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May 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Not only are the ratings for American Idol diminishing, but so, too, are the payments to the runners-up. According to the Associated Press, the producers of the talent contest have altered the agreement with contestants so that the runner-up no longer automatically receives an album deal with a guaranteed advance of at least $175,000. Jessica Sanchez, the 16-year-old singer who placed second to winner Phillip Phillips, could receive as little as $30,000 in advances, the AP said, citing clauses in the contract that she and others contestants signed earlier this year. The wire service quoted Northwestern University assistant professor Max Dawson, who teaches a course on reality TV, as saying that the change makes sense. “You can’t continue to offer the same sorts of rewards and incentives when the program was averaging 25 to 30 million [viewers], and [now] the finale is barely breaking 20 million.”