Former contestants on the hit U.S. TV series, "American Idol," say their living accommodations while on the show were a living nightmare.

The New York Post reported that former "Idol" singers Ryan Starr and Kimberly Caldwell said the treatment they received behind-the-scenes of the series left something to be desired.

"It's way easier to be on the show now," claimed Starr, who said higher allowances have been given out during more recent seasons of "Idol."

"We rode around in one big van that smelled really bad," she added regarding her fellow season one contestants. "We'd have three hours to go shopping. I often made my own clothes; I'd be in the closet, sewing my costumes together."

"It was like a boot camp," former second-season contestant Kimberly Caldwell, 24, claimed. "All we did was practice. We worked our butts off, from 5 or 6 a.m. to 10 at night."

The Post said since the earlier problems, "Idol" contestants have received improved accommodations but still must live under strict regulations during their stay.