Saturday, February 04, 2006


Controversial Idol contestant, Jose "Sway" Penala has come under fire from some Idol fans since he was previously under a recording contract along with his band 6th Day, having already released a CD and toured in the Phillippines. Many fans, including this one, feel that since Sway already has been published and signed with someone else previously, he should step down and clear the way for other hopefuls who have not yet had the same opportunities, since it is likely that if he should not succeed on Idol, he will still have other opportunities. Others argue that his previous contracts violate Idol's "no management, no contract" rules.

However, producer Ken Warwick (via Reality TV Magazine) states: "When the thousand turn up you can’t go into their backgrounds, you can’t check everything... [Sway] is still on the show. Yes, absolutely...I mean as far as I know he at this moment in time. The minute he went forward we then get into it and say 'have you got any recording contracts?' Now, if he did have and lost them the minute he got through to the second round, then, you know, at the time he got through then he didn’t have a contract. He tells me, so we checked... and that’s all we can really do. He does not have a recording contract... You know we have to take it at face value. He is not contracted to anybody and anybody who progresses in the competition can’t be under contract to anybody else for obvious reasons and he is not to our knowledge. We look into it and the affairs look into it so I have to take it as it’s told to me."

To me, this changes everything. Let's say, for instance, that a recording artist like Avril Lavigne were to lose their recording contract. She could then, by this interpretation of the rules, be eligible for American Idol auditions, despite previously having a contract and selling millions of records.

Note to Idol: keep it simple. People watch to see relative unknowns become superstars, not to see people who are already in the business cashing in.

Sway has a fan site at Others, like myself, are joining a group called Go Away Sway.


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