'Idol' dream over for disqualified singer

February 12, 2009 11:20:50 AM PST
One of the contestants on "American Idol" who made the top 36 has been disqualified. [SIGN UP: Get entertainment news sent to you]

"American Idol" has issued a statement saying Joanna Pacitti of Philadelphia is ineligible to continue, but without saying why.

Felicia Barton of Virginia Beach, Va., has replaced Pacitti in the top 36. Pacitti had a record deal with Geffen and released an album in 2006. Billboard reports it sold more than 16,000 copies. "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi recognized Pacitti when she auditioned in Louisville, Ky.

The Los Angeles Times reports Pacitti was disqualified to avoid the appearance of impropriety. The report says Pacitti had connections to executives at 19 Management, one of the companies that produce "American Idol."

Pacitti could not be reached for comment.

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