About Frenchie Davis

Franchelle "Frenchie" Davis (born May 7, 1979 in Washington DC) is a former American Idol contestant (season 2) who was disqualified in 2003 for appearing in topless photos on the Internet. Davis performed in Rent on Broadway in 2003 after appearing on American Idol. She sang the solo in the opening song of Act Two, Seasons of Love, and in ensemble roles such as Mrs. Jefferson (Joanne's mom), a woman with bags, a coat vendor, Mrs. Marquez (Mimi's mom) and others. She then left to star in a West Coast tour of the musical Dreamgirls. On June 1, 2005, Davis returned to her previous role in the Broadway production of Rent. Davis had previously announced that she would leave Rent in May 2007, she announced her final performance following a mid-April 2007 show.

She currently lives in New York. She has announced that she intends to return to Howard University in the fall, to finish her undergraduate degree.

Ain't Misbehavin'
In 2008, Frenchie will be starring, along with Ruben Studdard, will be starring in the 30th anniversary national tour of musical review Ain't Misbehavin', which appeared on broadway in 1978 and ran for some 1600 performances. Cities are presently being booked, and the show should run through at least May, 2009.

Mahalia, a Gospel Musical
From August 3 to 19, 2007, Davis starred in the Hartford Stage production of Mahalia, A Gospel Musical in the role of Mahalia Jackson, with Miche Braden and JMichael, written by Tom Stolz and directed by Jeremy B. Cohen. She has unofficially announced (during an interview) that she may be performing in a production of Dreamgirls in Houston, Texas, this fall. 

In 2004, Davis held the role of Effie in a west coast touring production of Dreamgirls, which appeared in Sacramento, San Jose and Seattle, and later went to Pittsburgh, PA.

Rent reunion

Davis performing seasons of love with the cast of RentDuring the weeks leading up to the 4-29 RENT 10 year reunion Davis appeared in an iTunes Podcast (RENT:The PodCast). She also joined the original cast for a special encore performance.

Frenchie Davis appeared in the broadway musical Rent, from 2003 through 2007. Her regular roles were the power-house soloist in Seasons of Love, bag lady, and others. She also played the part of Joanne, on occasion.

American Idol topless photo controversy

After revealing pictures of season six American Idol contender Antonella Barba surfaced on the internet, many drew parallels to a similar situation involving season two contender Frenchie Davis. In an interview conducted for The New York Post on Monday, March 5th, 2007, Davis said, "I couldn't help but notice the difference between the manner in which she was dealt with and how I was dealt with.... I think it's fantastic if 'Idol' has evolved, and I think it's fantastic she won't have to go through what I went through four years ago … but if the rules have changed, I believe there should be something to make up for the fact that I was humiliated needlessly." According to Davis, she was up-front about her pictures: “When I first discovered that I had made it to Hollywood and found out I would be competing to get into the top 30 and then later in the top 12, they had given us all this paperwork to fill out, background checks and that whole thing. So when we were doing that I had a discussion with some members of the production staff and I exposed to them a piece of my past; that when I was 19 years old, I took some pictures and that’s not the person I am [anymore]. I wanted to be up-front about it. We talked about it and then nothing happened.” The “Idol” staff took no action then, but two months later, they decided that Frenchie’s participation would be inappropriate. “They had decided that because ‘American Idol’ was a family show, that they could not have me on the show because of the pictures I had taken – though they had never seen the pictures,” she told EuroWeb. She also added that no one was able to find the pictures in question as the website that featured them had been taken down.

Project Islamic H.O.P.E. activist Najee Ali has accused the show of racism: “It’s obvious that it’s a racial bias ... when you have a situation where a black contestant is punished and a similar situation happens to a white contestant and there is no punishment and they’re allowed to continue on the show.” According to EuroWeb, Ali staged a protest in front of The Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, CA on Tuesday, March 6th, 2007. Protesters are seeking another chance for Davis at the competition. Talk show co-host Rosie O’Donnell has commented on the "Idol" scandal; on The View, Tuesday, March 6th, 2007, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck used the justification that Davis was paid for her pictures whereas Barba was not. Rosie’s response: "I think it's racist. I do…I think it's because she's black."

Personal Life

Davis possesses a vocal range of Lyric Mezzo-Soprano.

In 2012, Davis came out as bisexual. She continues to be a strong and outspoken advocate for the Bisexual community, LGBTQ Youth and for LGBTQ People of Colour.

In 2013 she was the featured performer at the National LGBTQ Task Force's 25th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Atlanta GA where she explained that she had come out for all of the young LGBT people. "It's so wonderful to see all the young people here. You all are the reason that I chose to be out. Because it is important that you see people in the public eye who are not ashamed of who they are. It is ok to be true to you."

In 2014 Davis created a stir when she spoke out bluntly in response to the verdict in the Shooting of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn where the jury deadlocked on the charge of first-degree murder, saying "As an LGBT woman of color, I am having an extremely difficult time grasping WHY Matthew Shephard’s life is so much more valuable than Trayvon’s or Jordan’s????!?!?! Help me understand, y’all! Help me understand."