Vazquez seems poised to try to break his ironclad American Idol contract

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated March 18, 2005 08:00 AM

Despite Mario Vazquez’s protests that it wasn’t the binding American Idol contract that swayed him to quit the show last weekend – despite being the current season’s perceived frontrunner – he has hired high-powered attorney Jess L. Rosen, the same lawyer who helped AI pin-up boy Clay Aiken escape from his ironclad Idol contract, the Associated Press reports.

Neither Vazquez nor Rosen was available for comment Thursday, according to Vazquez’s publicist, Matt Shelton.

But Shelton did tell AP that the 27-year-old, fedora-topped Bronx crooner – who has yet to explain why he ditched the show other than to cite unspecific “personal reasons” – hired Rosen before quitting the FOX talent hunt last Sunday.

Rosen reportedly sprung Aiken from his binding contract with 19 Entertainment, the management company owned by Idol creator Simon Fuller. Besides overseeing the recording deal for Idol stars, 19 Entertainment, known for operating with one of the most restrictive contracts in the music business, also handles merchandising, touring, sponsorship and movie deals.

Aiken is now managed by the leading management group The Firm.