Dry your eyes, Pia Toscano fans. Despite an early (and some would say undeserved) exit on American Idol this season, the 22-year-old has signed a solo record deal Interscope Records, EW reports. An obligatory appearance on the Idol finale and a rumored romance with Dancing With the Stars pro Mark Ballas (competitive reality show members unite!) have kept the season 10 contestant somewhat in our cultural consciousnesses (unless you suffer from Idol-related Stockholm syndrome) and Toscano’s ninth-place finish just made the cutoff for the American Idols LIVE! tour, which kicks off on Wednesday. Her debut single “This Time”—”an acoustic and beat-driven track by Ester Dean”—officially drops on July 12, with a full-length album to follow. She’s reportedly been working with Rodney Jerkins on a “big, diva-sounding record,” and since she’s conveniently signed to Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine’s label, a Lady Gaga duet is hopefully in the cards (you know, just when one or both of the ladies need the extra promotional push. Come to think of it, is it too early for Pia to mentor on Idol season 11?). At least we know Tom Brady will be happy about this!
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