[Brittenum] Twin: Brother to Brother

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The Brittenum TwinsDerrell and Terrell Brittenum are no strangers to the world of reality television or controversy. The identical Memphis twins wowed the American Idol judges during their audition for season 5 described as having “Sam Cooke-like vocal runs” and made it through to the next round. They attended the Chicago audition in September 2005, and earned a ticket to Hollywood to compete. But their appearance on Idol was short-lived at best for the then-28-year-old siblings. Once the show’s “Hollywood Round” was scheduled to continue in 2006, Terrell had been in jail since January 10 and his brother was wanted by police at the time.


The Brittenums both had outstanding criminal warrants when the show aired. Both were charged in Rockdale County, Georgia, with forgery, theft by deception and financial identity fraud over the purchase of a vehicle in June 2005. The brothers allegedly used another man’s identity to buy the car. Derrell would eventually turn himself in on January 19th.


The Brittenums were cast in an entertaining-yet-annoying light on the show’s audition rounds. Referred to as dramatic and emotional, the upside was the Brittenums were the focus of the early shows The Brittenum Twinsthat season. During those opening shows, Idol spokespeople refused to comment on the matter, then the latest in a string of legal issues that have come back to haunt the show’s participants (see Corey Clark, Bo Bice). “We don’t comment on the personal lives of our show participants,” spokesperson Scott Grogin said. When asked if the pair will appear again, Grogin added, “We don’t comment on future episodes.”


While they were released from police custody shortly thereafter, their invite to Idol 5’s Hollywood Round was rescinded by the show’s producers, ending their Idol journey before it ever really began.  Soon after, they reportedly had tentative deal with mogul Jermaine Dupri’s  So So Def Label, but they also told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution it “didn’t work out” due to an “avaricious lawyer.” The season-five debut of “American Idol” drew 35.5 million viewers, the best-ever premiere ratings for the program at the time.


Last year, the Brittenums made it through the first round of Atlanta auditions for Idol’s season 7. Reflecting on the identity theft crime, Terrell told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution it “was a dumb decision. We’ve had some tough times.  We hope Atlanta still believes in us and will support us.” According to The Journal-Constitution, the twins both “breezed” through Idol 7’s first round of auditions, with Terrell singing Freddy Jackson’s “You Are My Lady” and Derrell performing Luther Vandross’ “Until You Come Back to Me.” 


Soon after, the brothers’ record label at the time stated that although American Idol had again advanced them to the Hollywood Round, the twins had decided to “decline” the offer and instead release a debut album. “We thought long and hard about joining American Idol for season seven. Although it’s a great opportunity, we feel The Brittenum Twins are a group and only one of us can win and if I can’t do it without my brother I don’t think it would be a true win,” Terrell stated in the release.  “Also, we have done it before, we know some of the techniques the judges’ use and don’t want anyone think we have an unfair advantage over the other.”


It was later found out that the fact that they had already been 29-years-old at the time of their August audition meant that they were technically ineligible to compete. Idol 7 hopefuls were required to be between 16 and 28 years old as of July 28, 2007.


What’s next for the Brittenums? They have been re-coined “TWIN” by music legend Teddy Riley and are gearing up for the release of new muic coming soon. Their Myspace bio states, “There’s much more to Derrell and Terrell Brittenum than can be learned through reality television trickery, and it would be robbery to not give them their say — and they have MUCH to say.”


For more information on TWIN, visit http://www.myspace.com/therealbrittenumtwins


‘American Idol’ Twins Are In Double Trouble With The LawTerrell and Derrell Brittenum have been charged with forgery and theft.
By Gil Kaufman
Disqualified Brittenum twins return for ‘American Idol 7’ auditions  
By Christopher Rocchio, 08/17/2007
Twin tantrum
Brittenum brothers make a stink on ‘American Idol’
Terrell and Derrell Brittenum caught in new ‘American Idol’ controversy 
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/17/2008


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