Credit: Fox (via TVFanatic) Photo: Melinda Doolittle

Nine past American Idol contestants are planning to sue the show, alleging they were publicly disqualified from from Idol based on dubious criminal backgrounds, solely because they are black.

But several Idol alumni responded in defense of the show, including Season 6's Melinda Doolittle, who told TMZ, "It is shocking to see such allegations. In my experience on the show, the 'Idol' team strives to champion everyone, regardless of race. However, each contestant is explicitly told that the withholding of information that may compromise the show or artist, can and will result in immediate disqualification."

Season 4 finalist Vonzell Solomon also told TMZ, "I didn’t experience any of that [racial discrimination] ... all of our contracts were clear about how the background checks worked and that we could be disqualified if we lied about our past."

Read TMZ's full story for more defense from Taylor Hicks and Casey Abrams — not that they would be experts on the treatment of African-American contestants, but still. People of every color should — and do — care about racial discrimination, and if those guys suspected anything fishy they probably wouldn't jump in to defend the show.

Source: TMZ