Last Tuesday on American Idol, Jersey boys JP and Rich Molfetta sparked the latest flare-up between the judges. The twin brothers, both (obviously) 27, crooned Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You," simultaneously earning Randy and Paula's praise and disdainful glares from Simon and guest judge Gene Simmons, who declared them too old to work the boy-band shtick. Then on Wednesday, Rich returned sans JP for another audition — and got greenlit for Hollywood! Is JP bitter? Here, TV Guide Online's Daniel R. Coleridge doubles his pleasure by ringing the rejected twin on his celly for the 411...TV Guide Online: I'm confused. Were you the hot twin in the sleeveless T-shirt?
JP Molfetta: [ Laughs] No, I was in the Bert and Ernie shirt. That's because I didn't know the auditions were going to be a seven- to eight-day thing. So I had to buy something clean to wear, and they didn't have any fly gear at the Gap. I just went as an average American kid. TVGO: Your New Orleans audition took seven or eight days?
JP: I can't give behind-the-scenes details, but I will let you know that you go through a series of [auditions] before you even get to see Randy, Simon and Paula. You want to make an impression there, so that you'll get on TV. TVGO: Tell me the scoop on what we didn't see on screen.
JP: The true story is that Rich and I auditioned separately, but for the final round, all the twins were told we had to compete together — and that's the last thing we wanted. Then they separated us. Richard wound up singing three songs and I sang two or three, plus our song together. You didn't see that. That's why Randy and Paula got so angry and made such a hoopla — we had just sung for a good eight minutes, apparently to their liking, so it made no sense [for Simon] to put us through that exercise just to cut us again. TVGO: Is it true Rich went back to reaudition without your knowledge?
JP: No, that is not how it happened. When [we were eliminated] in New Orleans, we were so bummed, we didn't even think of going back. Then it just ate at us. I called him up while I was away on vacation in Greece — I'd had my trip planned for a year — and told Richard to go reaudition in Vegas. I told him, "Bro, we can't be grouped together if you go without me." TVGO: Did you at least have fun in Greece?
JP: My vacation was ruined. I'm a singer-songwriter, so I wrote a ton of songs 'cause I was emotionally distraught! [Laughs] TVGO: If your brother wins American Idol — or maybe becomes a finalist with a record deal — will you resent him?
JP: It would be natural. Had this happened maybe five years ago, I would be 100 percent beaten up about it. Yes, you're gonna get p---ed off, why not? But can I be honest with you? I'm sorta over that. At this stage of my life, I'm just looking for an opportunity we can seize. If it means me being in the background for a moment, that's what it means. His success is only going to allow me to be more successful. TVGO: If Rich gets rich and famous, you could kidnap him and steal his identity like on All My Children.
JP: [Laughs] Yes, I'm so absorbed with Rich that I'll just change my name and become Rich! TVGO: Have you two ever switched places?
JP: Yes, it is something we've done. Growing up, we used to break up with each other's girlfriends! You don't really get a chance to do that too much, though, because our friends would call us on it. TVGO: Would you ever audition for American Idol again yourself?
JP: That's a good question. I really can't comment on it, but if you stay tuned, you might find out what happens... TVGO: Oh, so you are coming back?
JP: [Coyly] I didn't say anything, 'cause you never know. I just said if you stay tuned, you may find out! TVGO: OK, well, if you appeared on the show again, would you make a better wardrobe choice?
JP: I would show up looking fly! You're never gonna see a Sesame Street shirt on me again. TVGO: By the way, what did you think of arrested auditioner Leroy Wells?
JP: Oh yeah, Captain Charisma. What you guys saw of Leroy was a toned-down version — he was over-the-top like that for five or six days! [Puts on a funny voice] I'm guessin' the crack cocaine runs through his veins kinda smoooooth. He had to be on something.