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'Idol' Finalists Tour Contract -- $1,000 per Show

5/21/2011 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"American Idol's" top 11 finalists are set to make bank over the summer -- because TMZ has learned they'll each get paid $1,000 for EVERY show they perform during the American Idol Live Tour.


TMZ obtained a copy of the contract all Idol finalists had to sign before the show -- which spells out exactly how much dough they'll pull in if they're invited to participate on the international tour.

In addition to the $1,000-per-concert -- the documents show each finalist will share in merchandise profits from the tour ... and will also receive $50 in spending cash for non-concert days.

Finalists are also guaranteed to stay in "Marriott/Hyatt style" hotel accommodations while on the road -- and will fly coach between tour stops.

According to the contract, the tour will kick off immediately after the Season 10 winner is announced on May 25 -- and will go until the end of September.

Not bad for a summer job.


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that sucks, those kids work their butts off they deserve much much more. I feel bad for them. I hope after this they get good agents because that is a really crappy deal. I am ashamed of American Idol they are rich today because the talent of the kids on the show.

1195 days ago


that sucks, those kids work their butts off they deserve much much more. I feel bad for them. I hope after thsi they get good agents because that is a really crappy deal.

1195 days ago


I don't believe ANY this year's Top Eleven (thanks to the presence of Weird Beard) are worthy of earning $1,000 per performance. I would not pay any money to see the likes of Wrinkly Scrotum Boy Stefano, the screetching hyena of Haley (praise be to God she's finally gone), the boring performances of Pia or Thia, the one trick pony Scotty McPotty, the Miss Piggy look-alike of Lauren, Weird Beard himself, they Tidy Bowl Toilet Girl, or Shamu with the cow tongue. I might pay 5 bucks to watch Paul dance around like a freak, so long as they tape his mouth shut so I would not be subjected to that gnarly, ratty Rob Stewart rattle of his!

James Durbin should not even be in the same show with this group of Big Top circus performers because NONE of them are in the same league as James! This Idol tour will be nothing more than a 21st century of a Brady Bunch kids reunion show. Couldn't stand to hear them singing each week and I highly doubt the Idol tour will be any better or anything different.

I've been reading and researching some details that the phone lines were rigged to play dead air when voters called on James Durbin's lines and that line numbers were offered in an order that confused voters. Likewise, reports have indicated that calls were rigged so that when the caller place a call under a number for James, it went to Haley or Scotty. Is it any wonder the poor guy was eliminated. Idol wanted the finals to be as they are playing out and anyone who thinks their votes, be the phone, online, or texting count...THINK AGAIN! Your votes mean NOTHING!

Cannot believe Idol will even attempt a season 11 with X Factor and The Voice available. After how this season played out viewers should treat themselves to a cigarette because in the end, we all got screwed! Idol producers concocted a half-assed show with useless judges to reach a finale that was set back in January. Couldn't STAND Pia, but she should have stayed longer than Haley or Lauren. James should have stayed instead of Scotty. Turn on your radios or CMTV and you will see hundreds of Scotties and Laurens already singing. Go to any bar on a Saturday night and you'll find two dozen drunken fools singing the same exact music in the same exact, crappy way as Lauren and Scottie. Nothing new about either of them...dime a dozen.

If they want to complain about ending up with close to $50,000 for four months of work then shame on them. Nice chunk of change if you ask me for a little summer job. Like everyone else: It's not enough...we want more! If you want more, go on to a musical school and invest in your talent (keeping in mind though the pure LACK of talent from this year's AI group), and work to get to stardom, like Lady Gaga. Most of the top ten touring groups from the past 9 years are forgotten anyway...and by next season, if Idol is still going on, this year's group will be forgotten, too.

Selfish group of people! Only one who probably values making $1,000 per show is James Durbin. Such a humble and appreciative soul! God bless him. I hope Idol hangs its head in shame when some producer picks James up and his career skyrockets.

By the way: Haley ought to be ashamed of her facial expressions when it was announced that she was going home. Dirty, filthy ho tramp! Sexed her way to get as far as she did and then scowled like a cheap, sourpuss, bitch when she was eliminated. Hope her poor attitude lands her in a ditch where some drunk pisses on her after vomiting on her in the streets of Chicago. She's a shame to the state of IL!

1194 days ago


Ron 4 hours ago

50 dollars spending cash on their days off, how generous :) I guess they can go to burger king and maybe get something at walmart on the days off..

Does your boss give you money on your day off?

Again, these are just kids starting out, why should they make mega bucks? The publicity they have had is priceless. Millions of people know their name.
Most musicians work years playing bars and tiny venues for less when they start out. They get to play large venues and get their name and face out there. These kids got lucky. 1K for a few hours work, another 50 on days I don't work, sign me up! Great summer job!

