UPDATE 10/31/08: You can do Josiah Leming a solid by downloading his EP “Angels Undercover” from Amazon or itunes. Check out Josiah’s Myspace too.
Hey, greedy Simons, take some advice. You better BACK OFF of Josiah Leming, and stop trying to tie him up with a dastardly 19E slave deal.
Snarkista’s dealt with 19E, the management arm that puts American Idols into bonded servitude in trade for managing their careers and putting out their records. She can’t say much except that she negotiated HARD with 19E attorneys over an event, and got her way. It was not easy, as they assume things are their way or the highway. Except when you have something they want, which Snarkista did. So she hammered out HER way, and they had to fall in line. All this is to say, they are hard-ass bastards. And Josiah’s is an example of the unthinkable things they pull.
You may remember Josiah Leming, he was the homeless singer that won hearts all over the world with his hard-knock life…living out of his car. Josiah had great spirit, though, despite his great hardships. Now, his mother is dying of cancer, and he might be blocked from releasing the album he recorded because he was a contestant last season on “American Idol.”
Josiah, 19, wasn’t a contestant for long, he didn’t even make the show’s top 24. Still, he received an official letter from “Idol” threatening legal action if he puts out his record in January as planned.
“Idol” contestants must sign strict contracts with the show’s producer, Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell’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. These contracts are the most restrictive by far in the music industry…NOBODY else would ever sign with 19E unless they were forced to like Idols are.
When American Idol began in 2002, only finalists had to sign the contract, but now it’s mandatory for ALL contestants. No word on where they draw the line on “contestant”, it’s possible that hundreds of Idol rejects are now contracted to 19E who will never produce or record them.
A representative for Josiah says: “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.”
The New York Post says “Leming is now racing the clock. His mother has terminal cancer, and nothing is going to stop him from getting his music out while she is alive to share it. His album on Warner Records will be released in late January ’09.” Josiah’s lawyer shot a letter back to “Idol” producers but hasn’t heard back. “We’re waiting,” the rep said.
This is a sucky lesson for you who are talented and try out for Idol. You better read that contract thoroughly, and then decide if you wanna get in bed with 19E. They play hardball, they will OWN you, and their only motivation is the almighty dollar. They’re paranoid as well, and you will see just how much when you read the confidentiality clauses. Trust Snarkista. Those clauses are hilarious except they’re so deadly serious about them. Every breach can cost you $50,000 or more. And you can breach by sneezing. Or staring.
Josiah, you fight those assclowns. They are TERRIFIED of bad publicity (again, read the confidentiality clauses). Give as many interviews with sympathetic media (won’t be hard to find) as you can. You and your 8 siblings take care of your mama, and tell your lawyer get ready to act like Tony Soprano. Because you have to speak the language they understand.