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Criminal Behavior on 'American Idol'


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'Idol' Twins Charged With Forgery, Theft

They sang like angels for their audition on Tuesday's "American Idol" premiere, but a pair of Memphis twins may sound more like jailbirds by the time the show goes live from Hollywood. Terrell Brittenum, 28, has been in jail since January 10 on an outstanding warrant for charges related to the illegal purchase of a car in Rockdale County, Georgia, east of Atlanta.

He and his brother, Derrell, are accused of using another man's identity to buy a 2005 Dodge Magnum in June. Derrell was expected to turn himself in on the same charges of forgery, theft by deception and financial identity fraud, The Commercial Appeal newspaper reported.

The brothers auditioned together in September for the hit TV show "American Idol" and impressed the show's prickly judges to continue to the next round. Segments of the show have already been recorded and will air during the next few weeks.

Fox Broadcasting Co. refused to discuss the Brittenums or their status on the show. The return of the show Tuesday drew its best-ever season premiere ratings with 35.5 million viewers. It was a 6 percent increase over last year's debut, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research figures.

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'Idol' Twins Sings From Shelby Jail

by Chris Conley and Sherri Drake

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The Brittenum twins from their 'American Idol' Chicago audition.

If Terrell Brittenum watched his performance on television's "American Idol" Tuesday night, he did so from the Shelby County Jail. Brittenum and his twin brother, Derrell Brittenum, both of southeast Memphis, appeared on the show.

And both had outstanding criminal warrants when their performances aired. They're charged in Rockdale County, Georgia, with forgery, theft by deception and financial identity fraud.

The case involves the purchase of a 2005 Dodge Magnum in June -- allegedly by using another man's identity. Terrell Brittenum has been in jail here since January 10. His brother is still on the loose but is expected to turn himself in, sheriff's spokesman Steve Shular said.

Fox Broadcasting Co. spokesman Scott Grogin refused to comment on the twins, or their status as contestants. "We do not comment on the personal lives of our show participants," he said.

The 28-year-olds' Chicago auditions were taped in mid-September and portions of the show have already been taped in Hollywood. The pair made it through the initial audition.

Georgia's charges against the pair, who attended Hamilton High School, were discovered by accident during a routine traffic stop. Memphis police chanced upon Derrell Brittenum October 30 at a BP station at 2134 Lamar, according to the charges.

Officers ran the tags on the 2005 Dodge Magnum and found the vehicle was stolen, and that the brothers had arrest warrants. Derrell Brittenum was arrested and gave a typed statement to police, saying he knew he was in a stolen car.

His brother was arrested November 2 on a fugitive charge. Terrell Brittenum had given his brother another person's financial information, allowing him to buy the $23,175 car in June, according to Georgia's charges.

Both men were able to bond out in early November. And since they refused to be extradited to Georgia, authorities there got a governor's warrant for them to be re-arrested for an extradition hearing.

Terrell Brittenum has a Shelby County arrest record for traffic violations and a 2000 misdemeanor citation for disorderly conduct and indecent exposure. The exposure charge was amended to disorderly conduct and he paid a $50 fine.

Derrell Brittenum was arrested in 1998 for theft over $500 and in 2000 for contempt of court and passing bad checks, court records show. The extradition hearing date hasn't been set.

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So are they going to stay on American Idol or not? Given the current political and social climate, what could be more American than forgery and fraud? Heck, I don't want them singing, I want them to run for political office!!

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Courtesy of: MTV NEWS

Out On Bail, 'Idol' Twins Say They've Been Dropped From Show

01.25.2006

Duo's lawyer says several labels are showing interest in the singers.

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Derrell Brittenum

Photo: Shelby County Sheriff's Office

There's good news and bad news for "American Idol" twins Derrell and Terrell Brittenum. The good news is they're both out on bond after being jailed for allegedly using false identification to buy a car last summer.

The bad news is that the flap over the theft charges has resulted in them being booted from "American Idol," they told an Atlanta radio station on Monday.

"They were in here Monday singing and everything," said Frank Ski, co-host of WVEE-FM's "Frank & Wanda in the Morning" show. "They got out of jail on Sunday and came here Monday to be on the air with us."

Ski said he tried to jump right in and ask the 28-year-olds about the warrants from Rockdale County, Georgia, on charges of forgery, theft by deception and financial identity fraud, but their lawyer said they weren't allowed to comment. The charges stem from the purchase of a 2005 Dodge Magnum in June, which they allegedly made using another man's identity (see "Fugitive 'American Idol' Twin Surrenders To Police").

A FOX spokesperson had no comment on the matter and would not say whether the brothers would appear on future episodes.

Ski said the pair apologized to the show's audience and said they were sorry for the mistakes they'd made. "They were saying that in order to be a real 'American Idol' you have to go through trials and tribulations and you have to be someone who didn't have it easy. In the hip-hop world, a bit of controversy doesn't hurt."

The brothers' attorney, Maurice Bennett, said they were released from an Atlanta-area jail on $30,000 bond each at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday and that a few hours later, just before they were slated to fly to Los Angeles for eliminations in the 35-contestant round, they were "uninvited" from the show. "It was a very amicable breakup," Bennett said. "The guys understood why. It's amazing how these things work."

The drama has not only won the twins notoriety, it's brought attention to their vocal skills. Ski said he was so blown away by the pair's smooth voices that when he found out they were going to be on his show he called Jermaine Dupri's So So Def label to give it a heads-up.

"I knew someone would jump on them, and before I could even finish telling So So Def they were coming, the person I spoke to offered them a production deal," Ski said. A So So Def confirmed the deal but couldn't give further details, and the Brittenums' lawyer said it's not clear yet what the proposal means, exactly, but he added that he's been fielding calls from several labels interested in signing the duo.

