19 Entertainment says it will let Idols out of their contract if they have record deal offers

Although American Idol contestants are locked into a three-month contract, 19 Entertainment said “if the contestant is in danger of losing a recording contract because of that, [19] generally will allow them out of their contract.”

That’s what a spokesperson told MTV News, which reports “that ‘Idol’ contestants are generally required to sign a contract that gives Sony/BMG exclusive rights for a period of three months.”

MTV News followed up on American Idol 7 contestant Josiah Leming’s publicist’s claims that he was being threatened by 19 Entertainment after landing a record deal with Warner Brothers.

But the spokesperson told MTV News that Josiah’s contract expired “a few months ago, so we are not sure what controversy people are talking about. … 19 Entertainment wishes Josiah the best of luck on his album release.”

What could the controversy be about? Generating publicity for an album release? Josiah is playing dumb. “Honestly, legally, I have no real idea [about the rumored lawsuit], you know? I had a good experience on the show, and I’m thankful that I am where I am right now, and they definitely helped push me along. … I wasn’t very familiar with the contract, so I’m not sure what repercussions would come of it,” he said.

‘American Idol’ Producers Never Intended To Block Josiah Leming’s Debut Album [MTV News]
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about the writer

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.