Idol finalists share rooms, sleep in twin beds, are only allowed alcohol in cups

Since American Idol 4, the show’s finalists have lived in a “luxury apartment compound [that] includes a pool, a spa and concierge service,” and according to the New York Post, they “live in two-bedroom apartments, usually two to a room in twin beds.”

That’s actually an upgrade from the mansion that used to house the contestants, where “[a]ll the girls slept in one room,” according to Kimberly Locke. The show’s executive producer, Ken Warwick, tells the paper that the housing “wasn’t really fair [to the contestants]. They were living on top of each other. It was very nerve-wracking. It was detrimental to the show.”

Thus, they moved into the apartments, where they share bedrooms and, if their roommate leaves, someone else moves in. These living arrangements aren’t always pleasant. For example, Jessica Sierra says, “I’m not going to say we all got along, because we didn’t. Constantine [Maroulis] was very competitive and cocky; sometimes that really got on people’s nerves. It’s not all one big family like people say.”

Like families sometimes do, some finalists turned to alcohol. In her day, Kimberly Locke says they “couldn’t have a glass of wine,” but Scott Savol says that they could have drinks in the right containers. “They told us never to have drinks unless they’re in a glass. No beer bottles.”

One thing the finalists have in common is that they all spend Tuesday nights voting for themselves. American Idol 4‘s Vonzell Solomon says, “I remember sometimes being in the apartment after the show was taped, with everyone voting for themselves on their cellphones.” Scott Savol didn’t vote for himself via phone; instead, he says, “I’d text, text, text, all night long.”

Wild Times Off Set of American Idol [New York Post]
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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.