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Former 'Idol' Contestants

Nigel Gave Us Our Break

... But We're Still Suing

1/28/2013 4:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

012513_idol_twins_launchJust months before ex "American Idol" contestants Terrell and Derrell Brittenum took legal action against the show -- over allegations of racism -- they publicly THANKED Nigel Lythgoe for giving them their big break. 

TMZ broke the story ... the twins -- along with seven other African-American former contestants -- are planning to sue ... claiming "A.I." unfairly targets black contestants by using information obtained by illegal criminal background checks ... in order to disqualify them from the competition and boost ratings.

But get this ... TMZ obtained footage of Terrell and Derrell back in September ... which tells a very different story.

Specifically the brothers spot Nigel out in NYC -- they were all attending the same Broadway show -- and couldn't be happier with the encounter, even unleashing a massive hug session on the "A.I." head honcho.

Not only that, one brother points to Nigel and exclaims "Mr. Nigel Lythgoe, who gave me MY start!"

Talk about a 180 ...


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633 days ago

BB not bb    

AI is stupid to ban people with arrest records, but that doesn't make them racist. Imagine if everyone musician with an arrest record was banned from performing. I think Johnny Cash was even in prison for a while. John Lennone was arrested also. Are they American Idol material?

Then again, just becaus a white person is prejudiced or wrong, doesn't mean that they are racist. The show is against anyone who refuses to tell if they were arrested. Since singing is not a high security job, I don't see where that is a legitamate question. It is not a federal government job.

I think the whole concept of creating an idol is stupid. They are not above anyone else. Normal people do get arrested and everything else. I am glad that Kelly Clarkson is down to earth in spite of winning. I think all of the pressure of having to be an idol even sent Susan Boyle to the madhouse for a while.

I resent employers asking you pages of irrelevant personal information just to get some job. They probably just end up hiring you if they like you anyway.

633 days ago


Typical black people...when they don't get their way, they choose to accuse others for being racist. Isn't Randy Jackson black?...if Idol was racist, why would they have him as a judge?

633 days ago


Freaking clowns!!!! They give black people a bad name! I hope they dont get a damn penny!

633 days ago


Black people are so pathetic.

633 days ago


Look up the back story on these nine people. Some had arrest records they did not disclose to AI. When it was discovered they LIED is what caused the problem. Some got into trouble while they were actually contestants! There were all kinds of disqualifying problems. LOOK IT UP. This is a contest. AI has the right to ask that all of their contestants meet certain requirements, and maintain a respectable image, and these people did not. None of this has to do with race.

633 days ago

Phishie from Philly    

Typical, just typical.
Phishie from Philly

633 days ago


this contestants are lower and stinkier then the SHART in my pants...

633 days ago


will u look at. The bull that is going on with these, weak minded, cowards shooting kids. And any way else they can get within their sights. Weak ass cowards bite your own bullets.

633 days ago


I'm sure for legal reasons, AI has to know if they are harboring criminals as contestants. They do have contestants who are minors and I'm sure that plays in a part in asking if contestants have prior arrests. As for being "racist" and as for these former contestants having any grounds for their suit -- no, AI isn't racist and no, they have no grounds for suing. They lied about their criminal history and they got caught lying. The lie is what got them disqualified, not their skin color. I feel very sorry for these young men -- instead of looking at their own behavior and trying to improve themselves, they look for someone to blame for their own problems. And then try to profit from it. I hope their suit gets dismissed quickly and they move on with their lives -- perhaps not lying and not committing any crimes they may have to lie about in future.

633 days ago


they r all a bunch of pigs with standard american entitlement issues. I hope they rot homelessly

633 days ago


I remember those twins I thought they were talented but talent isn't everything,,,you also have to be easy to work with and not be flaming narcissists! They were just awful people. Too self involved. They probably can't believe THEY are responsible for their failure.

633 days ago

en Todo Momento!!    

racism doesn't mean diddly squat. who gives a damn if some arrogant douche is a racist? if you are going to use up all your energy to punish them for 'not liking some race you are a member of' then that just shows how obsessed you are to 'belong' to them. screw them and do your own thing. stop wasting people's time with all this 'racism' talk. it's boring.

633 days ago


Wow, TMZ is the anti-Christ. Only satin has the power to pull footage out of whaaaakazoo from jeezzaboo. Have y'all ever sat back and thought about who gives TMZ their power? They can get their nasty dirty little hands on anything including police files that's supposed to be confidential... Y'all better wake up.

633 days ago

Lily Daisy    

Judging is always a subjective, no matter who is doing it and from what I've seen on this show, racism is the furthest thing away from what the judges are about. These former contestants have no case. To be convicted felons and expect it not to affect their lives is living in a dream world!

633 days ago
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