"It has been determined that Chris Golightly is ineligible to continue in the competition. American Idol contestant Tim Urban has replaced Golightly as part of the Top 24," Fox stated in a late Wednesday night announcement released shortly after the conclusion of the episode's West Coast broadcast.
Neither Golightly, a 25-year-old shoe salesman from Los Angeles, CA, or Urban, a 20-year-old college student from Duncanville, TX, were shown meeting with American Idol's judges and learning their "Final Judgement" fate earlier in the episode.
Fox didn't immediately release any details about why Golightly was deemed ineligible, however Samantha Musa -- another ninth-season Idol hopeful who was cut earlier in the season's Hollywood Week round -- said Golightly is claiming it was due to a "bogus old contract."
"Just got off the phone with Chris GoLightly," Musa wrote in a series of Twitter postings shortly after the episode's East Coast broadcast. "He was disqualified yesterday, after already being told he was in the Top 24, over some bogus old contract. The contract expired, but they disqualified him for not telling them. He is talking to lawyers, but doubt they can do anything."
"You're allowed to have old contracts, they just need to know about them," she added. "I think he put that he had it, but the guy he was in it with called Idol and said he still had contractual rights over him. Finally found the contract, expired in June. He is upset cause he says it was a misunderstanding."
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In addition to appearing in on-air commercials Fox aired before American Idol's ninth-season premiere, Golightly had also been spotlighted during the show's coverage of the Los Angeles auditions at which he had auditioned.
"I grew up in foster care, in the foster system in I was 18 months," he told Idol host Ryan Seacrest. "Probably over 25 [families]."
"That time in my life was pretty rough... you had nobody to really say 'Great job.' When I was a kid I was so wanting to be loved. Music is always where I felt most secure."
Golightly's hard-luck story had sparked disagreement among American Idol's judging panel, with guest judge Katy Perry objecting to Kara DioGuardi's suggestion that it should be a factor in whether he should be advanced to the competition's Hollywood Week round.
"You're one of my favorites today, if not my favorite, and the reason is that I think we might look back at this audition and go 'Wow,'" DioGuardi said after Golightly had performed "Stand By Me" at his audition.
"Because you're the kind of kid who has just enough talent and just enough of a story and pain and stuff that you've gone through in your life to really connect with it and I think you're only going to get better."
However Perry disagreed.
"This is not a Lifetime movie sweetheart!" she told DioGuardi.
"He has an amazing story but you have to have talent. Everyone has an amazing story," Perry explained.
But in the end, all four judges still voted to advance Golightly to Hollywood Week.
"I wasn't getting what Kara got here. I just thought 'Could have been in a boy band, doesn't really know who you are,' nice voice, old fashion audition," Cowell said. "It's a 'Y' but a small one."
"Listen, I respect your story, I understand where you come from. So it's a small 'Y' but hopefully it can grow," Perry added.
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