Akron Watson, whose successful "American Idol" audition was aired on the San Antonio episode Feb. 6, was uninvited from the Hollywood round of the show, possibly due to a 2003 arrest for marijuana posession.
PegasusNews.com, a Dallas-based online news service, reports that after Watson's audition in 2006, an "American Idol" film crew came to his Texas home to interview him for a feature that would air during the show. Watson reportedly discussed his past, including the fact that he pled guilty to the misdemeanor possession charge.
The news service reports that Watson's disclosure didn't have an immediate effect, and he continued to plan for his trip to Hollywood. But with his departure less than a week away, he reportedly was called and told he'd been disinvited.
According to PegasusNews.com, when Watson asked why he was no longer welcome, the "Idol" spokesperson said "Well, I'm not really sure," and told him he could tell people he had been dropped to alternate status. The marijuana arrest was not cited by the show, and other "Idol" contestants have competed with drug arrests. 2005 finalist Bo Bice was arrested in 2001 for felony cocaine possession as well as in 2003 for marijuana possesion and other charges.
A PegasusNews reporter who contacted "American Idol" was told that the show would not be giving a reason for Watson's dismissal.
No mention was made of the controversy on the Feb. 6 episode, in which Watson auditioned directly after his cousin, William, also sang. William didn't make it through, but Watson had better luck.
Watson's first song didn't do much for the judges. Cowell remarked "You know, you're a good singer. There is just a massive personality/charisma problem here. I was bored. And it wasn't that long, the audition." But Watson was given that rare "Idol" second chance, and his second song put him through.
Sugar is not so sweet in gas tankWatson's not the only San Antonio "Idol" wannabe who has a criminal record. Successful auditioner Ashlyn Carr confessed last fall to putting sugar in an ex-boyfriend's gas tank, according to The Houstonian Online, the student newspaper of Sam Houston State University. Carr was arrested on criminal mischief charges in November after the incident occurred.
Carr was a notable auditioner because she made dramatic faces throughout her audition, drawing criticism and a "no" vote from the judges.
But Simon Cowell rethought and sent "Idol" staff to find Carr and bring her back, where she sang again, still with many of the same facial expressions. After her second song, however, the "Idol" judges agreed to send her to the Hollywood round.
It does not appear that Carr's criminal record will affect her "Idol" chances.