American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, 17, and the runner-up, Lauren Alaina, 16, are both minors, which means their contracts with Idol have to be approved by a Los Angeles judge. That also means the contents of those contracts become part of the public record.
The Associated Press has all the details. Let’s examine the numbers!
- Scotty will receive at least $250, 000 in advances for winning the show and recording the first album.
- He will also tens of thousands of dollars more for granting “Idol” partners likeness, merchandise and endorsement rights, and will also receive royalties on any music he releases.
- Lauren will receive $87, 500 for finishing second. The amount would be doubled if she records an album.
- Jordin Sparks, who was a minor when she took the crown in 2007, received a contract that guaranteed her a $180, 000 advance after the show and another $180, 000 after delivering her first album. Oof. Scotty takes a pay cut!
- S7 runner up, David Archuleta, (17 at the time) had a contract that indicated a payout of $360, 000 total if an album was recorded, with an advance of $155, 000–double that once he produced an album.
- In some past seasons, winners were paid a minimum of $100, 000 for merchandise rights, records show. Draft merchandise agreements for Scotty and Lauren give him $50, 000 and her $40, 000. More pay cuts!
Looks like 19 is on a tight budget!
The teens’ “Idol” contracts and recording deals require the show’s producers and partners to place 15 percent of their gross earnings in a trust account that cannot be touched until after they turn 18 years old.