Mario Vazquez Saga Update
Mario Vazquez, who created a huge buzz when he abruptly quit the American Idol competition after having been named a finalist, has hired Clay Aiken’s attorney to get him out of the deal. It seems he already has an album out and would prefer not to pay the exorbitant commission to Idol required by his contract.
Ex-‘Idol’ Hires Clay’s Lawyer (Fox News)
“Personal reasons” be damned. The secret is out (and so is the album). Mario Vazquez, the guy who suddenly quit “American Idol” last week, has been “Clayed,” or should I say, “Aiwakened?” He’s hired former “Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken’s high-powered record-industry lawyer. And he may have jeopardized his “amateur” status by being featured on an album that’s already been released.
Vazquez, I’ve learned, has gotten Atlanta entertainment lawyer Jess L. Rosen to represent him. Coincidentally Ã¢€” or not, depending on how you look at it Ã¢€” Rosen is most famous for extricating Aiken from his octopus-tentacled “American Idol” management contract with Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment last year.
Someone else will have to decide if that CD violated the “American Idol” rules. The show’s Web site states: “In order to be eligible, the contestants are not permitted to have any CURRENT recording or talent-management agreements.”
In leaving the show, Vasquez was obviously convinced of the value of bowing out now rather than continuing through the needless process of competition. Aiken would be his role model. After losing “American Idol” to Ruben Studdard, Aiken realized that he was stuck with a management contract that kept him with Fuller, the show’s owner, for years to come at a very high commission. Rosen got him out of it and moved him over to Jeff Kwatinetz’s behemoth agency, The Firm.
The Vasquez album can apparently be listened to online.
I’d never heard of Vasquez until news of his resignation and haven’t watched Idol since the Aiken-Studdard competition. Still, this is an interesting brouhaha.
I don’t know enough about contract law to understand how Aiken was able to secure his release from an agreement he voluntarily signed. Surely, the publicity from the show is what catapulted him to stardom; it’s not unreasonable that the show’s producers should share in some of the riches that come from that.