As for the charges, Bennett said he's meeting with the district attorney later this week to discuss them.

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Dade, here's the 411 I found that confirms what you heard as well. Hope it provides a little more information or, at least, a slightly different take on the same topic. Thanks for doing such a great job of staying on top of things! Kudos!

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Double Trouble for 'Idol' Audition

Fox has dashed Terrell and Derrell Brittenum's dreams of becoming the next "American Idols." The 28-year-old identical twin brothers were "uninvited" from the competition after their criminal records became public fodder, their lawyer said.

"It was an amicable breakup," attorney Maurice Bennett said on an Atlanta radio station. "The guys understood why. It's amazing how these things work." The Brittenums made their mark on "American Idol" during the first episode of the fifth season, when they wowed the judges at the Chicago auditions and earned passes to Hollywood.

But the Tennessee natives' brush with glory turned out to be short-lived, as the brothers soon landed behind bars on charges that they used another man's identity and financial information last June to purchase a 2005 Dodge Magnum in Atlanta. Both Brittenums refused extradition to Georgia, which led to additional charges against them.

Fox has remained mum on whether the brothers would be seen in future episodes of the talent search. However, the New York Post reports that the network put the kibosh on a planned live performance by the Brittenums Wednesday night on MSNBC's "Scarborough County," indicating that they are probably still under contract.

According to Bennett, both brothers were released from jail on bond Sunday morning and were preparing to travel to Los Angeles for the next round of eliminations when they received word that their presence was no longer welcome.

Though the twins may have blown their shot at 'Idol' worship, they reportedly have other opportunities to consider. Bennett claims to have been contacted by "several" record labels interested in signing the brothers.

Meanwhile, as the audition segments continued this week, tensions between the judges ran high, culminating in a temper tantrum thrown by none other than Simon Cowell. After arguing back and forth with his fellow judges, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, the snarky critic stormed out of the San Francisco auditions, leaving the other two to hear the final few contestants on their own.

"He was being obnoxious to the girl who was singing," Abdul explained to an Entertainment Tonight correspondent. "He had just had it. Not only did he leave, but he left and took the plane home!" Admitting that he lost his patience with Abdul and Jackson, Cowell said, "We had a major row. I got to the point where I said 'I can't sit next to you anymore,' and left."

"But to be fair, Randy Jackson was being obnoxious that day as well," Cowell continued in the ET interview. "Occasionally, they turn into American music critics. I got to the point I couldn't sit with them anymore. There's a point in the day where you just think, 'There's no point in me sitting next to you anymore. Do it yourself.' So that's what I did."

More than 32 million viewers watched Cowell blow his stack on Wednesday, just slightly fewer than the 34.8 million viewers who tuned in for Tuesday's episode. Last week's fifth season premiere set a new record for the talent search, drawing an audience of 35.5 million.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Auditions started in Sept or Oct way before they were arrested. There was plenty of time for them to be eliminated before the arrest.

FROM TV GUIDE: Entertainment News

SING OUT, LOUISE!: American Idol wannabes now have two more places to present their pipes: The Season 5 audition tour now includes visits to the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum on Oct. 3, and the Las Vegas Convention Center on Oct. 10. There are also entirely unfounded reports that the final stop will be Paula's Malibu bungalow.

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Dade, here we go again! I was doing the Grammy results when I ran across this little tidbit. Add another one to the "American Idol" police blotter!

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Tatiana Ward Wants CD . . . Already Has Record

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Tatiana Ward

TMZ has learned 'American Idol' contestant Tatiana Ward, who is on her way to Hollywood after last night's audition, got into legal trouble on her way out of Macy's.

According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Ward was cited for shoplifting $24 in merchandise from the Macy's Department Store in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The incident occurred on March 22, 2002. Ward pled guilty to retail theft and was fined $135.

Ward was also cited for carrying false ID. TMZ has learned she had a false New Jersey driver's license. Ward pled not guilty but Judge David Keightly begged to differ, fining her $187.50 for that offense.

TMZ spoke with Judge Keightly today who is far from "Simon-esque." Judge Keightly said, "She's a very good singer and I hope she does well in the competition."

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Why are they still competing then if there is a criminal history. They are so annoying...hopefully they get the boot, soon!

Not only are they stinkin' criminals, but their arrogant asses too boot. Glad to hear we don't have much longer to listen to them.

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Not only are they stinkin' criminals, but their arrogant asses too boot. Glad to hear we don't have much longer to listen to them.

I'm actually surprised because Scott was a criminal and arrogant and they kept him lol

I like these two better singing, I can't stand their attitudes. Especially when they complain about making it.

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I'm actually surprised because Scott was a criminal and arrogant and they kept him lol

I like these two better singing, I can't stand their attitudes. Especially when they complain about making it.

Hey - rinse and repeat for Savol - after all, wasn't he the original American skinhead???

All that arrogance, does it come with the criminal behavior???

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Why are they still competing then if there is a criminal history. They are so annoying...hopefully they get the boot, soon!

One of the articles said they were getting ready to board the plane to take them to the elimination round of 35. They're down to 48, so I guess they'll be out by next Wednesday, when the guys compete.

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I am so glad that they are gone.I will admit they could sing but if I had to listen to them go on and on about my spirit has been crushed I would hurt them very badly.lol..They were both idiots.I hope they rot in jail...lol

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I am so glad that they are gone.I will admit they could sing but if I had to listen to them go on and on about my spirit has been crushed I would hurt them very badly.lol..They were both idiots.I hope they rot in jail...lol

Yea - I bet their 'spirit' is gettin' crushed in jail now - and getting crushed HARD!

OHHH GAAA!!!!!!!! :lol:

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