'American Idol' alums on the speaker circuit? How much?
Wanna get "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, winner Kelly Clarkson or loser William Hung to talk to you?
You probably can. For a price.
After hearing that Katharine McPhee has just been named the new face of Neutrogena, I got to wondering about other past contestants' endorsement deals. With a brief Web search, I found out McPhee's other partnership is with Sexy Hair Concepts.
Kelly Clarkson is a spokesperson for Proactiv skin products, Vitamin Water and Candies footwear. And Ford partnered with Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks. Skechers USA is aligned with Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood, who also sings for Hershey's. And Season 3 finalist Jennifer Hudson has a new big-bucks deal with Avon.
Oddly, Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard has no endorsement deals. What, both Big and Tall Men and TrimSpa passed on this prime piece of property? What were they thinking?
But the really wild thing is how many "AI" alum -- winners and total losers -- are on the lucrative celebrity speaker circuit. And I found out about All-American Speakers, founded in 2002 by Greg Friedlander, a former PR and sports marketing expert, which purports to book these "AI" grads.
Say you wanted to hire Fantasia Barrino to talk about her "Idol" life and her book, "Life Is Not a Fairy Tale." You could find her on the All-American Talent and Celebrity Network by clicking HERE .
The site lists hundreds of celebs and numerous other "AI" faves such as Elliot Yamin, Kimberly Caldwell, William Hung, Ruben Studdard, Kelly Clarkson, Camile Velasco, Ryan Starr, George Huff, Justin Guarini, Latoya London, Clay Aiken and Julia Demato.
No current Season 7 contestants (the Top 12 are pictured above) are listed. But I'm sure it's only a matter of time before David Hernandez, David Archuleta or Kristy Lee Cook will be doing the pay-to-talk tours.
Interestingly, most "Idol" contestants (and judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson) have "contact booking agent for fee info" on their listings. By contrast, judge Simon Cowell and host Ryan Seacrest's speaking fees are blatantly listed as "$100,000 and above." Does this mean Simon and Ryan get more or less money than everyone else? I have a sneaky feeling it's more. Just call it a hunch.
But maybe Hung could be persuaded to do "She Bangs" at your birthday party for a few grand! Or maybe Justin would speak at your bat mizvah, for say, $25,000? Maybe $10,000 with a little haggling.
Just FYI: comedian Dane Cook's fee is listed as $100,000 and above. But hey, he's pretty darn funny. Ellen DeGeneres is listed as $200,000 and above. But she's very funny!
Strangely, Diane Sawyer is listed in the $30,001-to-$50,000 range. You would have thought she'd get more for having met and talked to every famous person in the last two decades.
Maybe it's because she's just not all that funny. And she also wasn't on "American Idol."