'American Idol' Says Fan Is Too Fat for the Front Row


ashley kauffmanWhen 19-year-old Ashley Kauffman and her girlfriends arrived for the April 7 taping of American Idol, they were ecstatic. That was, until they were led to their seats. According to the California native, there were two women who looked the girls up and down, and then split them into groups, one that would be in the front row and one a few rows behind. And while separating them, one of the Idol employees said: "You're just too big, too heavy to be in front."

First, what a mean b***h. Second, can you imagine what a phrase like that could do to a girl's self esteem?! Kauffman has since spoken out and appeared on Good Morning America. And to be honest -- I don't know what that woman's talking about. Sure, she may not be a size 2, but what I see is a well-composed, awesome teenager.

Kauffman told Robin Roberts that the weight insults didn't stop there. Apparently, another usher looked at her tickets and said, "This makes sense why you're not with the skinny girls." Reps from Idol have commented about the incident since, saying that the allegations were simply untrue. Sorry Idol, but I don't think that any 19-year-old would build up the courage to talk about her weight on national television without proper cause.

She looks like she's going to lose it at one point, but kudos for her for keeping it together. Talking about your weight, no matter if you are 19 or 60, isn't easy. I can't even imagine referring to myself as "heavier" on a morning news show. It honestly kills me to hear her attempt to justify the woman's actions even a little bit by saying she's aware that she's larger than her friends. She tells Robin Roberts:

The look on her face was just as if I was disgusting. And I've known I'm heavier than some of the girls I was with and I know I've been heavier and stuff growing up but, like, honestly I didn't think I was disgusting looking. I've always believed that God made me exactly how he wanted to make me, and God doesn't make mistakes.

Again, there's no way to 100 percent verify Kauffman's story. However, if it's true, the harsh reality of this scenario is the women were seating these girls according to how they'd be viewed by the national audience. Is this really what has become of American prime time TV? You can't tell me that Idol fans would tune out of the show simply because Jane Doe, America's average brunette sitting at 135 pounds, is in prime view. To be honest, I don't know if I've ever paid attention to who was behind J. Lo, anyway.

Kauffman reiterated to Roberts that she was very gracious for the seats she got, and that the reason she's speaking out now is so that girls know it's not OK to take this sort of treatment just because of their size. No, she doesn't want money. All she wants is an apology. I say, you go girl! Your confidence radiates, and your shoes on GMA were stellar. 

What do you think of Kauffman being told she was "too heavy" to be in Idol's front row?

Image via ABC

self esteem, american idol


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PonyC... PonyChaser

They put Steven Tyler on stage, and they're all hung up on this lovely lady's appearance? Talk about serious issues!!

starl... starlight1968

I think they need to give her tickets FOR THE FRONT ROW ASAP along with an apology.  California peeps are a bit self centered and weight contiouse (tv/movies peeps) and they reallllly need to get over it! 

nonmember avatar Yvette Caulk

That is such a horrible thing to do and over what?! Its laughable to think any one's appearance in the front row would alter the show or the number of viewers. Poor thing for this girl to be humiliated and in front of her friends. She does look heavier than what is probably healthy but that is an issue between her and herself. No one should be allowed to discriminate someone for their looks.

Leele... Leelee1008

its pretty F'd up. I dont watch Idol at all after the inital tryouts and even this year they werent that great. I am not a fan of "reality TV" 

John Dowd

As you all know the back row is a great place to sit when you want a/ to get a bird’s eye view b/ when you want to hide the horrible coffee stain on your dress c/ when you’re not really interested in the show d/ tend to have a tendency to be rude and say offensive things.



nonmember avatar Vic

This young lady is amazing! I for one will never watch Idol again and I will be writing to the sponsers to let them know why I will not buy their products. Hopefully the public will hurt Idol where they care the most - the wallet.

Duston Barto

Unfortunately this is normal and has been going on for many years.  People who are "undesirable" in appearance are shuffled out of direct camera view.  Politicians do it across the board.  If a Sikh wearing a headdress or a Muslim woman wearing a scarf is in the camera view then they are plucked out and moved elsewhere. 

It was only a matter of time before they got to chubby girls...  What's next?

ibebr... ibebreezy

they let heavy chicks sing and steven tyler crossdress so this makes no sense to me

Pbutt... Pbuttercup0625

Starlight-Yes, you are absolutely correct about CA being self centered and weight conscience, and it mostly depends on where in CA you are, and southern CA is by far the biggest contributor to that. I never felt overweight until I moved to a southern CA town and I feel overweight even though I'm a size 4/6.

ibebreezy-The heavy chicks they let sing, because they have talent, and that is the only thing that excuses their weight, but I bet they are being told to "tone it up" back stage...and as for Steven Tyler, he is a rock star, he can get away with anything.

And this story is sad and sounds so Hollywood. Its a shame.

PoeDu... PoeDunkMae

Its called "American IDOL" and you are surprised by something like this happening?  I think it is awful what they did to this young girl.

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