Ex-stripper David Hernandez not banned from ‘American Idol’

LOS ANGELES — David Hernandez won’t be stripped of his chance to compete on “American Idol.”

A person close to the show, who is not authorized to comment publicly and asked not to be identified, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that there were no plans to remove Hernandez from the Fox singing competition — despite the semifinalist’s past as a male stripper.

The 24-year-old from Glendale, Ariz., once worked as an adult entertainer at Dick’s Cabaret in Phoenix, appearing fully nude and performing lap dances for the club’s “mostly male” clientele, strip club manager Gordy Bryan said.

In 2003, semifinalist Frenchie Davis was dismissed from “Idol” because of her appearance on an adult Web site, but Antonella Barba remained in the competition last year after racy photos of her surfaced on the Internet. The source who confirmed that Hernandez will remain said Davis’ situation was different because of the site’s age-themed content.

Hernandez’s three-year stint as a male stripper wasn’t even mentioned on the live telecast, during which he performed a rendition of Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” However, acerbic judge Simon Cowell did mutter something about stripping, off camera, immediately after the song ended.

Dick’s Cabaret manager Bryan said he was aware that Hernandez was a vocalist, but that Hernandez never sang at the club. Bryan said he now believes Hernandez stopped working at the strip club on Sept. 30, 2007, because of his participation in “Idol.”

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