British music mogul Simon Cowell is urging American Idol wannabes to "come clean" about their criminal pasts after another scandal has blown up in producers' faces.

Cowell, who is among the judges on the hit show, is tired of having to get rid of top picks when their scandalous pasts come back to haunt them.

And now he faces having to axe twins TERRELL and Derrell Brittenum from the competition after discovering they refused to mention a forgery, theft and financial identity fraud rap when producers asked them to disclose any legal matters on entering the competition.

The twins became instant hits on Tuesday night (17JAN06) when they performed in the first show of the new American Idol season.

Cowell says, "I like them, we put them through. This might be history, nothing surprises me on the show. It happens."

And he wants all other contestants to reveal all when it comes to their criminal pasts - or risk immediate ejection from the show.

He says, "It happens every year, so 'Come clean guys, tell us what you've done!'"

The talent show's past scandals have included contestants failing to divulge criminal records for battery and theft, and one wannabe was exposed as an internet sex star.