Chris Golightly's 'Idol' Disqualification: Two Different Versions of the Story
Just when I thought I got the story of Chris Golightly's last minute disqualification from American Idol down pat, things get a little more complicated.

First, details from last night: Golightly made it to the Top 24, but was dropped at the very last minute, allegedly because of an old contract. That's why we saw him in the group clip from last night's episode, even if there was no mention of him making the cut. The next thing we know, Tim Urban was in the Top 24.

Golightly first talked to Joe's Place Blog last night, saying that he was dropped by Idol producers because he was unable to prove that he was released from his previous contract. He admits that he was part of a boy band before, but he was officially released in June last year.

The following day, he talked to USA Today, adding that his troubles began when a former manager, Franklin Lawrence, emailed 19 Entertainment, saying that he was still under a recording contract. Golightly was then told of the situation, after which he tried to clarify to both Idol producers and his manager that he was released. A couple of days later, Idol officially disqualified him: this was a day before the Top 24 reveal.

But shortly after he was told of the disqualification, Franklin contacted both parties, saying that there was a mix-up: Golightly was actually released from his contract. It was too late, however, as Tim Urban was already notified, and there was nothing they could do to reverse the situation.

"Since then, I've left them voicemails, but they've screened my calls," he said. "They don't even answer me." He said he later received a phone call from Idol's lawyers, saying he was disqualified because he was being dishonest by not revealing his old contract. But, in another interview with Joe's Place Blog, he said he admitted to the contract during the background interviews, but insisted he was already released.

But Franklin, the former manager, has a different take on events. Talking to USA Today, he insisted that Golightly was under contract. He claims the singer signed a new contract in May last year, two months before his Idol audition, and a month after he was supposedly released from his contract. He admits to contacting 19 Entertainment after Golightly made the cut, but claims he was willing to help provide documents so the singer can catch a break.

"We asked them for release documents, and they were supposed to send them over last Friday," he said. "We were prepared to give our own release documents, but after waiting on the attorneys from 19 to send over their paperwork, time kind of ran out for Chris."

"They did advise Chris that as long as we released him, he'd be fine," he added. "They told him that last Friday. And we were prepared then, that night, at any time, to release him ... We did want Chris to succeed. We want him to continue. I don't think it's fair how they're doing him."

Idol seems to be set in their decision. The official stand looks something like this: since indicators point at Golightly having a contract, they'd rather play it safe and disqualify him.

Now, here's the question. Was it the case of misplaced paperwork, or a mistake on either Franklin or Golightly? That said, it seems Golightly's not going anywhere closer to the Idol stage any time now.

(Image courtesy of Fox/