It's been an interesting week for [artist id="2008947"]Panic at the Disco[/artist]. First, they split in half, with guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker leaving to "embark on a musical excursion of their own." Then, frontman Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith vowed to carry on, writing that "Panic at the Disco is alive and very, very well," then posting photos of themselves working in the studio.
Urie and Smith (and their labels, Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic) weren't about to reveal that information, which may explain why, just days after the split, rumors began circulating that 24-year-old Australian guitarist/ singer Orianthi Panagaris (or Orianthi for short) had joined Panic, replacing Ross, and would be touring and recording with them.
Now, for those who may not know, Panagaris had signed on to be part of Michael Jackson's 50-show run at London's O2 Arena, and can be seen prominently rocking out with him in rehearsal footage released last week; she also shared the stage with a host of others during the performance of "We Are the World" at Tuesday's Jackson memorial. She has a solo deal with Geffen Records and has worked in the past with Prince and Steve Vai.
The rumor inexplicably started gathering steam, reaching a bit of a critical mass on Wednesday, when it appeared on Panagaris' Wikipedia page.
However, reps for Panic quashed the rumor on Thursday (July 9). A spokesperson for Atlantic responded to MTV News with an e-mail that simply read "RUMOR," and Jonathan Daniel, co-founder of Crush Management (which handles Panic, Fall Out Boy and a host of other acts), dismissed the whispers, writing "I have no idea who comes up with these ideas, but they probably have a future in creative writing."