1194 days ago

I am Spartacus    

wow AI is ripping them off

1194 days ago


what a rip off. makes me not want to watch the show anymore. didn't ryan seacrest just get a 40 million dollar contract? if they can afford to pay her that much......give me a break. sweatshop on tour.

1194 days ago

Sterling Wolfe    

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

-Hunter S. Thompson

This will be good practice for those of them who sign with major labels. For even the percentage who make their record companies big money, after "creative accounting" they all get stiffed after the cooked books show a net loss.

In the mean time, I hope they get over their delusion that they'll see anything but a few dimes from marketing once the "magic accountants" step in with their Hollywood famous bookcookbook recipe.

So I'm afraid that those who sign with anybody with the traditional industry standard contract will look back at these days of getting a relative pittance to what they're making the entity as "good times."

Or perhaps they'll realize over time that the real way to make money is:
1) shake their asses in front of a camera while a computer has whacked out their voices so much it doesn't sound remotely human, being able to sing as off key as they wish because the computer can "fix" all of it;
2) Dress up wild, watch other aspiring artists, and wake up just in time the camera passes in front of them to go "that was beautiful. Just beautiful." before returning back to their nap.

At the end of the day, I wonder whether it will prove worth it to AI to save the money they didn't pay the kids versus what a-holes they look like to many if not most of us with this type of paycheck relative to the income stream they generate. Me? I'd rather pay the kids at least twice as much so that when the harvey's of the world expose me I don't look like the nasty corporate machine rolling over the little guys. Just because they could get them to sign the contract when they're nobody's doesn't necessarily mean their going to look like princes "because they agreed to it."

URbusted: I doubt your boss sends you to places you don't live, whether that be New York, LA, Chicago, or Miami, where you're pretty much on the clock every time you're around another human being, promoting your bosses product by just showing your face, then says "here's 50 bucks for your day 'off'". Further, are you under 18, so your family has to accompany you around and live off your $50 for your "days off?"

Unless these kids hide in their hotel room not seeing another human being not connected with the show, they don't have a "day off" in reality, only on paper.

1194 days ago


if they had any class they would at the very least pay the taxes for these kids so they at LEAST get paid full peanuts instead of 1/2 peanuts.

1194 days ago


A Question really. Does anyone know why Haley was not on Leno last night? All the other top 13 contestants were on Leno the night after they were voted off.

1194 days ago


You can't justify their meager pay by comparing it what they were making at some store before Idol. Nor can you say that they are young so they don't deserve to be paid much. Age has nothing to do with it. To be fair, you compare what they make on tour to what other groups playing 12,000-15,000 seat venues charging the same ticket prices earn. These kids are getting ripped off big time.

1194 days ago


@Sterling Wolfe-

Oh my, poor babies, on the clock 24/7? Cmon! This is a priceless opportunity for them. An one in a lifetime experience. How many people would pay to be in their places? They also get go to red carpet events, meet celebrities, do photo shoots and show up at places around the country and have fans fawning over you. And get to see travel the country for free. And they are getting paid on top of it.

Their tour runs from July 6th through Sept 10th. 2 months. That's 5-6 shows a week. They'll be busy, but 5-6K a WEEK. I work 5 days a week too. 12 hours a day and an 1 1/2 hour compute. I wish I made that.
They should be able to "live off that" just fine. And their parent/guardian too.

I could live on that quite easily. So if they have no privacy for 2 hoo.

1194 days ago


waffles 6 minutes ago

You can't justify their meager pay by comparing it what they were making at some store before Idol. Nor can you say that they are young so they don't deserve to be paid much. Age has nothing to do with it. To be fair, you compare what they make on tour to what other groups playing 12,000-15,000 seat venues charging the same ticket prices earn. These kids are getting ripped off big time.

@ waffles-
It's called paying your dues. Everyone has to do it. Most musicians have played everywhere and anywhere for practically nothing before they are able to play those big venues, they paid their dues.
No one even knew these kids names a few months ago. You forget, along with the 50K, they are getting paid for priceless publicity too, a huge opportunity is part of that paycheck.
Why does everyone want something for nothing?

1194 days ago


One tiny notch above slave labor. Good work American Idol and Fox! More like indentured servants. Funny!

1194 days ago


i see nothing wrong with it a 4 month tour and making around 40k in four months heck average american doesnt make that in a freaking year.

1194 days ago


It is a scam. In detroit there are no tickets left for 75.00 floor seats maybe 500 people cheap ticket 55.00 buck put you in upper level. So they sold at least 10000 tickets. At the cheap end about a half million in sale and they pay out 11 grand. Wow

1194 days ago
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