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PrimeTime Live - Fallen Idol: A Paula Affairby Sting7 -- 05/05/2005
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John Quinones welcomes us. He reminds us that millions of us saw Scott Savol get eliminated from American Idol. "Tonight, we tell a story of a different Idol wannabe. The story of Corey Clark: ‘The Fallen Idol.’" And, we see the reaction of other wannabes that hear this for the first time.
We get a clip of Corey in the studio singing a song he says is based on the story of him and Paula. The lady in the song definitely songs like a femme fatale.
Quinones quickly tells us that Corey alleges that Paula Abdul had an affair with him. In soundbites, he says she picked his songs and gave him extra coaching. However, they start from the beginning. Corey comes from a musical family with 30 years of performing experience, and Corey once sang at the famed Apollo Theater. John asks "where does he get if from?" Clark’s beaming parents, Dwayne and Jan Clark quickly answer, Dwayne points at Mom. Mom concedes it’s a happy mixture.
Quinones flashes us to when American Idol came to Nashville, TN for one of it’s second season audition rounds. Clark says, "My initial goal was to sing in front of Simon, and see what he says." Quinones says Corey passed the test with Simon ("I think you have a good recording voice."), but it was a different judge’s reaction that would change things for him – Paula ("I think you have star quality!").
Quinones and PrimeTime Live quickly skim over Clark’s criminal charges that Clark admits he never revealed. (I personally followed that story and Clark insisted that Idol knew along!) Quinones gives it the positive spin – that the battery charges were reduced to a misdemeanor. What the show does not clarify is that judgment happened months after Clark was dismissed. At the time of his dismissal, Clark was due in court the next week for the first hearing on the matter! "No, I didn’t report it because I was falsely arrested!" he snaps.
"But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves," is what Quinones offers for a time line. He and Clark are at an empty Alex Theater, where season two’s Hollywood rounds took place. Quinones, somewhat boastfully, announces that ABC News (20/20, specifically) was there that season doing a story on the phenomenon known as American Idol. We see shots of Clay Aiken in the audience, and Ruben performing with his group of three. Video placement that is no accident. "We were there first!"
Quinones says American Idol was also looking for additional footage, including Corey’s infamous dumping from the bull in some bar. Quinones says, "When it was time for Corey to perform – on no sleep – he forgets the words to his song. But, his adlib turns out to be better than the original!" I am sure Seal, performer and writer of "Kiss From A Rose" would beg to differ. The ad-lib in question was to say "Paula" instead of "baby" at the chorus. Clever.
As you may remember, and as PrimeTime shows us, Corey stealthily makes his way to Paula as he’s singing and ends the chorus just in time to kiss her hand. Paula, as you may recall, was beaming. Quinones notes that for us, as well.
That same day, Corey was doing an interview for ABC News, during which, "a woman" pressed something into his hand. Cameras close in on a slip of paper that looks like it was torn of a restaurant receipt, with two zip codes visible and the rest obscured. Corey says it was the phone number of someone who was going to help him "and if I told anyone, I was going to be trouble – I was going to be off the show, and that person was Paula Abdul."
Clark thought the number may be fake. He says he thought if he called it, "it would the American Idol hotline or something, saying haaaa-haaaa-haaaa you’re off the show for real now! Sucker!" Quinones says Clark was informed that he was voted into the Top 32, but he had a dilemma on his hands. What to do with the number? In way of narrative, we get Corey singing his song. He sings that he called the number and voice says hello! He sings this is Corey Clark, he hopped out of bed to call her.
Quinones says the temptation was too great for Clark to resist, so he went to an "untraceable" (convenient) pay phone in the Hilton lobby. Another shot of that slip of paper (did he keep a scrapbook?). Paula answers the call, he says she offers to treat him, like a mom... or more like a sister... or a special friend. "A special friend," Quinones repeats (in case you missed it), "who, Corey says (don’t sue us!) wants to meet him right away!"
Clark says he felt like 007 getting to her. She sent a car and a driver to retrieve. He says it would be the first of many times he would go to her house. Sometimes by taxi, his friends would take him there, or Paula herself. As he is driving with Quinones, he points out the house.
Clark says they had a couple of drinks, and Paula is giving him "all the ins and outs of the show. What to do, what not to do. Who to talk to, who not to talk to." Quinones asks if she offered to him on the show, "Oh, of course! Not as far as making it through, but as far as helping me, you know, like wardrobe, so I, like, look the part, you know and like song choices." Corey says they talked through the night, and he went back to the Alex Theater. Apparently, no one was the wiser.1 2 3 Next-->
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