'American Idol': Joanna Pacitti out, Felicia Barton in

Joanna Pacitti, the American Idol season 8 hopeful who was shown advancing to the top 36 on Wednesday night’s telecast (click here for the full recap), has been booted from the competition and replaced by 26-year-old Felicia Barton. "It has been determined that Joanna Pacitti is ineligible to continue in the competition," stated a Fox press release sent early Thursday morning announcing the show’s full roster of semifinalists.

For the last several weeks, Pacitti has been the subject of Internet chatter regarding her former deal with A&M Records, which yielded the single "Let It Slide" (embedded below), and more recently, for her rumored close relationship with a pair of 19 Entertainment executives. Specifically, Star magazine reported that Pacitti lived for a time in the same apartment building as 19’s Michelle Young and Roger Widynowski, even referring to the former exec as her "best friend"; 19, of course, is the production company behind Idol.

Barton, meanwhile, was shown getting eliminated by the judges during Wednesday night’s final Hollywood Week telecast, although a brief clip of her singing "Put Your Records On" during the Louisville, KY, audition round had created a decent mount of buzz among Idol watchers. (Read our recap of that episode, including a mention of Barton, by clicking here; and check out a YouTube clip of Barton covering Alicia Keys’ "No One" embedded beneath Pacitti’s video.)

Check back later tonight and tomorrow morning at EW.com for further updates.

More on ‘American Idol,’ ‘AI’ graduates:
Slezak’s ‘American Idol’ TV Watch:  A Dramatic Weeding
‘American Idol': What do you think of the top 36?
Who is the reigning ‘Idol’ Fashion Victim: Paula, Kara, or Randy?
‘Idol': The 10 Best — and 5 Worst — Song Choices Ever
‘American Idol’ recap: Hollywood Week, episode 3
‘American Idol’ recap: Hollywood Week, episode 2
‘American Idol’ recap: Hollywood Week, episode 1
‘American Idol': 10 Greatest ‘Hollywood Week’ Moments
EW’s ‘American Idol’ HQ
‘American Idol': Get the scoop on what 14 of your favorite former contestants are doing now
Fantasia covers ‘Lady Marmalade’! Roof height at venue permanently altered. 

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Comments (155 total) Add your comment
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  • Jack
  • Burbank

    Well, at least Tatiana’s through. Thank goodness for that! Oy…………….. Way to lost ALL credibility American A** hole.

  • seattle_girl

    Yippee!! Loved Felicia’s audition. Not so much a fan of the Jo-planty.

  • brandy

    I was a fan of Joanna so far, but Felicia seems like a lot of fun. I think I’m okay with this.

  • Roman

    This makes me happy! Love love LOVE the video of Felicia–hope she goes far this year. Now, can we DQ annoying @ss Tatiana del Suck-o next?

  • Preston

    I do feel bad for Joanna, but I must say that I am THRILLED about Felicia’s inclusion in the Top 36. Her five-second audition was one of my favorites of the season, and based on some of her old youtube videos (which have since been taken down), she definitely has the pipes to go far in this competition.

  • Jake

    This song was on one of the Jamba Juice CDs. LOL. I used to work there, and this was one of the few good songs haha.

  • David

    NOOOOO!!!! Keep Joanna in. This is sooooo unfair. She is probably the most talented one there. I was so excited to watch her this season. At least someone good is replacing her. You suck idol! Why would you DQ her now? Her producer connections can’t take her any further… now it is up to America. This is the worst thing ever.

  • LT

    If being best friends with one of the execs at 19E didn’t make her successful, AI certainly won’t. How many breaks can this girl get and still be an EPIC FAIL? She was on Broadway, had an album on a major label, is dating a celebrity, and had songs on at least four different movie soundtracks. This girl has more than had her chance.

  • TygerGrad99

    Oh thank GOD! I was so pissed that they let her through after forgetting the lyrics to every song she sang during Hollywood week.

  • Loretta

    She should be booted from the show. She was another fixed contestant on an already questionable show. She probably figured her connections to her friends in 19 would guarantee her a win.
    Does AI really think that America is stupid? I really hope this show tanks.

  • Esme

    Hurray! I couldn’t believe my ears when Simon said last night that perhaps all Joanna needed was “a break”!! How many flipping breaks is one person entitled to? Man, I officially HATE Simon now, but I’m so happy Joanna’s gone. Maybe she’ll sue AI like she did the producers of ANNIE when she was booted off there.

  • Sally in Chicago

    Esme: So RIGHT! I nearly flipped over too when he said that…you know the producers were behind their decision. Kara asked her, “when will you be ready” and they went through all that DRAMA about her and breaks and record contracts….and then let her through. Joanna flubbed lines and couldn’t even sing. Scandalous! And she just has an “average voice” to me, you can hear her voice anywhere (Jessica Simpson?)

  • Kari

    Joanna shouldn’t have been in the competition to begin with. She did absolutely nothing to impress AI fans and will soon be forgotten. Good luck, Felicia!

  • DAVID LEW

    YES!!! I had already left a comment on Felicias “No One” video saying that she should have been in…
    So I am EXTREMELY okay with this. I do hope this is true!

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