According to news reports that broke first on Fox yesterday, then appeared on CMT and Billboard, Kristi Lee Cook, who took seventh place in this year’s seventh season of American Idol, signed a recording agreement with 19 Recordings/Arista Nashville, a Sony BMG label.  This is Kristi’s second attempt at success on the Arista Nashville brand, as she had a prior deal with the label signed in 1999 at the age of seventeen.  She was dropped from the label before producing any product, despite a commitment from Brittany Spears to appear with her in her first video.

The lawyer in me wonders whether this is actually a new deal, or whether Arista Nashville simply called in its rights under the prior agreement, as most recording contracts are not based on a strict term of years, but rather a length of term that involves delivery requirement.

Arista Nashville is, of course, home to two other American Idol favorites, Kellie Pickler and superstar Carrie Underwood.  In fact, Cook’s new master will be produced by the co-writer of Carrie’s smash, Jesus Take the Wheel, none other than longtime Nashville songwriter Brett James.

The first song out of the gate, 15 Minutes of Shame, will hit the airwaves on August 11.  The entire album is expected to be on store shelves in the fall.

Past American Idol contestants seem to fair well in the country music  arena, as witnessed by not only the successful careers of the aforementioned Underwood and Pickler, but in top selling product from rocker turned country rock, Bo Bice, Bucky Covington and Josh Gracin, whose albums have topped Billboard’s country charts.