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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
EXCLUSIVE

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 ...

42 COMMENTS

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16.

BW    

claiming "A.I." unfairly targets black contestants by using information obtained by illegal criminal background checks ..

SORE LOOSERS

579 days ago
17.

LCS27    

ebony is gonna be ebony

579 days ago
18.

Joe    

Yeah, good luck with your law suit you punk asses. Too funny you racist punks.

579 days ago
19.

HRH Prince Michael    

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Consequently, a payment of $100 million -conservatively- is long over-due. Further non-compliance shall result in greater and extremely severe repercussions.

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579 days ago
20.

KicksandGiggles    

Ungrateful bunch of punks. I hope when these liars lose, I hope they have to spend the rest of their lives paying AI and Nigel's legal costs. I hate disloyalty. Nobody forced or told these little closet criminals to do the crimes. Makes me madder than hell the nerve to pull the race card. Bunch of crap!

579 days ago
21.

emme    

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.

579 days ago
22.

dick    

Though all the black have criminal backgrounds. They always wanna steal something.

579 days ago
23.

Spicy mag    

" he gave me my start" in frivolous law suits.

579 days ago
24.

Jenn     

What about Randy Jackson who is still on the show. These people are a disgrace because if they knew anything about AI don't they know that Ruben Studdard won? Plus AI has a right to pick and choose people need to stop being so eager to sue and just face reilty. a

579 days ago
25.

Just Sayin     

I think this whole thing is ultimate rediculousness.

579 days ago
26.

Cali Attorney    

good thing that was a few months before they discovered they had been discriminated against otherwise that encounter, and this story would've been a major problem...whoo dodged that bullet! o_0

579 days ago
27.

Chlamydia    

If American Idol chooses not to have contestants with arrest records, they can. It just happened that the nine people to arrest records were black. Take responsibility for screwing up your own lives. Losers

578 days ago
28.

Jenny    

This will end well...for Idol. Every single one that is suing sucked ass on their season and wouldn't be doing crap professionally, had they actually won the show. You suck! Get over it. (No disrespect to Ruben who won and is doing nothing, but is actually talented). Also, I've seen many an arrest story about several of these guys. Also, Corey Clark and the Brittenum twins are three of the biggest douchebags ever on the show. I mean Corey was kicked off for lying about his arrest record. How is that racist?? As for the twins...did I mention how bad they were at singing?

578 days ago
29.

Michele Shields    

A.I. this season still sucks with Nicky and mariah on there. I love this show but doubt I will watch much this season. Keith and randy will be fine, its the other two idiots

577 days ago
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