Stephen M. Silverman
January 19, 2006 08:00 AM

Memphis twins Terrell and Derrell Brittenum made their big TV debuts Tuesday night, auditioning before the cameras on American Idol, but their next appearances are likely to be before the judge.

Terrell has been in jail since Jan. 10 on an outstanding warrant for charges related to the illegal purchase of a car in Rockdale County, Ga., east of Atlanta, reports the Commercial Appeal newspaper. Derrell was expected to turn himself in on the same charges of forgery, theft by deception and financial identity fraud.

The two 28-year-olds stand accused of using another man’s identity to buy a 2005 Dodge Magnum in June. But both brothers refused extradition to Georgia, leading to new arrest warrants. An extradition hearing is pending.

In September they auditioned for the FOX TV smash and impressed the show’s judges to continue to the next round. Segments of the show have already been recorded and will air during the next few weeks.

FOX Broadcasting Co. refused comment to the Associated Press on the Brittenums or their status on the show. Idol‘s return Tuesday boasted its best-ever season premiere ratings: 35.5 million viewers, a 6 percent increase over last year’s debut, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Both twins have previous arrest records. Terrell has an arrest record for a traffic violation and a charge of disorderly conduct for which he paid a $50 fine. Derrell Brittenum was arrested in 1998 for theft over $500 and in 2000 for contempt of court and passing bad checks, court records show.

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