Update on Chris Golightly: Manager Claims He Signed a Two-year Recording Contract in May

Update: Brian Mansfield from USAToday spoke with Chris Golightly’s manager who claims Chris signed a new 2 year recording contract in May 2009. The manager, Lawrence Franklin, sent releases over to 19’s lawyer, and “time kind of ran out for Chris”.

Franklin says he was willing to work with 19. But, if Chris already had a contract, that automatically makes him ineligible for Idol. I don’t see room for negotiation there. Right now, we’ve got two very different stories being told. Who knows what the truth is.

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Joe’s Place spoke with disqualified Idol contestant, Chris Golightly on the phone again today, and has a bit more detail from Chris on the events that led up to his DQ:

I talked to Chris Golightly again just now. He has been getting calls from media, but is really overwhelmed and doesn’t know what else to say. He has not been on the internet and has no idea how this story has been picked up. Choking back tears, he just said “I just want the position that I earned”.

The Manager that previously had Chris under contract to be one of the members of boy band “dream 5?, doesn’t sound like he knows what he is doing. This guy seemed to really think that Chris was under contract still when he called Idol last week.

He first found out something was amiss when he received an email from the 19 Attorney sent to the top 24 contestants Attorney stating that “If Chris is in a recording contract, he will be unable to party in the prize”. When Chris got word of this, he contacted the Dream 5 manager and asked what was going on, that he was going to get disqualified because of what the manager was stating. Chris told him that his contract was over June of 2009. The manager then started doing some actual digging, and found Chris contract release dated June, 2009.

The manager then send Chris an apology and forwarded a copy of the release to everyone involved. This happened, however, after Idol had informed Chris of his disqualification and brought back Tim Urban.

Then, instead of disqualifying Chris for actually having a contract when he did not, Idol then told Chris that he was being disqualified for being “dishonest” and not revealing a prior contract. Chris states that he did indeed tell the producers on September 3, 2009 (his birthday and when he made it to Hollywood) while they were doing the background interview on him, that he did have a prior contract, but he was released in June and had no current contract.

If this is how it all went down, I feel really bad for Chris, and it’s a big lesson in “keep your paperwork in order”. What a sh*tty break…

About mj santilli 33696 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

32 Comments

  1. Aww what a crappy situation for all involved. I guess once the disqualified Chris and notified Tim that he would be in top 24 they could not (or would not) put the genie back in the bottle. Would have been unfair to Tim Urban to tell him he was in and then kick him out once Chris cleared things up. Just unfortunate all the way around. If I were Chris I would go all “before he cheats” on that boy band manager

  2. This is really too bad. But I agree with mmb that AI can’t kick Tim Urban out now. I suppose they could put Chris G back in and make it the Top 25, similar to the Top 13 last year, and just eliminate an extra guy in the first week? But I doubt they’ll do that.

  3. So, hmm, basically he was DQ for nothing. Way to go 19! I guess they didn’t want to waste time and they brought back Tim Urban as soon as Chris’s former manager first appeared. They didn’t have the time to wait for Chris to clarify the matter. Their excuse sucks.

  4. I feel bad for Chris. I thought he was pretty good. Why can’t they just let him and Tim both compete too now and cut 3 guys for the first elimination week.

  5. I think the right thing to do would be to make it a Top 25. Unfortuntely, Chris should have worked quietly behind the scenes to try to get back on the show. By speaking to a blogger, it complicates things further.

    I feel bad for him.

  6. I agree that they should make it a top 25, but I don’t fault 19 for the way they handled this. They have rules. This is a television show with production deadlines. Chris could not prove he was not under contract by the deadline so TPTB did what they had to do to meet the production deadline.

  7. Surely no one is surprised that AI would do this. I’m not. He does need some good, solid advice, though, and I hope somehow he can find it.

  8. I agree, mmb. I mean, it was up to Chris to prove that the previous contract was over. He really should have had that paperwork in order. It’s not that I don’t feel for him; it’s just that 19 has legitimate business reasons for needing to be certain that all of those who appear on the show are free and clear of any other claims to their management or artistic product, and this is happening in real time, and it’s reasonable for them to have deadlines.

    Of course, I was never that impressed with him anyway, and didn’t really think he deserved to make Top 24, but since the producers were ready to put him there, I do feel bad for him that it has all turned out this way.

  9. Its sad that one small bullshit mistake will have probably destoried any chance this guy had of making it big….

  10. if he told about this prior contract during a background interview, he did nothing wrong.
    In that case, Idol should bring him back because there is no ground to his DQ

  11. So, hmm, basically he was DQ for nothing. Way to go 19! I guess they didn’t want to waste time and they brought back Tim Urban as soon as Chris’s former manager first appeared.

    But they didn’t really have time. Whoever is going to appear next week needs time to get to LA, pick a song, practice, do a bio clip, have promo photos shot, etc, etc, etc. Plus, they kind of had to announce the Top 24 yesterday.

    If I had to fault anybody for timing, it’s the manager. Chris was heavily promoted in American Idol Commercials before Christmas. He was featured in January in an audition show. Yet this dude waits until the week before the Top 24 are announced to spring this?

    I’m always ready to light the torches and grab a pitchfork to form a mob to march on TPTB’s lair, but I just can’t fault them here. A Top 25 is I suppose an option, but I hate it when they have extra eliminations. Chris is already heavily promo’ed and this would give him an extra boost so it means that one more of the unheralded cannon fodders will have one less week to make an impression. They may want this every bit as much as Chris.

  12. What a mess. That’s unfortunate for Chris. I didn’t care for him, but if they put him through, he deserves his shot. If nothing else, they should give him a free pass to the Top 24 next year.

  13. if he told about this prior contract during a background interview, he did nothing wrong.

    But the question is, does he have proof he told them?

