Twins Terrell and Derrell charged with forgery; Terrell is currently in jail

Two of the better performers to appear on Tuesday night’s American Idol 5 debut have both been charged with “with forgery, theft by deception and financial identity fraud,” according to the Commercial Appeal.

Terrell Brittenum has been in jail since January 10, while his brother Derrell “is expected to turn himself in” soon. Last June, in Georgia, they allegedly bought a 2005 Dodge Magnum “allegedly by using another man’s identity,” the paper reports.

“Memphis police chanced upon Derrell Brittenum Oct. 30 at a BP station,” while “[h]is brother was arrested Nov. 2 on a fugitive charge. … Both men were able to bond out in early November,” according to the Commercial Appeal. But “they refused to be extradited to Georgia, [so] authorities there got a governor’s warrant for them to be re-arrested for an extradition hearing.”

Both Terrell and Derrell “have previous arrest records,” People reports. “Terrell has an arrest record for a traffic violation and a charge of disorderly conduct for which he paid a $50 fine. Derrell Brittenum was arrested in 1998 for theft over $500 and in 2000 for contempt of court and passing bad checks, court records show.”

Both brothers made it through to the Hollywood round, which will air in a few weeks and has already been taped. FOX, naturally, had no comment. “We do not comment on the personal lives of our show participants,” an unhelpful flak said.

Update: The Smoking Gun has their mug shots.

‘Idol’ twin ‘sings’ from Shelby jail [Commercial Appeal]
Idol Twins Busted on Forgery Charges [People]
“American Idol” Twins To Face Real Judge [The Smoking Gun]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.