What Does The Winner Of American Idol Get? Well, A Lot More Than You Think!


Ever thought about a day without listening to a single song? I bet that is hard to happen. Now, some people sing just because they love to, whereas some sing for a living as professional singers. This is where the singing on reality shows like American Idol plays a major role, as it builds singers. So, people in this article What Does The Winner Of American Idol Get? We’ll tell you all about the reality show and give you the answer you’re looking for.

American Idol (2002) happens to be one of the most famous TV reality shows of all time, as it deals with singing, people tend to love and admire the show. The most vital aspect of the show is that it creates big opportunities for ordinary people. Established singers like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Caleb Johnson, and many more have won the competition and made a name for themselves. The show premiered on 11th June 2002 on Fox and was created by Simon Fuller. Later in 2018, the show was revived by ABC.

We all might have wondered some time while watching the show what these winners of American Idol get but never really found out. So, not to worry, we are to give you all the details. The winner of the reality TV show American Idol, firstly after winning the competition gets to sign a major deal with a big-league record label for up to six albums.

All winners prior to the ninth season received $1 million, which eventually came down to $250,000 plus an advance. The winner also gets an additional $300,000 from the record company for the album, which they have to pay back eventually. Apart from the money, the winner also receives several other exclusive deals. Also, you cannot forget the fame and privileges that come with all of this.

So, now you know everything about what the winner of American Idol gets after winning the show. It’s about time that we give you some other details and information as well. 

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What Does The Winner Of American Idol Get?  Let’s Dig A Little Deeper!

What Does The Winner Of American Idol Get? Well, A Lot More Than You Think!

We have a clear idea now about the prize money and deals that the winner of the American Idol gets, but there are certain protocols they have to go through. The prize money that they currently receive, is $250,000, but they get it in two installments. Initially, they received only $125,000, and the rest of the amount they get after finishing their first album with a major record label, that is, mainly the Hollywood Records.

We have to understand that there are several aspects of these reality shows that the winner has to follow through. It’s not like the winning prize is entirely for the winner, of course, the major portion is, but there are other people involved too. The entertainment business has its own set of rules, the winner has to pay their manager 10% to 15% of the prize money, and the lawyer takes around 5%. So, the winner currently goes home with around a total of $187,000.

American Idol is the only singing reality show that can afford to give the winners an amount like this, along with other lucrative deals they make them sign. The show is immensely popular as it’s been going on for almost two decades now. 

The show has produced some big stars as we’ve already mentioned before. Apart from the successful singers that the show has produced, we got to witness some of the biggest names in the industry that came on the show as judges, which includes Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and last but not the least Lionel Richie. We would say that these few people single-handedly increased the show’s TRP. 

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American Idol Related Question And Answers | Everything You Need To Know

What Does The Winner Of American Idol Get? Well, A Lot More Than You Think!

Here are some of the important questions that we have answered for you, as we thought you might want to know about it. So, there you go.

What Does The Runner-Up Of American Idol Get?

As you already know all about what the winner gets, now let us tell you about what is there in store for the runner-up. The contestant who wins the second prize gets a total amount of $187,000. 

The same thing happens with the runner-up as well. They get half of their money initially, then eventually, they receive the second half. Along with the money, the finalists also receive certain professional rewards as well.

Is American Idol (2022) Season 20 Cancelled?

Let’s say you’re quite lucky, American Idol season 20 has not been canceled. ABC returned with its 5th season, that is on their platform, and the 20th season is generally on 27th February 2022 and is still running. 

Ryan Seacrest is the host of this season, along with the judges, including Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and the master himself, Lionel Richie. Sadly this time, Bobby Bones did not come back as the in-house mentor for the contestants.

Who Are all there In The Top 5 Of American Idol (2022) Season 20?

The 20th season of the popular singing reality TV show American Idol still continues to go on with its top 5 contestants. Someone among them will be the winner of this season. The top 5 contestants are Fritz Hager, HunterGirl, Leah Marlene, Nicolina, and Noah Thompson.

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What Is The Contract Controversy All About In American Idol?

In one of the recent controversies, the winner of American Idol season 11, Philip Philips, sued the singing reality show to void his contract with 19 Entertainment. Philips certainly is not the first person in this long queue of plaintiffs that tried to take American Idol to the court. The show, irrespective of everything, continues to be unconquered.

There is another controversy regarding the show, but it does not involve any aspect of legal contracts. In an unexpected incident on the show, one of the contestants claimed to have an affair with one of the show’s judges of season 5, Paula Abdul. Later, it turned out that the person’s claim was false and that he was excessively obsessed with Paula. He also had a pending criminal record which he did not disclose earlier and was dismissed from the show eventually.

How Many Seasons Does American Idol Have In Total?

American Idol premiered on 11th June 2002 on Fox channel, later in 2018, it was picked up and revived by ABC. The show has a total of 20 seasons up until now. Here is the list of seasons with the years.

  • Season 1 – 2002
  • Season 2 – 2003
  • Season 3 – 2004
  • Season 4 – 2005
  • Season 5 – 2006
  • Season 6 – 2007
  • Season 7 – 2008
  • Season 8 – 2009
  • Season 9 – 2010
  • Season 10 – 2011
  • Season 11 – 2012
  • Season 12 – 2013
  • Season 13 – 2014
  • Season 14 – 2015
  • Season 15 – 2016
  • Season 16 – 2018
  • Season 17 – 2019
  • Season 18 – 2020
  • Season 19 – 2021
  • Season 20 – 2022

Who Is The Winner Of The First Season Of American Idol?

The winner of the first season of American Idol back in 2002 is Kelly Clarkson. She also won prize money of $1 million and a deal with Hollywood Records.

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Final Word

We sincerely hope that this article was helpful enough and provided you with all the answers that you were looking for regarding the show American Idol

Vansh Sharma
Vansh Sharma
Graduate in Journalism and Mass Media. For me, writing is a free flow of thoughts and opinions that brings reality in a formative way. I am a keen observer of society and nature, hence my writing shares a dramatic arch with deep rationale. Writing and reading make me think deeper and help me draw a contrast to understand better. I have written research papers and am on the verge to complete more. You can walk with me from Cinema, lifestyle & everyday speculations to technology, health, and education.


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