July 6, 2011 / 9:40 PM / 8 years ago

"American Idol" reject Pia Toscano signs record deal

Performer Pia Toscano poses at the party for the finalists of the television show "American Idol" in Los Angeles, in this file photo taken March 3, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “American Idol” contestant Pia Toscano, whose early exit from the TV show shocked viewers, has signed a record deal with Interscope Records, the company said on Wednesday.

The 22 year-old Toscano, with her dark hair and powerful singing voice, was considered one of the front-runners for the top prize on “Idol” this year. But she was voted off by viewers to finish in 9th place.

Toscano will release her debut single “This Time” — described as an acoustic guitar and beat-driven track — on July 12, said Interscope Records. She will release her first album later this year.

Toscano described the record deal as “a dream come true”.

This year’s “Idol” winner was deep-voiced country singer Scotty McCreery, a former grocery store clerk.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant

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