Idol has its claws in David Archuleta
That became painfully clear for Archuleta and his rabid fans in Salt Lake City this week when the runner-up was forced to cancel a 'Thank You' concert. It was to be this Friday night and the proceeds were to go to charity. But American Idol nixed the whole thing because of Archuleta's "contractual obligations" to the show. It was an Idol-sanctioned event. Plus, Archuleta is scheduled to begin touring with his co-contestants on Saturday.
American Idol has a notorious contract. Clay Aiken was able to get out of his, but only with the help of a tough attorney. And remember Mario Vazquez? He was Top 12, but then quit the show reportedly because of the contract that, among other things, wouldn't let him sign any deals until at least three months after the winner was crowned.
A few years ago, a writer at Salon.com reviewed the first season contract and concluded it was so restrictive that the contestants' careers were "literally not their own."