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It happens almost every season, on every talent show: A promising singer is presented by producers as being a fresh-off-the-turnip-truck total unknown, but it only takes a few YouTube or Wikipedia searches to uncover that contestant's illustrious professional past — and the public cries foul.

Such "scandals" surrounded "American Idol" contestants Carly Smithson and Joanna Pacitti, who'd had major-label deals as teens, and "The X Factor" Season 1's Stacy Francis, who became the focus of a Perez Hilton smear campaign after her extensive showbiz background came to light.



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