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'American Idol' Season 20 Contestant SUES Production Companies, Claims She Was Set Up For Ridicule & Didn't Get A Dime

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Source: Alex Dobuzinskis; american idol/abc

Feb. 7 2023, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

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A viral contestant from season 20 of American Idol is suing the production companies behind the show and ABC, claiming she was not properly compensated for the work she put in, has learned.

Normandy Vamos, a gamer from Baltimore, made an impression with her high-pitched speaking voice that contrasted with her deep vocals, as well as her "carrot-shaped purse and sweet disposition" when she auditioned.

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Source: Alex Dobuzinskis

Judge Katy Perry was taken aback by her soulful performance of Proud Mary. "F--- this job. I'm outta here!" said the Harleys in Hawaii songstress. "I will not be set up."

Vamos is pursuing a wage and hour class action lawsuit filed on behalf of herself and other unpaid or underpaid performers over the past four years.

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Source: mega
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"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," attorney Chantal Payton said in a statement obtained by

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Source: american idol/abc
American Idol
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The lawsuit accused the defendants of failing to pay wages for all hours worked, failing to provide compliant meal and rest breaks or pay meal and rest break premiums owed, and failing to pay wages due at the time of separation.

"Vamos and other performers who create content for American Idol have rights as employees, but the producers have chosen to ignore those rights. They treated them as so-called volunteers, when in reality they are employees who should be paid," the docs read.

According to the filing, Vamos and other contestants were required to sign "work-for-hire" contracts assigning copyright and licenses arising from their performances to the producers. However, the defendants "fraudulently informed" the contestants they were not employees, requiring them to sign a document in agreement.

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Source: abc
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While taking part in the singing competition, producers also allegedly told her to leave the hotel where all the performers were staying and drive home to retrieve a carrot-shaped purse she owns into the audition "to elicit a certain planned reaction" from the judges, including Lionel Ritchie and Luke Bryan.

Vamos said she never got a dime for her time, mileage, or the use of the purse.

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"Reality TV isn't always real. There's a lot that happens behind the scenes,” Vamos said. "Myself and hundreds of people worked about a week with no pay. I think a lot of reality TV participants aren't aware that they have rights." has reached out to ABC for comment.



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