TMZ has learned 'American Idol' producers have applied the brakes to contestants who think they can become the next William Hung.
TMZ is privy to the "exclusivity" clause that season five contestants have signed. It basically paralyzes contestants from doing anything showbiz related until three months after the grand finale. The contract prohibits contestants from entering into "...any talent management agreement, talent agency agreement, recording contract, songwriting contract, acting contract, modeling contract, sponsorship contract, or any merchandising contract ....until three months following the date of the first broadcast of the final episode announcing the winner of the competition."
The exclusivity clause goes on to say that if a contestant signs a deal in violation of the contract, 'A.I.' producers "shall be entitled to injunctive and other equitable relief." Translation - a judge could quash the deal.
Alan Grunblatt, Executive Vice President of Koch Entertainment, signed Hung immediately after his legendary 'A.I.' audition. The 'She Bangs' kid went on the make waves in the music biz, selling 200,000 records.
Grunblatt says the restrictions for season five contestants makes it extremely difficult for any of the rejects to catch fire.
Grunblatt tells TMZ that he'd be mighty interested in signing singing cowboy Garet Johnson, who was booted after his performance Tuesday, but the contractual restrictions could be a buzz kill. There's one ray of hope - according to the contract, rejected contestants can ask 'A.I.' producers for "prior written consent" if a lucrative deals surfaces.