Bo Bice battles checkered past

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Bo Bice’s goal of becoming the next American Idol may be a little more difficult now, after charges of his prior drug use went public last week.

The website,, posted a story last Thursday stating Bice, a Helena native, was arrested four years ago for felony cocaine possession. That charge, along with a separate marijuana count from 2003, was dropped after he entered a drug diversion program.

Bice did plead guilty to misdemeanor counts of public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia in December, according to the website.

Fox TV, which airs the popular TV program, released a statement later that day indicating Bice would remain on the show, despite the arrests.

Unlike previous contestants who were booted off the show, Bice told American Idol officials about his history during the interviewing process.

&uot;From the beginning, Bo was honest and forthcoming in revealing his previous indiscretions and their outcome,&uot; a network spokesperson said.

Bice, a 29-year-old who was one of two rockers in the final 12, had acknowledged a checkered past in previous media interviews. He recently joined New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Indian Springs, where he has become active with the music department.

&uot;He’s become an integral part of our worship team,&uot; New Hope pastor Donny Acton said in a recent interview. &uot;Ever since he came that first time, everybody has fallen in love with him.&uot;

Acton said Bice is a &uot;work in progress&uot; who is growing in his faith. Bice has spoken along with Acton at Oak Mountain High School’s First Priority group and volunteered for other church-related activities.

He did particularly well on last week’s episode, winning praise from all three judges for his performance of &uot;I Don’t Want to Be.&uot;

Bice is not the only American Idol contestant with a checkered history.

Fellow contestant Scott Savol, who is also among the top five contestants, has been arrested on a domestic violence charge and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct