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American Idol's Irish singer is kicked off in visa blunder

AN Irish singer who made it through on American Idol was kicked off the show when bosses discovered he didn't have the correct visa.

Keith Semple (27), from Larne, Co Antrim made it past the audition round to the coveted Hollywood stage of the competition, but when the show's producers questioned his green card status it was discovered that he didn't have the permanent residency necessary to take part.

"I was trying frantically to get everything done in time and unfortunately it was a postal error which cost me," he explained.

Keith impressed the judging panel so much at his Chicago audition, which included guest judge Shania Twain, that they sent him through to Hollywood with the other semi-finalists.

However, he never made it far enough to be sent through to the live shows when the status of his citizenship was discovered.

Semple is no stranger to reality television as the aspiring singer landed a coveted spot in boy band One True Voice in Popstars: The Rivals against Girls Aloud.

After the band failed to set the music world alight, he jetted off to Chicago to pursue a career there with the band 7th Heaven, who invited him to join after seeing his performances on MySpace.

"I plan on living in Chicago for good, although I will always come home from time to time," he said.

"I could never be as busy, or play to as many people or make as good a living back home in the music scene. I have played to twice the population of Northern Ireland since I arrived here," he added.

"I have an amazing career here in the USA. I play to more than a million people a year in over 225 shows and make a good living.