'Idol' runner-up inks deal with Arista


NEW YORK -- Blake Lewis has reaped another "American Idol" reward -- a record deal.

Lewis, who finished second to Jordin Sparks in the final "Idol" face-off in May, has signed a contract with Arista Records in conjunction with 19Recordings, the label managed by "Idol" creator Simon Fuller, it was announced Friday.

His debut album is slated for release later this year.

"Blake is one of the most unique 'Idol' contestants I've ever seen," Fuller said in a statement. "He brought something new to the competition and won fans all over America. I know they're going to love his first album ...."

Lewis, of Bothell, Wash., specialized in beatbox sound effects during his run on the Fox talent show's sixth season. His big TV moment came when he added hip-hop beats to a performance of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name," irking guest mentor Jon Bon Jovi in the process.