Disqualified "American Idol" contestant Jermaine Jones' sudden departure has critics questioning whether it was all a publicity stunt to boost ratings.
Jones, dubbed "the gentle giant" by show host Ryan Seacrest, found himself caught in a string of lies which ultimately led to his dismissal but The Hollywood Reporter's, Shirley Halperin, questions whether it was a deliberate set up by crafty show producers.
"The whole 25th candidate was weird to begin with and got sprung on the audience with absolutely no warning, not typical of how Idol operates...producers may have purposely set in motion a cruel charade," Halperin writes about Jones, who was brought back by the judges shortly after being eliminated.
Halperin suggests that the Jones stunt may have been crafted to boost the show's ratings following reports that NBC's "The Voice" has had an impact on Idol's viewers.
"A nasty mini-scandal may be just what the ratings doctor ordered," Halperin wrote.
On Tuesday 25-year-old Jones took to Twitter to let his followers know that he had in fact been disqualified.
"Awww I will no longer b on the show," a tweet from Jones' official "Idol" Twitter account said although the entire account has also been deleted.
Jones, who became a Top 12 finalist, was reportedly sent packing after "Idol" producers discovered that he had lied about his criminal past, which includes arrests for violence, according to TMZ.
Like many critics, Halperin questions how Jones, who reportedly has an outstanding arrest warrant, could have fooled the producers of one of the biggest shows in the U.S.
"What are the chances that Idol's producers, team of background checkers and lawyers would miss two arrests, possibly as-yet-unresolved?" Halperin wrote.
This is not the first time that Idol has been accused of staging an incident in a bid to boost ratings.
Last month 16-year-old contestant, Symone Black, collapsed off of the stage after singing before the judges and although she was fine "Idol" producers forced concerned viewers to tune in to the next episode to find out the status of her well being.