"American Idol" contestant Chris Golightly has been disqualified from the top 24 and replaced with Tim Urban, Fox confirmed early Thursday morning (Feb. 18), in response to speculation over last night's episode that rolled out the season nine finalists .
"It has been determined that Chris Golightly is ineligible to continue in the competition, Fox said in a statement. " 'American Idol' contestant Tim Urban has replaced Golightly as part of the Top 24." Host Ryan Seacrest echoed the network's announcement on his Twitter page .
Reached by joesplaceblog.com  for comment, Golightly reportedy told the "Idol" fansite that he was axed because of an existing contract with a "boy band" that he hadn't disclosed during the auditions. According to the site, Golightly's contract actually expired in June of 2009, but he was unable to find the document confirming his release until after he was disqualified from the top 24, which allegedly occurred as recently as this Tuesday.
On Wednesday night's episode, Golightly appeared in the final group shot of the top 24 with host Ryan Seacrest, but was not shown when Seacrest called out each finalist one by one. Urban was not visible in the top 24 group shot but was later named by Seacrest; neither Golightly nor Urban's moment of truth before the judges aired during the episode.
Golightly is the latest in a string of "American Idol" contestants to be disqualified after making the show's Top 24; most recently, season eight hopeful Joanna Pacitti was nixed amid controversy about her professional recording experience and close relationships with some executives at 19 Entertainment, which also produces "Idol."
A rumor about the disqualification of Michael Lynche, another contestant who made it to the top 24 last night, was not addressed by Fox. Lynche's status on "Idol" seems to be secure, despite reports that the Queens native was disqualified when his father leaked the news that he'd made it through Hollywood.
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