Music mogul and reality show judge Simon Cowell has been accused of planting a British pop star who was once signed to his record company in the second round of American Idol.
Former Take That backing singer TOM LOWE has made it through to the TV singing contest's Hollywood stage after wowing the judges in Seattle, but he stunned Cowell at the end of his audition by saying, "I was at BMG Records in London at the same time that you were there."
Lowe was a member of British boy band NORTH AND SOUTH, who scored four minor British hit singles on Cowell's record label before splitting in 1998, but Cowell claims he can't remember him.
However, a furious contestant tells British newspaper The Daily Star, "It's really suspicious that they were at the same record company. Simon claims he doesn't remember him but there's a feeling among some people that this could be a fix.
"A career in the States could be worth GBP100 million ($195 million) so there's a lot at stake and people aren't happy."
Lowe now works in tourism in Boston and sings in a band called TOMMY AND THE TIGERS.