Former Reality Show Contestant Involved in Mosque Controversy

INSIDE EDITION reports on the reality TV contestant who finds himself at the center of the controversy surrounding a proposed mosque near ground zero in New York City.

It's a bizarre turn in the storm of controversy over the Ground Zero mosque. Turns out, the guy who picked the site for the mosque was a reality TV show contestant!

Francisco Patino appeared on ABCs American Inventor with his quirky invention, a bicycle built for two.

He actually made it to the finals and even got a special shout out from Lance Armstrong.

Patino was just 18-years-old when he appeared on the show in 2006. Today, he finds himself in the middle of a major national uproar that threatens President Obama's approval ratings.

So how did Patino find himself in this mess?

It turns out the developer of the mosque saw the inventor on TV and was so impressed he hired him. His first task was to find a suitable site for the mosque. Patino got a map of lower Manhattan and scouted several locations before settling on this building. Unfortunately, it's just two blocks from Ground Zero.

The front page of the New York Daily News says it all, "Nice Job, Kid." Ouch.

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani weighed in on the controversy on The Today Show Thursday, and he's not a fan of the project.

"The question here is a question of sensitivity," stated Giuliani.

Giuliani continued, "This project is causing tremendous pain to people who have already paid the ultimate sacrifice."
President Obama is taking a break from the drama, heading off for a family vacation on Martha's Vineyard.

As for Patino, the whiz kid is keeping a low profile.