3rd Update: From the Los Angeles Times:
A source close to the show now tells us that Pacitti was disqualified to “avoid the appearance of impropriety.”
In the past week, tabloids had been reporting on a private relationship between Pacitti and executives of 19 Management – one of the companies which oversees “Idol.”
Her previous ties to 19M are probably why she was disqualified..
Joanna Pacitti, the American Idol season 8 hopeful who was shown advancing to the top 36 on Wednesday night’s telecast, has been booted from the competition and replaced by 26-year-old Felicia Barton. “It has been determined that Joanna Pacitti is ineligible to continue in the competition, ” stated a Fox press release sent early Thursday morning announcing the show’s full roster of semifinalists.
HOLY CRAP! Could it be Joanna’s ties to 19Management executives Michelle Young and Roger Widynowski are to blame?
UPDATE: Felicia is also listed instead of Joanna on the American Idol website, HERE.
Developing: Michael Slezak just gave me the heads up on this breaking story from EW:
Joanna Pacitti, the American Idol season 8 hopeful who’s been dogged by rumors of a close relationship with a pair of 19 Entertainment executives as well as a previous deal with A&M records, was not listed as one of the show’s 36 semifinalists in a press release sent by the Fox publicity department earlier tonight. This, despite the fact that tonight’s Idol telecast showed Pacitti advancing to the viewer-controlled voting portion of the competition. Stranger still, the name of Felicia Barton, who was shown getting eliminated by the judges during Wednesday night’s final Hollywood Week telecast, was included in Fox’s Top 36 announcement.