LOS ANGELES — When the "American Idol" stage goes black on Wednesday night each week, the judges console the eliminated contestant by saying things like "it's not over" and "this is just the beginning."
With one of those singers, however, Randy Jackson has actually put his money where his mouth is.
Jackson and famed songwriter/ former "Idol" guest judge Diane Warren signed second-season finalist Kimberly Caldwell as the first artist on their new record label and will release her debut this summer.
"We're about halfway through [recording], and we're doing a rock-pop thing and it's really hot," Caldwell said. "I'm dying to let everybody hear it."
Jackson, who is both a manager (for Nikka Costa and Van Hunt) and producer (working on Paula Abdul's comeback album), is taking more of a managerial role with Caldwell, while Warren is working with her in the studio.
"Randy gives me advice, sets up meetings and kind of manages me in a way, so I've been really fortunate to have both of them to help me get my foot in the door," Caldwell said. "Randy is truly like what you see is what you get. He's very lighthearted and he's positive, for the most part."
Along with recording, Caldwell has also been working as a TV correspondent. She started on FOX Sports Net's "54321" show and now covers events for the TV Guide Channel. The latter channel also just launched a weekly series called "Idol Chat," which Caldwell co-hosts with "Popstars" winner Rosanna Tavarez.
"I've been watching religiously," Caldwell said of "Idol." "I'm partial to Bo Bice. I really like him and I love Vonzell [Solomon]."
Caldwell is also interested in getting in front of cameras as an actress. She appeared on a recent episode of FOX's "Life on a Stick" and is reading scripts for other projects.
"I think pretty much anybody who's in the industry right now will take anything that comes at them, and I would love, of course, to do some acting," she said.