    I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that only one shoe has dropped so far. ;)

  14. Life’s a bitch. Chris is responsible for Chris and should have had all his ducks in a row before he got on that plane to LA for Hollywood week. If he signed a contract at any point it was up to him and him alone to verify that the contract was now null and void. Passing the buck seems to be the way things are done, now a days, but Chris is an adult and should shoulder the responsibilities of an adult. 19 is perfectly right in holding to their decision…the guy signed a contract with 19 and then couldn’t back up his “clearances” to sign it. That’s life!!

  15. You can have a PRIOR contract, and that’s not a big deal, that’s not a problem. You just can’t be UNDER a contract. So if he wasn’t UNDER a Contract, what’s the deal? They can make it a top 25…It wont hurt them. Also what else bad can happen to this kid?

  16. I hope Ellen puts Chris on her show! She can have him sing and that can open doors for him.

  17. I think AI should reserve a spot in Top 24 next year for Chris.
    I don’t really like him but fair is fair.

  18. A Top 25 is I suppose an option, but I hate it when they have extra eliminations. Chris is already heavily promo’ed and this would give him an extra boost so it means that one more of the unheralded cannon fodders will have one less week to make an impression. They may want this every bit as much as Chris.

    That should technically be doable. Two-hour shows are scheduled for Feb 24 and Mar 3 when guys will be performing. Maybe they could have two eliminations next week as planned and then three week after next. That would leave a scheduled eight to perform on the one-hour show Mar 10.

  19. Wow. If that is the case, that really sucks :-( Don’t know what the options are, but yeah, I feel Chris deserves some kind of break for having things messed up that badly for him.

  20. That’s a tough break, but really, if you are going to audition for the show wouldn’t you make sure you had any paperwork regarding a previous contract in order and at hand? That is really the only rule AI has, and EVERYONE knows about it. The audition process is so drawn out, he had plenty of time to track things down.

  21. Brian Mansfield just updated the story at idol chatter. it appears that chris was still under contract when he auditioned all the way up until january…the management company contacted 19 to work on a release (eg they would release him from the contract to compete)..but instead they replaced him. if that is how it really went down, i have no problem with 19s actions. he should have got out of his contract prior to auditioning and starting hollywood week. i don’t think tptb want a bunch of people with current contracts competing/auditioning and then getting out of the contracts when they are picked for top 24 just so they can compete. But regardless, it seems clear that this guy did not have his ducks in a row in time to meet the production schedule. tough break, but it is what it is. he’ll probably get a lot of publicity from this and get to make the talk show rounds..

  22. So, it looks like Chris has lied. According to Idol Chatter he had just signed a new two year deal in May 2009.

    It’s like watching a tennis match.

  23. As important as the contract issue is to Idol, I seriously doubt that their questioning in that regard consists solely of a yes/no question asking if they are currently under a contract. I would bet the questioning includes past contracts and asks for specific details. Idol isn’t about to simply trust these kids with something that important, so they’d definitely want to follow up on any and all potential contract issues themselves, which probably would have consisted of them having Chris provide proof of his release from the contract well prior to the top 24 being chosen.

    So if they are saying Chris is out for not disclosing a former contract, it’s not Idol simply punishing him for not disclosing. It’s about the fact that his nondisclosure caused them a problem at the 11th hour that there simply wasn’t time to fix.

    I feel bad for the guy, but it certainly seems like he’s the one who screwed up.

  24. lorismile:

    It’s like watching a tennis match.

    Yeah no kidding! ROFL!

  25. I feel badly for him too, but it is his responsibility to prove he has complied with all the rules and is eligible. Not 19’s and not some former manager’s! If his story is true and he had all his paperwork in order, he could have resolved this whole thing in a few minutes. I’m a lot more upset about Angela Martin than I am this kid.

  26. So, it looks like Chris has lied. According to Idol Chatter he had just signed a new two year deal in May 2009.

    I always look at it from the perspective that there are at least 3 sides to every story, and then the truth which may be different from any of the sides of the story LOL. Somehow I don’t think we’ve heard the full truth yet. If the IDOL commercials featuring Chris G aired a while ago, then why wouldn’t this manager have come forth then and allowed for time to straighten the mess out? If he cared that much about Chris, why didn’t he just tear up the contract? I think it’s possible the manager is a gold digger.

    I find it very hard to believe that a contestant would flat out lie about a contract. No matter what, I feel badly for Chris. He sold his last asset (his car) to buy out of his apartment lease, and has nothing now.

  27. If his story is true and he had all his paperwork in order, he could have resolved this whole thing in a few minutes.

    Maybe this is true, but honestly, I see artists as non-detailed people who trust in others (managers) to handle the details. Besides, the guy just finished moving out of his apartment so he would be ready to move to CA for the show. I don’t know about anyone else, but the times in my life I’ve moved, it was very hard to find things with all of the boxes. Some things have never reappeared LOL!

  28. The more I hear about this situation, the worse it sounds for Chris. If he really was under contract and told AI he wasn’t when their rules clearly state nobody under contract is eligible to audition, then they were totally justified in DQing him. I hope getting dropped by AI is the worst result he realizes from this.

  29. Who knows what the truth is, but it sounds like Chris was led to believe something was in the works, but nothing happened so he moved on. And then the old manager popped out of the woodwork or something to that effect.

    However, if there is a contract there should be some work to go with it and I haven’t seen any evidence of anything tangible so the contract was pretty nebulous. Regardless, if a contract did exist, rules are rules, and Chris did not have all his ducks in a row. Either way, It’s too bad they let contestants get that far before checking out their background.

  30. Clearly this (Golightly) wasn’t somebody that 19 intended to put through into the tour group so anticipate that Mr. Urban will soon get the Felicia Barton treatment and an early heave ho.

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