'American Idol' Finalist Tamyra Gray Gets Recording Deal

Like 'Idols' Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, singer signs with 19 Recordings Limited.

When Tamyra Gray was ousted from the "American Idol" competition in August, judge Simon Cowell vowed that the world had not seen the last of the singer, adding mysteriously, "Watch this space."

We now definitely know what Cowell meant.

Gray, a 23-year-old from Takoma Park, Maryland, has signed with 19 Recordings Limited, the label run by "American Idol"'s other Simon, creator Simon Fuller. She inked a management deal with Fuller just after her exit from the show (see "Ousted 'American Idol' Tamyra Gray Gets Another Shot").

Like "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini, who also both signed with Fuller's label, Gray's album will be distributed in the U.S. through RCA Records.

"Tamyra is a superbly talented singer who holds tremendous promise as a recording artist," RCA chairman Bob Jamieson said in a statement. "We look forward to helping her build a successful recording career."

Jamieson also noted that all 10 of the "American Idol" finalists are "winners in their eyes."

Fuller's label and RCA have until December 4 to pick up options on the contracts on any of the other finalists. A spokesperson for RCA said Wednesday (October 16) there was no news on the remaining seven as of yet.

Gray finished fourth in the competition, behind pink-haired Texan Nikki McKibbin. Gray's departure was perhaps the show's most shocking, with judge Paula Abdul on the verge of tears.

At the "American Idol" tour kick-off in San Diego last week, Gray was a crowd favorite, particularly on "A House Is Not a Home," which she nailed previously on the show (see "American Idols Take On 'NSYNC, En Vogue At Tour Opener").

Gray's debut album will be released sometime next year, after Clarkson's and Guarini's records hit shelves, according to the RCA spokesperson (see " 'American Idol' #2 Justin Guarini Inks Recording Deal").

Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" single and video have already proved to be huge hits (see " 'American Idol' Kelly Clarkson Crushes Singles Chart Competition").

Gray fans who will miss her on the tour, which hits Chicago Wednesday and wraps November 20 in Seattle, can catch her on the small screen early next year. She will play a Winslow High School student on four episodes of Fox's "Boston Public."