Joanna Pacitti disqualified as American Idol 8 finds its top 36

Joanna Pacitti has been removed from American Idol 8 because “[i]t has been determined [she] is ineligible to continue in the competition,” according to Fox. She has been replaced by Felicia Barton.

That news was at the bottom of a release sent out early this morning, and it offers no further explanation. While she was criticized for being a ringer, in recent weeks, rumors have also circulated about her relationship with executives in the company that produces the series.

She “is friends with Roger Widynowski, the VP of Music and TV Publicity at 19 Entertainment,” as Vote for the Worst reported, while Star Magazine reported that she was also close to another 19 executive, Michelle Young. “Joanna has referred to Michelle as her ‘manager’ and ‘best friend,’ and credited Roger with ‘helping me get where I am today.’ Plus, the three of them even lived in the same L.A. apartment complex for several years,” Star said.

Pacitti made it into American Idol 8‘s top 36 contestants last night after what one critic said might be “the most boring episode ever.” The top 36 were the same 36 contestants whose identities were revealed online at the beginning of the month, and they were chosen after drama-creating sing-offs and other filler.

Joanna Pacitti- Does she have Idol Ties to 19 Entertainment’s VP of Music and TV Publicity? [Vote for the Worst]
Exclusive: American Idol’s Biggest Scandal Ever [Star Magazine]
‘American Idol’ bores its way to final 36 [MSNBC]