Frenchie Davis: Laura Farr/ZUMA Press/Newscom
Gary Susman
May 09, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Broadway’s ”Rent,” the long-running musical about talented young people fighting poverty, prudery, and obscurity, will soon have a cast member who’s publicly struggled with all three. On May 16, Playbill reports, ousted ”American Idol” contestant Frenchie Davis will join the cast. She’ll be a member of the chorus, with a featured solo on the show’s big number, ”Seasons of Love.”

Davis, the 23-year-old with the plus-sized lungs who became a fan favorite on ”Idol,” auditioned for ”Rent” shortly after ”Idol” producers booted her in February for having appeared on a porn website. ”We go all over the country to find the hottest talent, so Frenchie fits in exactly with the kind of people who are in ‘Rent,”’ the show’s producer, Jeffrey Sellers, told the New York Post. ”The truth of it is, here’s this young woman who’s a college student in Washington, D.C., who comes out of the exact same experience as many of the other cast members that we always get for ‘Rent.”’ After her audition, Sellers said, ”All of the young people on our ‘Rent’ team said ‘Get Frenchie! Get Frenchie!”’

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