Can Corey Clark Sing? Like a Canary. With an Agent.

By Lisa de Moraes
Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Not only is former "American Idol" contestant Corey Clark shopping a tell-all book about his alleged relationship with show judge Paula Abdul, and not only is he warming up his tell-all routine on tonight's "Primetime Live" special -- which interestingly has been scheduled after "Idol" and during the May ratings derby -- but he's also written and recorded a little song about Abdul's alleged peccadillo during the second season of "Idol."

ABC News teased reporters yesterday afternoon with snippets of information about the "explosive" "Primetime Live" broadcast, because it's so much cheaper than buying ads.

So here we are helping ABC News drum up a few more viewers for tonight's show -- did we mention it's airing during the May sweeps?

ABC News promises that we will hear pals of Clark who claim he told them about the alleged relationship at the time, and even brought Abdul to meet them. Clark's parents will weigh in on how much they disapproved of his having a relationship with a judge during the competition. No word from ABC News on whether the folks will weigh in on whether they disapproved of his alleged assault on his 15-year-old sister and resisting arrest in October 2002 -- shortly before his audition to become a contestant on "American Idol."

ABC News says Clark will claim that Abdul initiated their relationship and helped him select what to sing and gave him money to buy "expensive clothing." And he will discuss how his alleged relationship with Abdul is reflected in a song he has recorded for an upcoming album, the little dear. Presumably, that's the song we're going to hear a portion of in the news report. Hooray.

To really whet our interest, ABC News threw in some exchanges from the interview by reporter John Quiñones, such as this one, in which Clark is asked why he is making these allegations:

Clark: I need to set the record straight for myself. And, you know, unfortunately I need to set the record straight for her, too, because she was a part of it.

Quiñones: Is this a publicity stunt?

Clark: No, this is me telling the truth. And it just so happens to be a very explosive truth.

Clark: And, is this a publicity stunt?

Quiñones: No, this is investigative reporting .

Okay, I made that last part up.

Fox and the producers of "American Idol" -- FreemantleMedia and 19 Entertainment -- put out a statement yesterday reminding us that Clark was removed from the show for failing to disclose his criminal arrest history. They also say they were never notified or contacted by Mr. Clark, nor presented with any evidence concerning his claims, either during or after his participation on the show.

"We will, of course, look into any evidence of improper conduct that we receive," the three parties said, adding, "In the meantime, we recommend that the public carefully examine Mr. Clark's motives, given his apparent desire to exploit his prior involvement with 'American Idol' for profit and publicity."

During tonight's "Primetime Live," ABC News promises, we will hear that Clark allegedly made his first phone call to Abdul after, he says, an Abdul associate slipped him a piece of paper with the judge's phone number.

Clark explains: "So she was like, 'You got to have better song choices, and I want to help you do that. I want to look out after you like -- like I'm your mom.' And then she was like 'well, more like your sister.' And I was like, 'Okay, cool, cool' . . . and then she was like, 'Well, maybe more like your special friend.' "

Asked why she allegedly coached him and picked his outfits, Clark responds that Abdul was "polishing off that dust -- off the dirty diamond and helping me shine a little bit."

Sorry, pookie, still dirty.

We Watch So You Don't Have To:

"I Miss Constantine" night on "American Idol."

Officially, it's Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller -- I know, who? -- night.

They apparently wrote a lot of Elvis songs.

Did CBS pay "Idol" producers to do their songs this week because they have that "Elvis" miniseries coming up in this May ratings race?

But wait, CBS is trying to kill Fox in the race for first place among the 18-to-49-year-olds who are the Holy Grail of Madison Avenue.

On the other hand, "Idol" averages nearly 30 million viewers on Tuesdays, and all of them would hear the Elvis songs and decide to watch the CBS miniseries.

But wouldn't Fox smell a plot by CBS to drive younger viewers from "Idol" with songs by two men no one under 50 has ever heard of?

My head hurts.

T-boy picked "Poison Ivy," which has to be the worst old song ever written -- except maybe "Love Potion No. 9." Paula Abdul calls "Poison Ivy" one of her favorite Leiber-Stoller songs; everything she says takes on a different meaning thanks to ABC News' upcoming "explosive" show about her alleged affair with "Idol" Season 2 bootee Corey Clark.

Scott Savol chose "On Broadway" because, he explained while looking menacingly into the camera, judge Simon Cowell told him last week to pack his bags, but he's not leaving until he becomes a star on Broadway. (Scott has black boot polish in his hair, maybe in honor of Elvis. It is not a good look.) When he gets to the part in the song about "they say I won't last too long on Broadway," Scott plants himself in front of Simon and points menacingly at him. Paula says he has "moxie." Simon says he's had more escapes than Houdini. Scott winks menacingly at Simon.

Vonzell Solomon sings the heck out of "Treat Me Nice" and so it hardly sounds like an Elvis song. Judge Randy Jackson says it's a song he barely knows -- welcome to the club -- and yet she made him like it. Simon calls it "a bit of a mess."

Bo Bice picks "Stand by Me"; he looks naked without a microphone stand. The judges all love him.

Carrie Underwood does a homecoming queen version of "Trouble."

Then they do a second round, because so few contestants are left that one song each doesn't fill the hour. The second time they perform top songs from the week's Billboard charts, all of which sound like bad covers.

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