Josiah Leming was a homeless teenager living out of his car when he auditioned for American Idol. Simon Cowell called his audition one of the most memorable of the season. Regardless, he didn’t make it to the top 24 and was flown home. Now Josiah has recorded an album which is set to be released in late January ’09 and because Idol and Simon Fuller’s 19 entertainment are greedy corporate machines, they’re threatening legal action against Josiah.
“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.
When the smash-hit show began in 2002, only finalists had to sign the contract – but now it’s mandatory for all contestants.
A rep for Leming, who grew up in Tennessee as one of eight siblings, said, “Josiah was the only ‘Idol’ contestant ever to get a record deal who didn’t make the top 24, and one of only four contestants to get a deal this year. He has personal reasons for getting his music out, threat or not.”
Did I mention his personal reason was to release an album before his terminally ill mother died and that no one from Idol expressed any interest in working with him when they sent him back home to his car? Leming’s lawyer has since sent a letter to Idol producers but has not yet heard back.
Idol should just sue him and stop the album from being released. Then afterward they can celebrate by kicking some puppies and pushing a few old people down the stairs. Oh hey, I hear there are a lot of homeless people around too. They might also enjoy to grabbing a handful of quarters and pegging them in the face with about $100 worth.