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Amateur Competition Controversies

American Idol's Joanna Pacitti Slammed as ‘Semi-Pro'

— January 28, 2009 — Pop Culture
It wouldn’t be a typical season of ‘American Idol’ if there weren’t some controvery, and Joanna Pacitti has unwittingly done her part to ensure that Season 8 doesn’t disappoint. The 24-year-old is currently under fire from the media and ‘American Idol’ devotees after it was revealed that Pacitti has had a 13-year career that involved a stint on Broadway and a (failed) record deal.

Joanna Pacitti certainly isn’t the first musician to audition for ‘American Idol’ that’s previously performed onstage. In prior seasons, Kristy Lee Cook and Carly Smithson also competed despite having record deals in their past. All three young women were dubbed as ‘semi-pros’ by the media and ‘American Idol’ fan base.

One distinction Joanna Pacitti has that no other ‘American Idol’ contestant has is that one of her songs, “Out From Under,” which appears on the soundtrack for ‘Bratz: The Movie’ was covered by none other than Britney Spears for ‘Circus.’ It remains to be seen whether ‘Idol’ will change its rules to exclude competitors with prior record deals, but for now, Pacitti is still in the competition.