Veteran singer MELISSA MANCHESTER has accused American Idol bosses of having contestants "over a barrel" by making them sign contracts during the competition.

The DON'T CRY OUT LOUD singer, who recently worked with the latest season's runner-up DIANA DeGARMO, admits she's not at all impressed with show creator Simon Fuller's controversial "partnerships" with Idol stars.

Fuller's company, 19 ENTERTAINMENT, reportedly oversees not just their recording deals but also controls their merchandising, touring, sponsorship and movie deals - an arrangement he's called "one-stop shopping".

Manchester says, "They have to sign management contracts that I would be wary of. It's not that there is anything illegal going on, but it's a little monopolistic, because you have to sign a management deal to go forward, and the contestants are over a barrel."

30/06/2004 21:27