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Joanna Pacitti Is Disqualified on "American Idol"

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An "American Idol" contestant who made the show's top 36 was disqualified. In its press released issued Wednesday night announcing the 36 contenders, Fox TV said that Joanna Pacitti was "ineligible to continue." No reason was given.

Felicia Barton of Virginia Beach, Va., replaced Pacitti, a Philadelphia native, in the top 36.

The show announced the semifinalists Wednesday night, then later released an update saying it had cut Pacitti loose and subbed in Barton, a 26-year-old married mom.

Pacitti, 23, could not immediately be reached for comment.

A few of the contestants in Tuesday night's episode, including Pacitti, flubbed the lyrics but made it through to the next round.

Pacitti, who auditioned in Louisville, Ky., entered "Idol" with a showbiz resume. She 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.

She also starred in "Annie" on Broadway as a young girl, and sang on the soundtracks for the movies "Legally Blonde" and "Bratz." Britney Spears' tune "Out From Under," from her latest album, was first performed by Pacitti on the "Bratz" soundtrack.

All that experience was enough to draw complaints from viewers who thought she was too polished for the top-rated show, which purports to pluck raw talent out of nowhere and turn them into stars.

However, eight seasons in, "Idol" has selected singers who have spent time in the recording studio.


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