“American Idol” runner-up Allison Iraheta signs with Jive

It’s no snake-crawling-up-your-crotch coming out cover of Rolling Stone, but American Idol‘s last lady standing, Allison Iraheta, made her own news this week when she signed with 19 Recordings. Her debut album will be licensed to Jive Records (same as Idol winner Kris Allen), and will drop this fall.

In a statement, Iraheta said, “I think I’m still in shock that this is happening — getting to record my first album and this whole awesome experience is a dream come true!”

I’m just glad she doesn’t have to go back to singing in that furniture store. The thought of her on a makeshift stage surrounded by empty La-Z-Boys and sofa beds is kind of soul-crushing.

Iraheta was voted off Idol at least one week too early this season, but what’s a girl to when the best advice the judges had for her was stolen from Jack Donaghy: Do a Janis Joplin biopic! (Or Janet Jopler/Jaime Jimplan, depending on licensing.) Of course, when Allison finally acquiesced to their demands and ripped a hole in the ozone with a commanding performance of Joplin’s “Cry Baby,” they told her to tone it down, and how about a cover of Faith Hill‘s cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart”?

Between that and the “talk more”/”no, talk less” judges squabble that occurred every time Allison took the stage, it’s amazing she was able to keep bringing the force every week. But she did, and now the 17-year-old rocker has signed with a major recording label. How do you like her now, omnipotent Simon Cowell?

It will be interesting to see what kind of sound Jive locks down for Allison. Her performances on Idol ranged from crooning Gertrude Lawrence‘s “Someone to Watch Over Me” and Bonnie Raitt “I Can’t Make You Love Me” to a rafter-thumping rendition of Heart’s “Alone.” And, of course, her “Slow Ride” duet with aforementioned snake-charming Super Gay, Adam Lambert. During the show he said he’d love to record with Allison, and his universal lovability can only help her sell records, right?

One thing the judges were pretty consistent about on Idol was comparing Iraheta to Kelly Clarkson. Do you think she will have as much commercial success as the first Idol winner? What kind of music would you like to hear on Allison’s debut album?