Former American Idol Contestant Sues for Being Made a ‘Laughingstock’

A former American Idol contestant has sued the production companies behind the show, alleging that she was underpaid and was set up in the audition that quickly went viral. According to a lawsuit that was filed on Friday by Normandy Vamos, she as well as other contestants were treated as employees but not paid. Contestants were working 15-hour days with little to no breaks. She goes on to allege that her final audition was partially set up for viral fame in the class action lawsuit which includes up to 400 former participants.

In the lawsuit, Vamos stated that after a series of successful auditions, several participants were invited to stay in a hotel during “Hollywood Week.” Vamos’ attorneys allege that at that point the show should have classified the participants as employees, rather than volunteers under California law, as the episode had the potential to be re-aired. 

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

 The contestant reportedly remained in the hotel for 15 hours a day on standby, for up to 8 Days on end, in order to wait to be called for auditions without pay. The wage lawsuit is also alleging that contestants were made a “ work for hire” contract that signed away all their copyrights and licensing rights to perform.

Normandy’s VOICE SHOCKS The Judges During Her Idol Audition

Representatives for American Idol and ABC have yet to comment on the situation.

“American Idol’s producers seem to feel they can break labor laws and exploit ambitious young performers simply because they may be eager for a shot at becoming the next Jennifer Hudson or Carrie Underwood,” Vamos’s attorney, Chantal Payton, principal managing partner of Payton Employment Law, PC stated through a press release. “They treated them as so-called volunteers, when in reality they are employees who should be paid.”

Payton is also claiming that the judges made Vamos a “laughing stock” in her audition. Lawyers came that when it was her turn she was instructed to retrieve a carrot-shaped purse that she had owned in order to help create a viral moment. Through a statement, attorneys stated that the judges lean into her high-pitched speaking voice for the audition.

“Reality TV isn’t always real. There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes,” Vamos stated. “Myself and hundreds of people worked about a week with no pay.”

Back in February 2020, and her audition Vamos arrived holding the carrot purse and wearing bunny rabbit Crocs shoes, which left Katy Perry in shock after hearing her voice. The singer briefly leaves the judge’s table but returns before all the judges eventually vote Vamos to the next round. “Fuck this job. I’m outta here!” Perry stated in the segment. The judges are shocked and left impressed by her performance of “Proud Mary.”

Vamos never appeared in the next round, previously defending the show’s decision not to have her advance.  She isn’t able to compete on the show as a 30-year-old, due to the show’s Cut Off age of 29.

Read More: Kelly Clarkson Celebrates 20th Anniversary of ‘American Idol’ Win

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