Idol finalists payday

IDOL HANDS = MAJOR BENJAMINS: Copies of last year’s American Idol contracts filed in state court in L.A. reveal that being a finalist on the show is nice work if you can get it. The Top 5 contestants this season are likely to earn close to $100k from the show, and three to four times that if Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment signs them to a record deal, according to a story in today’s N.Y. Times. The Top 12 contestants are guaranteed several thousand dollars for their efforts. And that is before accounting for the Top 10 finalists’ earnings for appearing in the summer’s Idol tour. “I’m shocked that they give them that much money,” an unnamed agent told reporter Edward Wyatt. The story also breaks down the earnings of last year’s winner Kris Allen, who has made a shitload of moolah despite the fact that his album underperformed. (2/24a)

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