American Idol revealed its Top 24 contestants during Tuesday and Wednesday nights’ shows, but Idol hopeful Chris Golightly, 19, who found his way to Idol through the Los Angeles auditions, was replaced at the last minute by contestant Tim Urban due to a misunderstanding about his contract.

Speaking to Idol fan Web site, Golightly explained that the reason for his disqualification stemmed from a misunderstanding with Idol‘s producers over a previous contract he had signed with a boy band. Golightly believed that the band contract was up in June ’09. He auditioned for Idol that July and once he made it to Hollywood signed an Idol contract saying that he had no previous agreements. In January, after he found out he had made the Top 24, Golightly received a call from the holder of his previous contract claiming that he was still covered under the band contract. Although he believed that not the case, Golightly was unable to find his contract release and was unable to convince Idol producers that he should stay.

Just hours before the Hollywood finale, Golightly received a call that he would not be allowed to join the Top 24. To add insult to injury, Golightly’s previous manager eventually found his contract release and e-mailed it to the singer, but the decision had already been made.

By now Idol is no stranger to drama. Past Idol hopefuls Joanna Pacitti and Michael Lynche were both disqualified. Pacitti reportedly was let go because of her relationship with some of the members of 19 Management, the company that manages Idol winners. This season, Lynche’s father made the mistake of leaking his son’s semifinalist status to a local Florida newspaper which was a breach of the contract Lynche signed with the show. –JOE GALBO

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