Idol Reject Josiah Leming Faces Legal Action from Show
By Joyce Eng
Josiah Leming, the teary homeless singer who was the last to be axed before the top 24 round on American Idol Season 7, is facing an Idol threat in regards to his upcoming album.
According to The New York Post, Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment, the force behind Idol, is threatening to block the release of Leming's debut disc, due in January, citing violation of terms of agreement. Leming, like all contestants, signed a strict contract with 19E that stipulates he must record with the Idol-handpicked label, Sony/BMG, and gives the company exclusive right of refusal for management and merchandising.
Leming, 19, signed with Warner Bros. earlier this year.
"Josiah was the only Idol contestant ever to get a record deal who didn't make the top 24, and one of only four contestants to get a deal this year," a rep for the 19-year-old said. "He has personal reasons for getting his music out, threat or not."
His tug-at-your-heartstrings backstory was well-chronicled on Idol - he lived in his car and his mom has terminal cancer - Leming is determined to get his album on shelves "while [his mother] is alive to share it."
Idol producers have yet to respond to Leming's lawyers, his rep said.