For eleven years now, American Idol has been feeding the dreams of talented and not-so-talented singers and audience members alike. For many contestants, being on the show is a year-long commitment -and more. BankRate looks at the financial costs and rewards of such a venture. What expenses are involved in being a contestant? How much does it pay? How are the winners doing? And is it worth it even if you don't win? Of course, some former Idols have done better than others, and it doesn't always hinge on how successful they were on the show.
Once chosen for the top 12, Idol contestants are provided room and board, although the accommodations have varied widely from season to season.Link
"There have been years where they want to show it on the air so they put them up in mansions in the Hollywood hills; other years, they've put them up in this apartment complex that's not seen on the air," says Rushfield. "It's nothing fancy, but it's not squalor. They have roommates all the way through, and when their roommates get cut, they consolidate them to save on the rooms."