‘American Idol’ Contestants’ Contracts Revealed

'American Idol' (Photo: FOX)

'American Idol' (Photo: FOX)

TMZ has obtained a copy of the ‘American Idol‘ contract that every contestant must sign before going on the show. According to the legal document, the contestants agree that “Neither I nor any members of my family or my friends will enter into any personal, social, business, and or financial relationships with any of the judges, host(s), guest stars …” The prohibition runs for the duration of the show and 6 months thereafter. The document states a contestant will be disqualified for violating the rule and forfeit any prize money. So how much of a payout do all the contestants get? See the breakdown.


The winner gets $175,000 when he/she starts recording and another $175,000 when that person produces the first album. Further break down reveals:

Second album: Between $275,000 and $550,000.
Third album: $325,000 and 650,000.
Forth album: $375,000 – $750,000.
Fifth album: $450,000 – $900,000.
Sixth album: $500,000 – $1 million.

The second place finisher gets $150,000 when he/she starts recording their first album and another $150,000 upon delivery. The second album gets the runner-up between $225,000 and $450,000.

The third through 12th place contestants don’t walk away empty handed either. If the label signs them, they each get $100,000 when he/she begins recording their first album and another $100,000 upon delivery.

On Wednesday night’s show, ‘Idol’ finalist Michael Lynche, the 26-year-old personal trainer from Queens, N.Y., was cut from the ninth season of the singing competition.

See How the Elimination Went Down

The other finalists remaining in the singing contest are 24-year-old musician Crystal Bowersox of Toledo, Ohio; 24-year-old paint sales clerk Lee Dewyze of Mount Prospect, Ill.; and 27-year-old musician Casey James from Fort Worth, Texas. Next week, the final three will perform after traveling to their hometowns, with one more booted before the finale on May 26.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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