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Tyler Grady

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The top 24 competition has yet to officially began and there has already been a major shake up on American Idol.

Curly-haired contestant Chris Golightly was removed from the competition this week and replaced by Tim Urban in the Top 24.  Chris is the 19-year-old Texas native who spoke in the audition rounds of living in 24 different foster homes as a child.“It has been determined that Chris Golightly is ineligible to continue in the competition,” says FOX in a press release.

The show’s  host Ryan Seacrest echoed the same statement on his Twitter page, where he also announced that for the first time in the show’s history, the contestants will have MySpace, Twitter and Facebook pages on the Idol hub. Ryan did not elaborate on why Golightly was booted.

However, Joes Place Blog was able to score an interview with Chris and revealed the exact reason he got booted. According to Chris, he had an old contract with a Boy Band that expired in June 2009.  Chris tried out for AI in July 2009 and when asked if he was entered into any contracts, he answered no.

After making it into the top 24 in January 2010.  Chris’s former manager then called Chris and American Idol and told them that he still had a valid contract. Chris denied this but couldn’t find his copy of the release. American Idol unfortunately decided to cut Chris when he couldn’t prove he wasn’t under contract.  Chris’s old manager ended up finding the contract release and emailed it to American Idol, but according to Chris, the people at AI are not taking his calls.

Even worse, Chris was told by American Idol he can no longer audition for the show again because he made the top 46.

Also, no word yet on whether or not Michael “Big Mike” Lynche was dismissed from the competition. It was reported back in January that he got the axe after his father revealed to a Florida newspaper that he made the Top 24, breaking the confidentiality rule of the show. As of today, his profile is still intact on Idol’s website.

The official Top 24 semifinalists are as follows:

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Could the Semifinalists of American Idol’s ninth season have been revealed? That answer is yes according to Joesplace, who has managed to correctly reveal the identities of American Idol’s semifinalists for the last two years. He has now released the alleged names of nearly all of the ninth-season’s Top 24 semifinalists.

Four of those alleged semifinalist include contestants — Katie Stevens, Tyler Grady, Ashley Rodriguez and Jermaine Sellers — whose auditions aired last week during American Idol’s two-night premiere, from Boston and Atlanta.


This spoiler list is even more likely to be accurate because unlike previous AI seasons in which Hollywood Week occurred in the fall and ended with the final 50 contestants returning to California to learn their fates at a later date, this ninth-season’s Hollywood round took place just last week with the contestants learning their semifinalist status on Friday.

American Idol’s ninth-season Hollywood coverage which will feature the introduction of new judge Ellen DeGeneres, is set to officially begin airing on Tuesday, February 9, continuing into the following night. The top 24 semifinalists — 12 males and 12 females — will then officially be revealed on the February 17 show.

According to Joesplace spoilers, 20 of the ninth-season Top 24 semifinalists are:

- Lacey Brown, a 23-year-old from Amarillo, TX

- Michelle Delamor, a 19-year-old from Miami Beach, FL

- Lee DeWyze from Chicago, IL

- David Duke, a 23-year-old from Waxahachie, TX

- Katelyn Epperly from Des Moines, IA

- Andrew Garcia from Moreno Valley, CA

- Christopher “Chris” Golightly from Orange County, CA

- Tyler Grady

- Benjamin “Ben” Honeycutt from Ringgold, GA

- Casey James from Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

- Aaron Kelly, a 16-year-old from Sonestown, PA

- Alexander “Alex” Lambert from North Richland Hills, TX

- Michael Lynche

- John Park from New Jersey

- Ashley Rodriguez from Boston, MA

- Lillian “Lilly” Scott from Denver/Boulder, CO

- Jermaine Sellers, a 25-year-old from Joliet, IL

- Katie Stevens

- Haeley Vaughn, a 16-year-old from Fort Collins, CO

- Janell Wheeler from Orlando, FL

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