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Many American Idol winners who receive even a modicum of fame appreciate the people who helped him to get there. However, former American Idol winner Phillip Phillips is about to go to war with the management company behind American Idol. The musician, like some reality competition winners, thinks the contract he was forced to sign is not in his long-term best interests. In fact, he thinks it’s technically illegal under California’s Talent Agencies Act.

The reason people sign on to American Idol is to have a shot at being a major recording artist. It’s an opportunity at fame, but more specifically, winners actually receive a recording contract as part of the grand prize. The piece of paper allows the winner to record an album with some of the most expensive and famous record producers in the world. It’s a key to the candy store and a gift almost any aspiring musician would take, but in some ways, it’s not exactly as much of a godsend as it would first seem. The contracts tend to be very restricting as far as what the performer can and cannot do, and Phillip Phillips is ready to take that dirty laundry out into the open.

According to Deadline, Phillips cites many instances in which management company and Idol co-producer 19 Entertainment was allegedly looking out for its own interests more than his. For example: he claims he was told to perform at an event for JetBlue without compensation. When he asked why, he was told they were a major sponsor of the American Idol Tour, which he was not a part of. So, in essence, he was doing promotion for other American Idol contestants and 19 Entertainment clients instead of for himself. Hardly seems fair, but that might be the contract he signed into.

Phillips claims he’s more than willing to share the wealth with American Idol. His lawyer says the show and its producers should receive a share of his grosses as a result of how the show helped him make a star, but they would like him to have a management company that puts his specific needs over the needs of its other clients, along with American Idol itself. Of course, there are two sides to every story, and 19 Entertainment has already fired back, arguing it has always acted in the best interests of Philip Phillips.

It seems like a real instance of he said she said, but regardless of how the two parties feel, it looks like some sort of action is required to get down to the nitty gritty of the problem and to come to a solution. Expect plenty of back and forth over the next few weeks and then hopefully a settlement. A protracted legal battle isn’t in anyone’s best interest, and since, at his core, Phillip Phillips clearly says he appreciates his experience with American Idol and American Idol probably still wants to be in business with Phillip Phillips, there is every reason to hope they work something out.

We’ll keep you updated on the case as it moves forward. Until then, here’s hoping this season’s American Idol winner winds up having a better relationships with his or her management company.