Both Fox and Ryan Seacrest have confirmed Chris Golightly was disqualified from American Idol. “It has been determined that Chris Golightly is ineligible to continue in the competition,” the statement said. AI Now previously reported that Chris had a previous contract that he did not disclose to producers even if it has since lapsed.

American Idol: Tim Urban Joins Top 24 as Chris Golightly Disqualified

Chris has since talked to Joe’s Place Blog, claiming that he was disqualified yesterday because he was unable to show proof that he was released from a previous contract he had with a performing group. Despite his efforts to show such proof at the last minute, producers wouldn’t take his call. He also claims he is barred from trying out next year because he made it to this year’s Top 46.

Eagle-eyed fans might have spotted something odd with the way American Idol wrapped up tonight.

Remember Chris Golightly? Yep, the guy from the Los Angeles auditions who went back and forth from foster care, the guy who just wants to be loved. His name was on the leaked list of Top 24 contestants from the very beginning. Now, early this morning there were reports that he was indeed part of the Top 24, but backed out at the very last minute.

Cue Tim Urban, this largely unknown kid who apparently auditioned in Dallas and only popped up during the first day of Hollywood week. I remember him for taking on a David Cook song and butchering it. (I remember my David Cook fan friends going “aww bleep!” on it.) The same reports this morning said that he was a last-minute replacement for Chris, which is why we saw him on the goofy dance-off montage at the very end of tonight’s episode when clearly Chris was on an earlier clip with Ryan and the rest of the semifinalists.

You did notice it, right? Ryan was talking about “one last slot” between Thaddeus Johnson and eventual semifinalist Andrew Garcia. It’s not exactly one last slot: if you guys were counting, you would’ve noticed that up to that point, there were only 22 people on board. Spoilers already said the 16-year-old Thaddeus was cut, so with Andrew being the 23rd, what happened to the very last slot?

My answer: some last-minute editing on American Idol‘s part.

During the Hollywood auditions, Chris slowly disappeared from the radar, while at the same time, they began giving Tim some more prominence. Most importantly, they didn’t screen footage of Tim talking to the judges (because surely he got cut there) nor of Chris being accepted into the semifinals. They just acted like it didn’t exist, at least until the goofy dance-offs.

What they did here is interesting, considering what happened last year. Remember Joanna Pacitti, the ringer of a contestant who got disqualified at the very last minute, because of her professional connections with some of Idol’s producers? I think the show tried to avert such a surprise situation by editing Chris out and Tim in at the very last minute. (Reports also suggest that Tim was initially cut after a sing-off with John Park, the glee kid.) Last year I watched Idol, saw Joanna make the cut, and rushed to write an article about her elimination just hours later. Looks like there isn’t a need to do that this time.

Speculation says that Chris backed out at the very last minute, for reasons unknown. I don’t think he was disqualified for the same reasons as Joanna. Then again, I can’t verify that much since his MySpace account seems to have been deleted. His reasons for going are, at the moment, all still up in the air.

To be frank, it doesn’t change things for me. Chris’ back story grated, while I wasn’t impressed with Tim not doing “Come Back To Me” nicely. But there’s an inside joke within the Cook fan base, that a contestant who auditions on Idol using a Cook song always makes it far. Tim, you definitely did your homework.

(Images courtesy of Fox/

Henrik Batallones

Staff Writer, BuddyTV