American Idol has had a string of controversies plague the show this past season and, now, yet another has surfaced for the ABC series. Season 18 contestant and fan-favorite Doug Kiker, known by some as the "singing garbageman," was arrested on charges of domestic violence.
Doug Kiker was arrested on Thursday in his home state of Alabama on charges of misdemeanor domestic violence categorized as harassment. TMZ reported that authorities arrived on the scene after an adult woman (whose relationship with Kiker was not specified) called 911 Thursday, May 13 and after an investigation, decided there was probable cause to arrest Kiker. The former American Idol contestant was arrested and jailed on a $1,000 bond.
Doug Kiker became an instant fan favorite when he first performed in Season 18 and boasted an impressive voice, despite no formal musical training. His audition brought Katy Perry to tears, but he didn't last much longer beyond that. Kiker was sent home before Season 18's showcase round, though his story was so well-received by the fandom that he was invited back for the finale and performed "Bless The Broken Road" with Rascal Flatts.
Doug Kiker found a decent social media following after American Idol and, in the months folllowing Season 18, he posted about plans to start a band and make a career in singing. A quick search of Kiker's social media accounts showed a gap between posting, with his most recent post coming from Instagram on April 15th. As of this writing, Kiker has not issued an official statement on the arrest or posted since the event.
As mentioned, Doug Kiker's legal issue is not the only controversy connected to American Idol recently. Just days prior, Top 5 finalist Caleb Kennedy was dropped from the competition after a video surfaced, in which Kennedy was seen alongside a person who seemed to be wearing a hood resembling the style worn by the Ku Klux Klan. Before that, contestant Cecil Ray was arrested after alleged forceful entry into the house of his child's mother a week after he was eliminated from American Idol.
What this all means for American Idol long-term is unclear. The ABC series was recently renewed for Season 20, so it's not as though the series itself has to answer for any of the controversies. And while this past season has been a particularly rough one in terms of issues for contestants, controversy with past Idol contestants isn't exactly a new thing. In regard to the show, Doug Kiker's arrest means he likely will not be invited back to the series in the future, which may disappoint those who rooted for his success back in Season 18.
American Idol airs on ABC Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET. With Season 19 winding down, it's still impossible to say who will be the one to win this season, though I do tend to think this season will ultimately go to one of the women over the men.