Chapter | eight

The Ugly Reality

According to folklore, a “deal with the devil” is understood as a pact between an ordinary person and Satan himself. In exchange for one’s soul, the devil provides a form of diabolical nepotism, usually evidenced by newfound power or wealth.

For most of my life, I had virtually no conception of what the contract proposed by the devil might actually look like. That was, of course, until I saw the performance contract offered to participants on American Idol.

The notoriously restrictive agreement has rarely been seen by anyone not directly involved with the show’s production. My first reaction to this aggressively binding document led me to believe that even Satan himself would likely feel sorry for the signatories. ...

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