TAYLOR HICKS and some of his fellow “American Idol” finalists are defending the show against allegations of racism, entertainment news has learned.

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As you may remember, 9 former contestants are planning to sue “American Idol” for allegedly being racist by humiliating their contestants… especially African-Americans with criminal pasts.

But four finalists from different seasons have weighed in on the new scandal, saying that the show is not firing contestants just because they’re black (like they allegedly did when they gave Jermaine Jones last year for keeping his multiple arrests a secret).

Season 6 finalist Melinda Doolittle tell TMZ:

“It is shocking to see such allegations. In my experience on the show, the ‘Idol’ team strives to champion everyone, regardless of race. However, each contestant is explicitly told that the withholding of information that may compromise the show or artist, can and will result in immediate disqualification.”

Season 4 finalist Vonzell Solomon adds:

“I didn’t experience any of that [racial discrimination] … all of our contracts were clear about how the background checks worked and that we could be disqualified if we lied about our past.”

Casey Abrams, a finalist from the 10th season, responds to the issue by slamming the bitter ex-contestants:

“I don’t know why they are biting the hand that fed them. Those guys beat thousands of people who wanted to be on TV. Idol is picky, but I’m not sure about racist.”

The only winner among this defense team, Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks, also breaks his silence to say:

“American Idol is for everyone.  All walks of life go through the show.  Not once did I see the show discriminate towards anyone.  It’s all about the votes.”

Come to think about it, the show doesn’t have a problem with crowning black people as season winners—namely Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Jordin Sparks.

Stay tuned…

Photos By PR Photos / Video Screen Grab

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