April 13th, 2011
05:27 PM ET

'Idol' denies girl moved from front for weight

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."

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Comments like these hurt people's feelings. As the healthcare professional said above, not all the time, but sometimes being overweight and obesity occur from different disorders. I'm one of them. I was diagnosed with PCOS just last year. I never asked or wanted any of the symtomps to happen to me but they did. So seeing comments like these really hurt not only to me but others because some of us never wanted weight gain to happen. It's not always necessarily what you're eating with disorders, it just always seems to find a way of happening. Please be more considerate.

    May 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. derp

    "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."

    Dear Ms. Kauffmann we apologize for moving your fat rearend to the back. We are very sorry that you are so fat that we could not put you out in front. Please accept our apology for you being so fat. From here forward we will diet and exercise for you so that in the future you will not be fat.

    Is that better?

    April 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jezzy24

    she gets moved, but we have to watch fat ass randy jackson the whole show?

    April 14, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. barb

    I have been on both sides of the fence. they really is no need for a poor,fat, sweet person & honest in this world
    anymore.You can never be to skinny or fat. Men and women do this to women. Women don't stick together they
    stay home and starve and then try to make it with the most well to do people out there. sorry but thrue.
    Dont trust men and for god sakes don't rust women.

    April 14, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. PABLO

    She should just be happy that she is young and actually got to go see it live. Alot of other folks are in hospitals right now with serious diseases. She needs to grow up and quit being ungrateful for all the good things in her life.

    April 14, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jenny

    I've noticed before that the first few rows are filled with cookie cutter beautiful teenage girls. However, American Idol is not the first show to do this. I remember when I was a kid I was visiting the site of MTV Spring Break and there was a long line of teens trying to get on the show as producers chose only the most attractive to get in. Same thing with TRL and any other show with a live audience- dating all the way back to American Bandstand. I'm not saying it's not wrong. I'm just saying the media shouldn't single out Idol for using this practice.

    April 14, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. DFWDelia

    One of my stepdaughters thinks they were split up because the "American Idol" people needed front row seats for celebrities who wanted to see the show. That makes a lot more sense than moving someone simply because she's heavy. I see heavy people in the studio audience all the time so I really don't think that weight has anything to do with it.

    April 14, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • CH1108

      That's probably exactly what happen. They put a celebrity or two in the prime seats for their camera shots.

      April 14, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. B lo me

    What does it matter where she sat the seat she was in may have been reserved but the question is who cares she saw the show

    April 13, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Head Diva In Charge

    Ummm what's that sound I'm hearing? Sound like a fat pig squealing and it's name is Erin. How fat are you Erin?

    April 13, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Thin


    April 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Head Diva In Charge

    Nobody like looking at fat people. They are gross. Lose weight fat b***hes! Summer is almost here and I don't want to throw up every time I see a piggy walk by.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erin

      "Head Stupid Diva In Charge": Nobody like looking at ugly. You are gross (& stupid). Get smart b[t<h!

      April 13, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. LoJenkins


    April 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Elisa

    Hello, have any of you watched the show? The first 2 rows behind the judges have a bunch of cookie cutter girls all over them. It is like the show did their hair and makeup too. I just saw it right now because the show is on. It should not matter if someone is a little overweight or not, if they fit in the seat and they got there first, they should be left alone. And it sounds more than "wanting to sue"...what reason would they have to move her? They admitted to moving her and some of her friends. The question is why? And to all the mean people on here, 5'2" 150 lbs is not fat...it is a little over, but not that much and it depends on muscle mass and bone structure. Maybe you should read before you post.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. annoying

    as a healthcare professional, it is rather annoying to see all the comments about overweight people needing to "stop gorging" or not be a "fat little piggy"
    obesity is a problem in modern society, but comments like that are what attaches a negative stigma to it
    there are conditions like PCOS, thyroid disorders, and a variety of other imbalances that can cause someone to become obese – not saying that is ALWAYS the case, but it does happen
    one person may gain abdominal girth and be accused of eating like a pig, when in fact they may have a 20-pound tumor or cyst that needs removal (those procedures are always messy!)

    April 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • rustysrage

      "Obesity is a problem" so why would we attach a positive stigma to it?? Just saying. Also, if someone is carrying a 20 pound tumor or cyst; shouldn't they be in a hospital and not out on the town taking in a show?

      April 14, 2011 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. Doug

    Maybe you should stop being a fat little piggy. Then you wouldn't have to worry about people telling you the truth.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Sunshine Girl *

    5'2 and 150 lbs is hardly obese. Chunky maybe, but thats about it. I really dont believe they told her that. B/c anyone who watches the show knows that when they scan the audience, they show all kinds of people. And I mean ALL KINDS. I faithfully have atched the show since Season 1, so I think I know what Im talking about. I think that girl may just be trying to get a quick 15 min of fame. Get real, girl. Does she realize how idiotic that sh!t sounds?

    April 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jose


    April 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Hanover Fist

    not worth the time say anything mean.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  19. heheh

    That's like denying someone a front row seat because they're black. Kind of.

    April 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  20. ?

    And that sound would be? I don't think all white people hear that. Speak for your self, okaaaay?

    April 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Hostess_Snack_Cake

    Really? Whenever they pan the audience, they have the ugliest looking idiots collected, so why would one plus sized large girl matter in the grand scheme of things?

    April 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Hmmm...

    Simon has a big, fat ego! I miss him !!

    April 13, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Stephanie Palmer

    It's hard to believe that this show is even on. And given that it's so stupid, I find it hard to believe that they would keep anyone in particular out of the front row. The bigger question is why would she want to be there in the first place.

    April 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sindy

      If the show is not to your taste, why would you be wasting your time posting comments about it? LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

      April 13, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • LittleMiss

      Looks like someone wants to sue. And hello, is it supposed to be shocking that there is a double standard about weight? Women perpetuate that just as much as men do. Fat girls are constantly picking on skinny girls hoping they fall down or make a fool out of themselves. You know what. Stop gorging yourselves and maybe you won't feel so targeted.

      April 13, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |

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