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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 7

Former 'America Idol' finalist Kristy Lee Cook signs recording contract

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/30/2008 

Simon Cowell had stated Kristy Lee Cook's odds of winning American Idol's seventh season were "one million to one," but that hasn't prevented her from inking a record deal.

The 24-year-old Selma, OR native has signed a recording contract with 19 Recordings/Arista Nashville, and her debut album is currently scheduled to drop this fall.

"I've wanted this for so many years. To have the chance to be a country singer -- to make the music I love -- and to have enjoyed the support of so many American Idol fans this past season, it all means more than I can put into words," said Cook.  "Thank you so much to everyone. I'll do my best to make you proud!"

Cook is the third seventh-season Idol finalist to have a recording contract signing announced, following in the footsteps of champ David Cook with 19 Recordings/RCA Records and runner-up David Archuleta with 19 Recordings/Jive Records.

Similar to RCA Records and Jive Records, Arista Nashville is a label that operates under the Sony BMG umbrella.

"Simon Cowell told Kristy Lee Cook on American Idol that she is a country singer. We definitely agreed and followed her very closely during the season," said Sony BMG Nashville Chairman Joe Galante.  "We have been anxious to get her into the studio. Kristy Lee will be very relatable to the country audience and is destined to have hits."

Of course, while Cowell did say Cook was a "country singer," he didn't say she was a particularly good one.  During a Larry King Live appearance in April that featured Cowell and fellow Idol judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, Jackson was the one who thought Cook would make a good country recording artist.

"I don't think she'll win but I think she definitely could have a recording contract somewhere down the road," said Jackson during the appearance.  "She'd definitely make a good country girl."

"The trouble is, I mean, she does sound okay doing country music," retorted Cowell.  "She's just not a great country singer, that's the problem. It's all about being invisible and forgettable."

Cook subsequently finished seventh during Idol's seventh season.  She then revealed she had been engaged to boyfriend Andy Dobner since March 15 but decided to keep it secret because she "just wanted to focus on music and American Idol."

While Cook is currently participating in the American Idol Live 2008 tour, she is also working on her debut album with producer Brett James between stops. 

Her first single -- "15 Minutes of Shame" -- is slated to hit the radio on August 11.

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