I’m still working on headlines this morning, but I just had to dash this item off first, cause it’s totally pissing me off:
JOSIAH Leming, a homeless singer whose mother is dying of cancer, might be blocked from releasing the album he recorded because he was a contestant last season on “American Idol.”
Leming, 19, who didn’t make the show’s top 24, received an official letter from “Idol” threatening legal action if he puts out his record in January as planned.
“Idol” contestants must sign strict contracts with the show’s producer, Simon Fuller‘s 19 Entertainment, promising to record only with the label chosen by “Idol” – Sony/BMG. The 19 Entertainment shop also retains exclusive right of refusal for management and merchandising.
Simon Fuller is pulling the “first right of refusal” card with Josiah? Now? When they didn’t even want him in the first place??? I’m calling BULLSH*T on those shenanigans. What, are they afraid a contestant they cast off might be successful? Stupid, Simon stupid. The bad PR is just going to blow back in your face. It makes you look nasty and overbearing. These kids aren’t indentured servants. Once you cast them off, let them have their careers. I said this in comments–Josiah slagged off the producers in an interview with the LA Times, and it didn’t bother me at all. 19 Alphabet makes millions off these kids’ backs. Really, it’s a two way street. Josiah owes them nothing at this point.
Leming is now “is racing the clock, ” his rep told us. “His mother has terminal cancer, and nothing is going to stop him from getting his music out while she is alive to share it. His album on Warner Records will be released in late January ’09.”
Leming’s lawyer has shot a letter back to “Idol” producers but hasn’t heard back. “We’re waiting, ” the rep said. An “Idol” rep didn’t return our calls or e-mails.