‘American Idol’ Contestant Sues Show for Unpaid Wages

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan

Talent Recap / YouTube Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan

Normandy Vamos first appeared on “American Idol” when she auditioned in season 20. She spoke in a squeaky, high-pitched voice which got much deeper when she sang, surprising the judges. Katy Perry even walked off the set when Vamos first sang, shouting, “F*** this job! I’m out of here. I will not be set up.” while Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie laughed along.

Now, the former contestant has filed a class action lawsuit against the show, claiming the judges “turned her into a laughingstock” and that the show “treated her like an employee and deprived her of compensation”, according to a press release by Vamos’s legal team.

Normandy Vamos Has Filed a Class Action Lawsuit Against ‘American Idol’

Normandy's VOICE SHOCKS The Judges During Her Idol Audition​ American Idol on ABC | Season 5 | Premiere Auditions 1 #AmericanIdol #TalentRecap #Audition Watch our weekly @Talent Recap show for a deeper dive into what's happening on @american Idol week by week! HERE: youtube.com/talentrecap/ For more HD videos, news, analysis and recaps of American Idol – please subscribe & follow Talent Recap: talentrecap.com/…2022-02-28T01:46:47Z

Vamos is suing the production companies behind “American Idol” (including the network, ABC), for multiple complaints, including Failure to Pay Overtime Wages, Failure to Pay Minimum Wages, and Failure to Provide Uninterrupted Meal Periods, according to court documents.

According to the press release, the lawsuit was “filed on behalf of Vamos and other unpaid or underpaid performers for Idol over the past four years,” which Business Insider reported could be up to 400 other former contestants.

On her season, Vamos received a “Yes” from all three judges after her audition, where she sang Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” and Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain”, however she did not appear in the “Hollywood Week” round of the competition. Many were confused why she didn’t move on, and Vamos clarified in a March 30, 2022 TikTok video, stating, “I got a call from Fremantle, and they told me that I would not be going to ‘Hollywood Week’, and this is very very common because they get hundreds of people that they give yeses to, and so not everyone can go to ‘Hollywood Week’ because too many people.”

The press release elaborated that Vamos’s “lawsuit states that Vamos and other contestants were required to sign ‘work-for-hire’ contracts assigning copyright and licenses arising from their performances to the defendants, but at the same time the defendants made the contestants sign paperwork declaring they were not employees. The arrangement violated California Labor Code because the show’s producers forced individuals to work on a volunteer basis. The show’s producers also failed to give the participants adequate time off for meals, and when they did allow the participants some breaks they maintained the right to secretly record them.”

Heavy reached out to ABC and “American Idol” representatives for comment but have not heard back at the time of publication.

Normandy Vamos Released a Single Amidst ‘American Idol’ Lawsuit

Amidst her “American Idol” lawsuit, Vamos announced the release of a new single, titled “Sweetest Jam”, which came out on Valentine’s Day, February 14. Vamos has previously released music on her YouTube channel, including a 12-track Christmas EP called “A COVID Christmas”, with covers of her favorite holiday songs.

While some fans sent Vamos their praise of her new single in her Instagram comments section, others used the space to criticize her pending lawsuit, with one “Idol” fan writing, “A frivolous waste of time lawsuit to get her notoriety. Ridiculous and annoying.”

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