The singer's continuing legal dispute with 19 Entertainment made for a tricky booking.
When performers at Thursday night's American Idol finale were first announced, the list touted a return of the show's previous winners, but one name was missing: season 11 champ Phillip Phillips.
As the news spread of this glaring omission, speculation immediately turned to the singer's continuing legal dispute with 19 Entertainment. In Jan. 2015, Phillips filed a petition with the California Labor Commissioner (CLC) in an effort to void his deals with companies affiliated with Idol producer 19 Entertainment. He's asserting that the management contract he made as a precursor to his success on the program runs afoul of the Talent Agencies Act, the California law that says only licensed talent agents can procure employment for clients.
Phillips is arguing that 19 signed him to an automatic contract after he was crowned the winner in 2011, and unlawfully procured employment on behalf through his successful sales and appearances, in violation of the TAA. He also alleged that he was "exploited" and booked for shows at less than his market value.