE PHOTO SCANDAL FROM ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ HOPEFUL CLAUDIA CONWAY AFFECT THE COMPETITION?
Let us know in the comments below if you think escorts, adult stars, and strippers should be allowed on American Idol.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samantha Agate is a contributor and presenter for Talent Recap on YouTube. She graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in media studies and a concentration in journalism. When she’s not watching reality TV shows or eating fried food, she loves hanging out with friends and family and petting puppies.
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Every season of the year, participants come to American Idol from all walks of life. Some are students …