Today, American Idol alum Chikeze Eze was sentenced to community service following an identity theft charge.
In February 2010, Chikeze Eze was arrested for using a stolen credit card to buy two bottles of cologne at a Neiman Marcus store in Beverly Hills.
Chikeze pleaded no contest to the identity theft charge and was sentenced to community service and three years of probation. After striking a plea bargain with prosecutors, a second charge of grand theft was dropped.
As E Online’s Josh Grossberg puts it, “All this for $1,200 worth of cologne. Guess Eze will have to settle for smelling like eau de curbside trash for the forseeable future.”
Chikeze Eze finished tenth on American Idol 7.
American Idol seems to have ambiguous standards when it comes to contestants with past indiscretions. When alum Scott Savol was a contestant on American Idol 4, The Smoking Gun revealed that he had been arrested in 2001 over a domestic violence incident. According to the reports, Savol had thrown a phone at his girlfriend while fighting over custody of their son.
According to MTV,Idol had allowed Scott to continue on the show because he had been honest about the indiscretion:
“Scott Savol was forthcoming to the ‘American Idol’ producers and the network regarding his misdemeanor,” according to a statement released by the show Thursday night. “After reviewing the facts … we felt that considering Scott’s honesty and his remorse, the situation did not warrant his disqualification.”
Yet not all American Idol contestants get a reprieve. While a contestant on American Idol 2, The Smoking Gun revealed that Corey Clark had been arrested for assaulting his teenage sister. Although Idol had dismissed Clark for withholding information about his criminal record, he claimed (according to MTV) that the producers had been out to get him because he had objected to signing the show’s required contracts upon making the top 12.
Although Chikeze Eze has been off the show for several years, I’m sure the show is not keen on the publicity surrounding his arrest. Given the departures of Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and more recently Ellen DeGeneres, this may be another nail in the coffin of the once-mighty American Idol.
Another Bad Day for Idol Alums: Chikezie Cops Plea, E Online
American Idol Finalist’s Violence Rap, The Smoking Gun
‘Idol’ Finalist Scott Savol’s Past Domestic Violence Rap Surfaces, MTV
The Fall Of Another “Idol”, The Smoking Gun
Corey Clark Says Paula Abdul ‘Told Me She Loved Me’, MTV