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More Bad Publicity The Australian Idol Brand Did Not Need

damien leith

Australian Idol winner Damien Leith revealed today in the Daily Telegraph that he sold 300,000 of his first album The Winner Journey but did not make a cent.

The reason? According to industry sources, Leith and his runner-up Jessica Mauboy were victims of fine print in the standard contract signed by contestants, which specifies that the Idol creators 19 Entertainment and local producers Fremantle Media own the rights to their performances on the show.

Interesting that the following year, winner Natalie Gauci re-recorded her Idol songs for The Winner’s Journey to avoid the same fate.

How rude is that? Contracts given to reality TV contestants are apparently pretty advantageous to the production companies. Rumour has it, so I could be wrong, that the MasterChef Australia contract had a clause that Fremantle productions got something like 50% of any profits the contestants made after being on the show.

This clause could mean that they can take the profits from a pre-existing business. So this could mean profits from BJ Parker and his food photography business, or Chris Badenoch and his Beermason’s business. Hopefully they jumped up and down about it. I wonder if this also means profit derived from income which is outside the food industry eg Poh’s art?

Anyway back to Damien Leith, if you are a fan his fourth album, Remembering June, will be released on October 9.  He feels it is the record he has dreamed of making for the past 16 years.

“I’ve bitten my tongue so many times but I’m not worried about it any more because I’ve got this new album and it means so much to me. This is the first real album,” he said.

To Get To You is set to put Leith back on top as it was the second most added track to  radio playlists last week and features on a Channel 7 promotion for their new hospital drama Mercy


1 Laura { 09.19.09 at 10:47 pm }

Ugh that is so low.
Project Runway used to have a clause saying that Bravo/Weinstein gets 10% of the profits if the contestants make their own line with the $100 000. Then Jay (season 1) didn’t take the money for that reason and barely had a career post-show (which is not good for show’s credibility) so apparently it is not in the contracts anymore. But really, that is nothing compared to these Aus reality shows.

2 CG { 09.20.09 at 12:53 am }

I wonder if prices of the im-Poh-sters artwork have gone up since she was on MC ? Persons who come on these shows to become “celebrities” in general and outside of the focus of the show – thinking Poh and that woman Jeri on an early season of Survivor and the VERY annoying Elisabeth Hasselbeck – should be “taxed” on all future “non core” sources of income.

3 Reality Raver { 09.20.09 at 12:08 pm }

CG – I laughed so hard I nearly fell off the couch. So agree.

Laura – I am saying it is rumoured it is 50% (so I could be very wrong) it could be a smaller percentage. It is unconscionable in a way considering they pay them a very small ‘allowance’ while they are on the show

4 Injera { 09.23.09 at 12:13 am }

Oh, CG, thanks for reminding me that I have reality TV to thank for Elizabeth Hasselbeck! Almost enough to make me turn on the medium altogether…