The cost of being on 'American Idol'
Did Adam Lambert buy his own clothes?
Ever wonder whether Adam Lambert paid for those outrageous "Glambert" costumes he wore on the eighth season? The answer is yes -- and no.
"They go on a shopping trip with a fashion consultant who works on the show and they get like $450 a week to spend on whatever they want," says Rushfield. "But a lot of them dip into their own pocket because a few hundred dollars doesn't go that far in a lot of these expensive stores in Hollywood. The clothes are theirs to keep after the show."
Contestants who bail on their day jobs for a shot at "Idol" fame often risk more than mere wardrobe expenses. Nikki McKibbin, who shared the first season's top three with runner-up Justin Guarini and winner Kelly Clarkson, sacrificed her new karaoke company and lost her apartment for nonpayment of rent. The second season's top three finalist Kimberley Locke passed up law school for her shot.
The two pursued different paths post-Idol: McKibbin wound up in the high-profile TV series "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" while Locke became a recording artist, plus-size model and "Celebrity Fit Club" contestant.