American Idol 10‘s top 11 finalists will each receive $1,000 per stop on their 47-city tour, so they’ll make $47,000 plus receive a $50 per diem and a share of the merchandise sold. That’s part of the reason why finalists want to make it to the top 10 (or 11 this season), and what Karen Rodriguez and Ashthon Jones are missing out on–besides the name recognition and exposure that comes from not being forgotten.
Don’t forget that finalists get paid for their performances all season and earn money for each recording sold on iTunes, $1,000 plus a $1,000 advance against royalties, so they’re making decent money for their work.
The tour salary details come from a a TMZ report that says it has the contestants’ contract but doesn’t actually reproduce or even quote from the contract. The story notes that finalists “receive $50 in spending cash for non-concert days” and “are also guaranteed to stay in ‘Marriott/Hyatt style’ hotel accommodations while on the road — and will fly coach between tour stops.” TMZ also say that “the tour will kick off immediately after the Season 10 winner is announced on May 25 — and will go until the end of September.”
But the show ends May 25 and the tour doesn’t start until July 7 (it also ends Sept. 10, not quite the end of the month), so presumably the contract requires them to be available for tour rehearsals, in addition to other post-finale work.