Producers of “American Idol” have pulled semifinalist Donnie Williams from the latest competition following his arrest for DUI. The aspiring artist was arrested Monday in Danville, Calif.
“Unfortunately due to recent events 'American Idol’ participant Donnie Williams has been removed from the contest,” said Scott Grogin, Fox VP of corporate communications, said in a statement.
“While understanding that Donnie has not been convicted of a crime, the producers and network feel that the nature of the charges against him warrant his disqualification. We wish Donnie the best during what must be a difficult time and once these issues have been resolved, he is welcome to try out for the show again next season.”
Williams was reportedly driving in excess of 100 mph when he passed a police officer at about 2:15 a.m. Monday. Although police have not released details of his blood-alcohol content, authorities confirmed it was over the legal limit of .08 and less than the 16 that requires mandatory booking into jail. Williams was cited and released.
Williams, who will be replaced by contestant George Huff on Tuesday’s semifinalist episode of “Idol,” is not the first to be booted from the series. Last season, Frenchie Davis was removed during semifinalist rounds after producers learned she had posed for an adult Web site. Corey Clark and Jaered Andrews each lost their chance at stardom because of assault arrests that were not disclosed before the competition.