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Jessica Sanchez Could Earn as Little as $30,000 in Record Deal Advances

Jessica Sanchez
Mark Davis, Getty Images

Ouch! Sounds like a shrieking toddler isn’t the only person who’s going to be upset at Jessica Sanchez losing out to Phillip Phillips on ‘American Idol.’ Her accountant probably won’t be too happy either — the runner up payouts are lower than ever.

The 16-year-old powerhouse may be looking at a payout of only about $30,000 from the Fox ratings juggernaut, as opposed to the previous second place earnings of roughly $175,000. What’s more, Sanchez, unlike previous second place finishers, isn’t guaranteed an album deal (though with a voice like hers, she’ll probably still get one).

The Associated Press took a gander at this season’s contracts, and is pretty much breaks down like this: If Sanchez records four songs, she’ll take home the comparatively paltry $30,000, but if she records a four to 10-song EP, she can pocket twice that amount. If Sanchez does record a full album, she’ll then be entitled to the same $175,000 that prior acts like Lauren Alaina took home … but that’s not guaranteed.

The new contracts also give the ‘American Idol’ team an option to go into a multi-year development deal with the show’s artists, which would require less music … and therefore less of paycheck for the young belter.

The Washington Post spoke with reality TV expert Max Dawson, who told the newspaper, “It makes sense. You can’t continue to offer the same sorts of rewards and incentives when the program was averaging 25 to 30 million (viewers), and (now) the finale is barely breaking 20 million.” Indeed, this season’s finale was lowest rated in the show’s history. Yikes!

Dawson explained, “These contracts don’t pay off … It seems like the successes that people like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood have had are the flukes.” He sort of has a point. For every Clarkson and Underwood, there’s a Hicks, Studdard and DeWyze, but perhaps the potential of a new judge next season will open the show up to an uptick in ratings — and thus more money for the finalists.

Watch Jessica Sanchez Perform ‘I Have Nothing’

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