It's just not American Idol without an early-season, hastily explained, fan-disappointing disqualification of one of the contestants.

This year, heartstring-tugging crooner Chris Golightly fell victim to the Idol ax after seemingly making the cut as one of season nine's top 24 finalists. The curly haired Los Angeles auditioner even got his backstory told, informing viewers he was bounced around more than 25 foster homes as a child.

The nation was pulling for the 25-year-old and, up until last night, it seemed to be working.

Golightly was chosen as one of the top two dozen performers during Wednesday night's show—only to be mysteriously absent from the usual show-ending, contestant-boogying montage, replaced inexplicably by 20-year-old Texan Tim Urban.

Not even that oracle of Idol, our BFF Ryan Seacrest, could give us a straight answer as to why.

But a source confirmed to E! News that producers disqualified Golightly from the competition because he "did not disclose the pertinent information about any current or prior label deals to producers during the audition process."

So what does that mean? Simply this: Golightly used to be under contract with a boy band, which he claims expired in July 2009, the same month he auditioned for Idol (and assured Idol producers he was not currently under any contract).

Problem is, after he sold his car and paid off the lease on his apartment in order to bankroll his trip to Hollywood, the label came a-calling, claiming his talent as, well, their talent. The aspiring singer was unable to find his contract release forms (and thus prove he could continue in the competition) and was subsequently given the ax.

Adding insult to injury, he was only informed of the producers' decision to cut him loose a few hours before last night's show.

We're sure Tim Urban will be great and all, but dang, Idol—where's your heart?

(Originally published Feb. 18, 2010, at 12:17 p.m. PT)


One guy who isn't missing out on any opportunities is our own Ryan Seacrest. Look at him flaunt his superior time-management skills in our Ryan Seacrest Has a Million Jobs gallery.

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