Entries in Mandisa (1)


Too Fat for 'American Idol' Audience?

PRNewsFoto/Zumobi(LOS ANGELES) -- A woman who attended a taping of Fox's American Idol claims she was removed from the first row of the audience for being too heavy. 

Ashley Kauffman, 19, attended last week's results show taping, but claims that when she and her friends arrived early to grab seats up front, studio staff told her she was too heavy to sit in front. She says she and two other friends were moved a few rows back.

"I was kind of taken back because the look on her face was just as if I was disgusting," Kauffman said of the woman who originally asked her to move. "Honestly I didn't think I was disgusting looking," she said on Good Morning America Wednesday.

She claimed that when an usher took her ticket after they had moved, he said, "It makes sense why you're not with the skinny girls."

Kauffman said she tried not to let the incident bring her down or ruin her night. "I believe God made me exactly how he wants to make me and He doesn't make mistakes."

"They shouldn't judge anybody, and they shouldn't treat anybody different just because of the way they look," Kauffman's father, Randy Kauffman, said.

While the show is a talent competition, looks have played a role.

Season five contestant Mandisa was on the receiving end of some tough remarks about her weight from then-judge Simon Cowell.

"Do we have a bigger stage this year?" Cowell said, referring to her.

"It was just hurtful and mean and the one thing I didn't want to have happen," Mandisa said. Cowell later apologized, and Mandisa forgave him.

But the show has also had its share of overweight contestants who have gone on to great success, including Frenchie, Reuben Studdard and, most notably, Jennifer Hudson.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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