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'Idol' dropout Mario hires Clay's lawyer

Singer taps attorney who voided Aiken's contract
/ Source: The Associated Press

Mario Vazquez is no longer contending for the “American Idol” crown, but he’s following in the footsteps of one of its most famous alumnus — Clay Aiken.

Vazquez has hired Aiken’s lawyer, Jess L. Rosen — the man who sprung Aiken from the contract binding him to the 19 Entertainment, the management company owned by “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller.

19 Entertainment oversees not just the recording deal for “American Idol” stars, but also merchandising, touring, sponsorship and movie deals. The “Idol” contracts are considered among the more restrictive in the industry.

Aiken is now managed by leading management group The Firm.

Neither Vazquez nor Rosen was available for comment Thursday, according to Vazquez’s publicist, Matt Shelton. But Shelton did tell The Associated Press that Vazquez hired Rosen before he quit “American Idol” last Sunday.

Vazquez, a 27-year-old New York City native, stunned “Idol” watchers when he bolted from the show last week for reasons he would only describe as “personal.” A fan favorite, he was considered a top contender for the show’s crown.