American Idol producer says movie’s claim they asked Fantasia to quit is “a complete fabrication”

American Idol 3 winner Fantasia Barrino was asked to quit the show by producers, according to the biopic film she starred in for Lifetime.

Fantasia: Life is Not a Fairy Tale, which stars Fantasia as herself, debuts in August on Lifetime, and is based upon Fantasia’s book of the same name.

According to The New York Post’s Linda Stasi’s review of the film, producers “tried to get [Fantasia] to quit the show after she’d already made it to the finals … [b]ecause they were afraid that the revelations … that not only had she been a high-school dropout who had literacy issues, but that she was an unwed mother who had her daughter when she was in her early teens … would hurt the show.” The film opens with a scene depicting that alleged conversation.

But producers say that’s not true. Executive producer Ken Warwick tells the New York Post, “I can absolutely refute that nothing was done, or even remotely suggested to her that she shouldn’t take part in the competition. It’s a complete fabrication.” He also said, “We knew she had a baby right from Day One, and she was always strongly tipped to win the competition because she was so good.”

However, Warwick leaves room for the possibility that someone said something to her that he was unaware of. “It’s absolutely and totally untrue. I’m the executive producer, Nigel [Lythgoe] is the other executive producer and nobody — to my knowledge — would have said anything like that to her,” he said.

Idol’s False Note and ‘Idol’ Elbow [New York Post]

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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.