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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 2

Marines deny 'American Idol' contestant was given special treatment

By Wade Paulsen, 01/28/2003 

File this story under "Semper Hi-Fi."

Reuters reports that the Marine Corps is denying a report that popular American Idol contestant Lance Cpl. Joshua Gracin has been kept back from deployment to the Persian Gulf due to his strong performance on the show last week.

In a prepared statement released from main Marine base Camp Pendleton in southern California on Monday, Marine officials denied reports that Gracin's unit had been scheduled to ship out, although a Marines spokeswoman acknowledged that the Corps "sees the recruiting value of Gracin's appearance before a national audience, appreciates the level of talent the Marine possesses, and recognizes the benefits of allowing him to continue competing on the program."

On Sunday, the New York Post reported that Gracin's mother, who lives in suburban Detroit, had told friends that the Fox network pulled strings to keep Gracin stateside for now. According to the Detroit News, Brenda Gracin sent an e-mail to friends that said, "American Idol had to work with Washington to get Josh out of the deployment. His platoon is leaving next week. Once his stint on American Idol is over, Josh will be sent to Kuwait."

Brenda Gracin was unavailable for comment Monday. Apparently, the Gracins' contract with Fox completely bars them from speaking with reporters. Geez, and we used to think Mark Burnett had strict rules for Survivor contestants.

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