American Idol contestant Chris Golightly is still fighting to return to the show after being disqualified after reaching the Top 24 in the competition. Even American Idol judge Simon Cowell expressed surprise over Golightly’s elimination from the show and vowed to “find out what the reason is” behind the decision to boot him.

Chris Golightly (FOX)

Chris Golightly (FOX)

“I honestly don’t have a clue why he’s been removed from the competition,” Simon Cowell said Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I’m guessing it’s some sort of technical reason, but it’s a shame for him. He needed this opportunity.” Cowell encouraged Golightly to try out for his upcoming U.S. version of The X Factor.

Chris Golightly was reportedly disqualified from the Top 24 over an issue stemming from a previous boy band contract he had with Dream Projects Entertainment. Lawrence Franklin, Golightly’s previous manager, told American Idol producers at 19 Entertainment that he was still under contract with his company.

Golightly said the old contract expired before he auditioned for American Idol and was eventually able to acquire proof of his contract release. Sadly, it was already too late to prevent his removal from the show. The show’s producers replaced Golightly with Tim Urban in the Top 24. Franklin later apologized for the confusion over the old contract that led to Golightly’s elimination.

Chris Golightly has been fighting to return to American Idol since he received the phone call telling him he had been disqualified from the competition. So far, however, he says “nothing has progressed” in his effort to get back on the show. “This is not fair; I don’t know what to do,” Golightly told USA Today.

Golightly, who gave up the lease on his apartment to participate in American Idol, is devastated over his disqualification. “I’ve had such bad luck, growing up in the system, living in foster homes all my life. … I’ve never tried to use it as a crutch, but when does the pain end and the sunshine begin?”

>> Previously:  Chris Golightly Disqualified from American Idol Top 24

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