A singer who competed on Season 20 of American Idol is now suing the show.
Normandy Vamos auditioned for the 20th season of the iconic singing competition show by submitting her online audition to producers. They were so impressed by her that she was able to audition for judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie.
Her audition quickly went viral due to her high speaking voice, and her low singing voice, which shocked the judges and viewers at home. While her audition is no longer on any of the American Idol social platforms, it can be seen on Talent Recap’s YouTube channel, where it has over 1.2 million views.
Nearly a year after her auditioned aired on ABC, Vamos is suing American Idol “as part of a wage and hour class action lawsuit,” and claims that she – as well as other contestants- “should have been paid as employees for the time they spent waiting to audition for the show.”
According to Fox News, Vamos’s lawyer, Chantal Payton, said in a statement, “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 alleges she was treated like a “laughingstock” during her first audition, where she wore a large carrot purse, which judges eventually asked her to take off. She says that producers encouraged her to wear the purse and “instructed her how to appear and sound.”
It should be noted that since her time on American Idol, Vamos has shared photos of herself wearing the carrot purse, and continues to post on social media and YouTube speaking at the beginning of her videos in her normal, high-pitched singing voice and then singing in a deeper tone.
View this post on Instagram
In the lawsuit, Payton adds, “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 lawsuit also claims that the show “subverts California labor laws to take advantage of starry-eyed performers” and that producers dictate how “participants appear, orchestrating segments full of ridicule from celebrity judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan that are a signature part of the series.”
Payton says that contestants auditioning for the show were told to remain at a hotel and “be available for up to 15 hours a day with no compensation.”
Reps from American Idol have not responded to Fox’s request for comment on the lawsuit.
Read more about the lawsuit here.