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'Idol' finalist David Hernandez 'not really concerned' about stripper past

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/07/2008 

David Hernandez' male stripper past has received a lot of attention since it was first reported earlier this week, but the American Idol seventh-season Top 12 finalist apparently isn't sweating it.

"I'm not really concerned with what's going on [with those reports]. I'm just focused on singing, because that's what I'm here to do," Hernandez told Entertainment Weekly during last night's post-results show party. "You know, honestly, I'm here to sing."

The 24-year-old from Glendale, AZ worked 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 confirmed on Monday. 

Hernandez worked "steadily worked" at Dick's Cabaret for three years until September 30, 2007, according to Bryan, who added he believes the Idol finalist stopped working at Dick's because of his upcoming participation in the show.

Hours before Hernandez took the stage during Tuesday night's live Top 8 male semifinalist performance episode broadcast, Idol executive producer Ken Warwick said Hernandez would remain in the competition because his past "won't make a difference."

"The thing is, at the end, the public will make the decision anyway," Warwick told TV Guide about Hernandez's fate.  "If there's a stretch of the public that thinks, 'Oh, dear, he was a male stripper, so I'm not going to vote for him,' then that's the luck of the draw. If the public doesn't like him, then they'll get rid of him."

Hernandez thinks fans won't assess him based on his past and will instead evaluate him based on his sound.

"I think America's judging us all off of our voices right now," he told EW.  "Obviously they were, because I'm still in the Top 12, thank God."

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