Wanna Know How Much Money the Idols Make? Real Salaries Revealed!

"Ha Ha, I took all the money!"

So apparently TMZ did some actual investigative journalism for once (standing on Rodeo Drive and asking celebrities questions doesn’t count!) They did some research and found the actual contracts that the American Idols sign before coming on the show.

LOL to one of the stipulations spelled out in the contract: the Idols (or their family members) can’t date or carouse with any of the judges or production members. Poor Kara! Her hopes of a Casey James love session have just gone out the window! Better retract your cougar claws, girl!

Perhaps the most interesting part of the contract is what the Idols make for being on, and advancing, on the show. All I’ve heard since Wednesday’s finale is that “even though Crystal didn’t win, she’s still going to be famous and get lots of money.” For some reason, people (The Ashley included) thought that the winning Idol automatically gets a million dollar contract. Um…yah, not even close. The real amount the winner and the others receive is equivalent to what Simon Cowell probably spends on tight tees in a month.

According to TMZ, here’s the way it breaks down:

“The winner gets $175,000 when he/she starts recording … and another $175,000 when that person  “delivers” the first album. If the winner gets a second album, he/she gets anywhere between $275,000 and $550,000 depending on the success of the album.  As for a third album — anywhere between $325,000 and 650,000.  As for a forth — anywhere between $375,000 – $750,000.  As for a fifth — $450,000 – $900,000.  And a six album gets the winner between $500,000 and a cool $1 million.”

(This means that Kris Allen is probably stuck at $175,000. Bummer.)

The contract goes on to spell out what Crystal can expect to come her way in the way of money. (If you didn’t hear, her and Lee both signed with 19 entertainment today!)

“The second place finisher gets $150,000 when he/she starts recording their first album … and another $150,000 upon delivery. The second album gets the runner-up between $225,000 and $450,000 and so on.”

There’s even hope for some of the other, less-successful Idols (except Tim Urban, of course. They’ll pay him $1,000 to not sing.)

Hey, Michael. Show us in dollars how much money you've made since Idol!

Of the other idols, TMZ says, “As for 3rd through 12th place — if the label signs them — they each get $100,000 when he/she begins recording album #1 and another $100,000 upon delivery … though most of them end up playing hot air balloon festivals.” (Good one, TMZ. Poor Taylor Hicks knows this all too well.)

According to the contract, “American Idol isn’t required to pay incidental expenses during the show. Contestants even have to pay for their own transportation when they’re not traveling to and from the show.”

So that’s why we saw Paige Miles and Andrew Garcia taking the city bus on their way to the finale party.

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