Chris Golightly: Contract mix-up caused 'American Idol' disqualification
By Reality TV World staff, 02/18/2010
Chris Golightly claims a strange misunderstanding over an expired recording contract is to blame for his disqualification from American Idol's ninth-season semifinals.
Golightly was shown on stage with the rest of the ninth season's Top 24 semifinalists at the end of American Idol's Wednesday night broadcast which revealed the semifinalists but was suddenly replaced without explanation by fellow Idol hopeful Timothy "Tim" Urban when the Top 24 contestants were individually introduced while dancing moments later.
Afterward, Fox released a late-night statement in which it said Golightly had been disqualified from American Idol's ninth season.
"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 an 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 hasn't released any additional details about why Golightly was deemed ineligible but the singer has been going public with his own explanations.
"Everything was fine when I made the Top 24," he toldUSA Today in a Thursday morning interview that appears to somewhat differ from the explanation he allegedly gave fellow Hollywood Week hopeful Samantha Musa late Wednesday night.
However Golightly told USA Today that shortly thereafter, Lawrence Franklin, his former manager, emailed American Idol's 19 Entertainment production company and claimed he was still under a recording contract with Franklin.
After being told about Franklin's claim and informed that being under contract would result in his AmericanIdol disqualification, Golightly told USA Today that he contacted Franklin and reminded him that his contract had actually ended a month before he had auditioned for Idol last summer, however a show producer still proceeded to call Golightly and tell him that he had been disqualified a day or two later.
According to Golightly, Franklin then allegedly sent Idol's producers another email in which he said there had been "a mix-up" and Golightly had been released from his contract before his audition but the producers decided it was too late and had already informed Urban of his alternate selection.
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"Since then, I've left them voicemails, but they've screened my calls," Golightly told USA Today. "They don't even answer me. Nobody."
Golightly said an Idol lawyer finally contacted him last night and said he was disqualified because he had not been forthcoming about the contract, but Golightly doesn't believe the explanation.
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"I went and looked this morning and I said, no, I was not in a contract," he said. "If he's trying to say that's what it was about, they're covering their a**."
Golightly told USA Today he's not currently considering suing American Idol or Franklin over the incident and just wants his semifinals spot back.
"Lawrence apologized to everybody, and I respect him for that," he said. "I don't want nobody getting hurt, I just want the spot I earned."
"This is not fair; I don't know what to do."
Golightly is not the first American Idol semifinalist or finalist to be disqualified from the competition.
During Idol's second season, semifinalist Jaered Andrews was disqualified over (later acquitted) charges of committing an assault that led to a man's death and then 23-year-old semifinalist Frenchie Davis was disqualified for having previously posed for faux "kiddie porn" photos.