If you thought the judges on 'American Idol' were harsh, wait until you hear what production staffers allegedly did to an audience member on Thursday.

According to an exclusive report from Radar Online, 19-year-old fan Ashley Kauffman was booted from the front row because staffers told her she was "just too big, too heavy to be in front."

Kauffman claims she and two of her friends were moved to a "far row of the theater section, right at the back."

"I was kind of taken aback," she said. "I'm not that big, but I understand I was bigger than the girls I was with. But I was like, 'Wow, way to hit a low blow.'" (See a photo of Kauffman here.)

"They ended up putting two girls who were super skinny and wearing little dresses in the front row where we would of been sitting," she added. "The only people that weren't really skinny were the families in that section."

Meanwhile, Kauffman's dad, Randy, told Radar Online that he wants a live apology from the show, "if that's what it takes." So far, 'Idol' has made no comment.

I am in no way condoning the actions of Idol producers, but this is nothing new.  If you've never been to a TV taping, you might not realize it, but look at any show with a visible audience, fake smiles and "pretty people" everywhere.  Many who attended the Blake Shelton TV taping at Roberts Stadium last year, noticed the same thing.  While it was a free show, several "VIP's" got to go down front, and by VIP's I mean stereotype "good-looking, young, folks."  Hey, it happens.  I knew there was no way I was going to be a front row Joe for anything that had a camera pointed my way.  Ashley might get her apology, but unfortunately I don't believe this practice will change.  Seems in the US, image is everything.

[Radar Online]