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A NZ Idol contestant says she is "gutted" by the decision to drop her from the show because she is pregnant.
Horiana (Georgina) Patea was one of the show's final 18 contestants but told Campbell Live last night she was asked to leave after revealing she was three months pregnant.
The producers cited fears for her and her unborn child's health but Ms Patea felt she was capable of performing. She would have been five months pregnant had she made it to the final stages of the Idol show in October.
"It gutted me and really disappointed me ... I did all the hard work and they put me right up there," she said. "It's up to the individual and I know a lot of women who have been rousing through until they dropped. Why should they stop me? It's not an illness."
Ms Patea was sentenced to three years' jail in 2003 after admitting two counts of aggravated burglary and one of aggravated assault in Christchurch.
When asked if she thought her previous convictions were the real reason for her departure from the show she said: "Yes and no - maybe it's the easy way."
South Pacific Pictures publicist Tamar Munch said Ms Patea had been "completely up front" about her criminal convictions.
She said the situation was "similar to last year"when a pregnant Ms Patea auditioned for NZ Idol.
Ms Munch said she did not know if there were other contestants with criminal convictions on the show but said the screening processes in place were "robust".
The show's producers said they would offer Ms Patea direct entry into the top 18 on a future series if it was still running.