FremantleMedia has banned its Australian Idol contestants from discussing religion in any press interviews, says the Sydney Morning Herald.
The shutdown follows ongoing reports, led by Today Tonight, that a number of finalists were members of Hillsong Church. These were refuted by Idol, but contestants were later qualified by TT as being affiliated with the Assemblies of God churches.
“They’ve all been really upset by the stories that are floating around. The interview can’t go ahead if you ask them about religion,” a TEN spokeswoman told SMH.
An interview with the Sun-Herald was set to be cancelled, but went ahead after questions about the Idols’ personal beliefs were off the agenda.
Idol contestants, including finalists, have previously spoken about their Christian faith in profile clips.
On the weekend one contestant, Tarisai Vushe, was seemingly unaware of the official line. “It’s not allowed? I didn’t know about that,” she said.