'American Idol' Season 10 may have fielded the best collection of singers the show has seen in a single seasonal grouping since its debut on American television in 2002. And with the news that finalists Casey Abrams and Stefano Langone have signed recording contracts in the past few weeks, they just might become the most successful seasonal collective as well. That, of course, remains to be seen, but recording and getting one's music heard is definitely a step in the right direction.
"American Idol" reported that Abrams, who finished sixth in Season 10, signed with Concord Music Group, predominantly a jazz label, the second week of January.
“Casey Abrams’ talent is deep and untapped,” Concord Music Group CCO John Burk said about the deal. “We’re excited to work with Casey and 19 Entertainment on fulfilling his great promise.”
Abrams became one of the "Idol" favorites with his devil-may-care attitude and his growling groves. He wowed the judges with his mastery of several instruments, but none more than the stand-up bass. Coupled with his vocal control that lent itself well to jazz renditions, his performances caused judge Randy Jackson to admit that he could be the best performer the show had seen. He finished his run among the finalists after having been voted off the show in the eleventh position (but was saved by the judges in their only "Save" of the season), making it to sixth. But he got in a kiss on Jennifer Lopez' cheek before he left, setting off a Twitter firestorm.
And Abrams will be in good company at Concord. Among the high-profile artists signed to the label are jazz saxophonist Kenny G, famed singer/songwriter Carole King, and the incomparable Paul McCartney. His first album is scheduled for an early Summer release.
Abrams' news was followed quickly by the signing of his fellow finalist Stefano Langone to Hollywood Records, a division of the Disney Music Group.
“We are very excited to have Stefano on our roster,” noted Ken Bunt, Disney Music Group and Hollywood Records EVP (as reported by AmericanIdol.com). “He’s an incredibly talented vocalist and songwriter. His story is very inspiring and we are looking forward to helping him achieve his goals.”
Langone, like Abrams, benefitted from being saved by the judges. When the Top 13 contestants were chosen by the judges, the Top 10 were put through but a Wild Card Round was held to choose the remaining three contestants. Each judge chose one of the six to move forward and Jennifer Lopez picked Langone as her Wild Card. Langone's clear style and ready smile lent itself well to the R&B he delivered well, but it was just not enough to get him past the seventh position, one back of Abrams.
Abrams and Langone are just the latest of the "American Idol" Season 10 artists to be signed to recording deals. Pia Toscano was first, signed within hours of being voted off the show in ninth place. Scotty McCreery, of course, won the season, which comes with a recording contract. His runner-up, Lauren Alaina was signed as well. Third- and fourth-place finalists Haley Reinhart and James Durbin, respectively, were also quickly picked up by labels. Alaina, Durbin, and McCreery have all released albums, with McCreery's Clear As Day already being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
(photo credit: mtanne, Creative Commons)