The 24-year-old from Glendale, AZ was previously employed as a male stripper at Dick's Cabaret, where he appeared fully nude and performed lap dances for the establishment's "mostly male" patrons, the Phoenix club's manager Gordy Bryan told The Associated Press on Monday.
"He had the look and the type that people like, so he made pretty good money here," Bryan told The AP.
Hernandez worked "steadily worked" at Dick's Cabaret for three years until September 30, 2007, Bryan told The AP. While he never sang at the club, Bryan told The AP he was aware Hernandez was a vocalist and now believes he stopped working at Dick's because of his upcoming participation in Idol. Hernandez initially auditioned for AmericanIdol at the show's San Diego audtions in July and was selected as a Top 50 Hollywood Week contestant in late November.
Fox spokeswoman Jill Hudson did not immediately return The AP's Monday telephone calls seeking comment and it remains unclear if Hernandez's work as a stripper would disqualify him from the competition.
In 2003, second-season Idol semifinalist Frenchie Davis was disqualified over nude pictures she posed for at the age of 18, in which she simulated solitary sexual activity for a kiddie-porn website. Despite a petition to reinstate her into the competition, Fox stood by its decision to disqualify Davis.
As of Tuesday morning, Hernandez was still scheduled to perform with his fellow Top 8 male semifinalists during tonight's Idol broadcast.