American Idol

Teen claims she was deemed 'too heavy' for 'Idol's' front row

April 12, 2011 at 12:40 PM ET

Thursday night’s “American Idol” delivered a shocking blow for Pia Toscano, but the singer and her fans weren’t the only ones left stunned that evening. Audience member Ashley Kauffman claims she had a jaw-dropping moment of her own when “Idol” employees separated her from her friends because she was “too heavy” for the front row.

“There were two ladies and one said, ‘Oh, I don't want (someone wearing) shorts in front,’ about (one of my friends),' Kauffman explained in an interview with the Daily Mail. “Then she looked at me and said, ‘Oh no, you're too big, too heavy to be in front!’ I was taken aback by it. I was hurt. My friends were completely taken back. I'm the heavier one in our group, but I'm not even that heavy.”

According to Kauffman, who stands 5-foot-2 and weighs 150 pounds, she and her shorts-clad pal were then given tickets for the rear of the theater, while their friends went to the front. Kauffman soon attempted to sneak up with her other pals, but an usher stopped her and examined her ticket.

“This makes sense why you're not with the skinny girls,” the employee allegedly told the teen. “You're in the last row."

Kauffman claims that moment was the worst part of the night.

“It hurt to hear that from the first girl, but it hurt even more coming from a guy,” she said. “I was borderline tears. I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's still on my mind.”

Another usher apologized to Kauffman, but that wasn’t good enough to make up for the bad night. Now the 19-year-old wants an official “sorry” from “Idol,” and according to her father, that’s just what she should get.

“I would like to ‘American Idol’ give her an open apology,” Randy Kauffman told Radar Online. “She wants an apology and it should be a live apology, if that’s what it takes.”

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