'Idol' moves toward lower payouts for runners-up

LOS ANGELES - Coming in second on "American Idol" may still be a path to superstardom, but it no longer offers guaranteed paychecks worthy of the next pop idol or rock star.

Wednesday night's "Idol' runner-up, Jessica Sanchez, doesn't have a definite shot at producing an album and could be paid as little as $30,000 in advances for recording singles. This, according to the "Idol" contract she and other Season 11 contestants signed that was reviewed by The Associated Press.

The agreement is the first time in "Idol's" history that producers are not offering the show's runner-up an album deal that in previous years had a guaranteed advance of at least $175,000. The move comes amid declining album sales for the recording industry and a drop in viewership for the "Idol" show.

Representatives for "American Idol' refused to comment.

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