April 13th, 2011
05:27 PM ET
Former "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell once made a comment about a contestant's weight, and now there's a report that the size of audience members is also an issue.
Radar Online reported that 19-year-old Ashley Kauffman says she was told by "Idol" production staff that she could not sit with her friends in the front row of last week's elimination show because she was "just too big, too heavy to be in front."
Kauffman, who is 5-foot-2-inches tall and weighs 150 pounds, told "Good Morning America" that she would like an apology from the show.
But a spokesperson for FremantleMedia (the company that produces the show) said in a statement that the "Idol" folks "always strive to assure that every audience member has the best experience possible, and these allegations are simply untrue."
"Ms. Kauffman’s party agreed to be split up, and contrary to her allegations, she did not sit alone or in the back of the house," the statement said. "In fact, she and her remaining party were seated just four rows behind their friends, directly in camera shot, in some of the best seats in the house.”
Cowell once quipped that the stage would need to be widened for former contestant Mandisa, who has since lost more than 100 pounds. The singer told HLN that there is a double standard for contestants.
"If you recall on season 2 when Ruben [Studdard] was on there, nobody really said much of anything about his weight," she said. "But when a woman goes on there time and time again you see a lot of comments about her weight."
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