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Former 'Idol' semifinalist Frenchie Davis needs surgery on vocal chord

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/31/2008 

Frenchie Davis' overworked vocals are apparently in need of surgery.

The disqualified American Idol second-season semifinalist will undergo surgery to remove a polyp on her vocal chord, The Associated Press reported Friday.

"I've talked to other singers who had surgery," the 28-year-old told The AP.  "One girl said her voice went up. Others' voices got clearer. I'm just excited to see and a little nervous, of course. It's still surgery."

Davis -- who wrapped a four-year Broadway run in Rent last May -- said doctors had been monitoring the polyp on her left vocal chord and when it grew, they suggested surgery to avoid long-term damage.  Davis added the condition has caused her tiredness and hoarseness after performances and thinks it likely stemmed from overuse and singing improperly.

"I was doing eight shows a week of Rent for four years. When I had a break from Rent, I was using it to sing elsewhere," she told The AP. "Now I need a vocal coach to make sure I'm singing properly so it doesn't come back."

Davis' surgery is scheduled for the end of April and it will take her roughly a month to recover, according to The AP.  However the procedure won't cause her to miss the national tour of Ain't Misbehavin, which is set to begin this fall in New York and also include Idol second-season champ Ruben Studdard in its cast.

Davis was disqualified from Idol's Spring 2003 second season 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.

Since then, Idol producers allowed both sixth-season semifinalist Antonella Barba -- who had provocative photos appear online during her Idol run -- and seventh-season finalist and former male stripper David Hernandez remain in the competition until ousted by home viewer votes.

"I guess I had to be thrown to the wolves to afford these other contestants the luxury of being judged on their talent," Davis told The AP. "I guess that's what needed to happen."

(Photo credit Fox)

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