"The ringer" is out.
After being voted into the final group of 36 contestants Wednesday, "American Idol" wannabe Joanna Pacitti, who had been called "the ringer" because of her past music industry experience, has been disqualified from the competition and replaced with also-ran Felicia Barton.
"It has been determined that Joanna Pacitti is ineligible to continue in the competition," is as far as "American Idol" would go in explaining the decision, but reports last week in Star magazine may shed some light.
The magazine reported that two producers at 19 Entertainment, which produces "Idol", Michelle Young and Roger Widynowski, had connections with Pacitti.
Sources told Star that Joanna had called Young her "manager" and "best friend," and that Widynowski helped her "get where I am today."
Not only that, the three reportedly lived in the same apartment complex for years.
Pacitti could not immediately be reached for comment.
The singer was criticized repeatedly for even being on the amateur talent show because of her previous record deals with A&M Records and Geffen.
"Idol" countered that it only required contestants not have a current deal.