Lynette Rice
May 26, 2011 AT 08:58 PM EDT

Don’t believe the rumors: Pia Toscano doesn’t actually have a record deal yet. But she’s still hoping to parlay her time on American Idol into a successful music career. “I have been in the studio and we’re working on finding the perfect sound,” she told EW after Wednesday’s finale. “I don’t want to rush it and just throw something out there and ruin everything I built up on the show. I am working with some amazing producers. I have been doing some stuff with [producers] Rodney Jerkins, Roc Mafia and Harvey Mason Jr. I met them through the show and I don’t think I would be working with such amazing people if it wasn’t for the show.”

But first, she needs to go on tour with this season’s top 11 finalists — an experience she hopes will prepare her even more for the highs — and lows — of making music for a living. (The American Idols LIVE Tour begins July 6 in Utah.) “I think going on tour with these guys will only help shape me and teach me the ways of the road,” Toscano says. “It is hard work being a singer for a living but I am willing to give it 100 percent. I’m prepared. This is all I ever wanted.”

Read what’s next for other past (and present) Idol finalists, including an update from season 7 winner David Cook, after the jump.

Paul McDonald:  “I have been doing a bunch of writing and I got asked to score a film. It is Peter Facinelli’s film and it’s called Lucy’s. It’s a cool film. The dad in the Twilight movies hunted me down and asked me to score his film. How cool is that? He told me, ‘I like it so much better than what you did on Idol.’ That felt good because he was talking about original stuff I wrote instead of covers. I will gladly accept the work. I’ve got a band. The record we released in November is doing really well. Those guys have been my family for the last few years as we tried to make it the old fashioned way in a passenger van, sleeping on floors. So I don’t think I will ever been done with them but I do think I would like to also explore a solo album because a whole lot of doors have opened up because of the show. Suddenly I am getting offers to go here and do this and that. I think the show worked for me.”

Haley Reinhart: “I’ve only been off a week and I spent all of it rehearsing for the finale, so I haven’t had much time to get my record deal signed. I haven’t noticed the difference yet in my life. I haven’t been taking meetings all week. But I am sure that this will have been a great opportunity for me in the long run even though I didn’t win. I’m still in the bubble, but I am excited for the future. I hope I’ve gotten across that I love the sultry bluesy feel with a little bit of rock thrown in, so that’s the kind of record I’d like to make. I’d never growled before I got on this show. That whole sing-for-your-life thing brought out my inner growl. I felt like every chance could be your last. That was something cool I discovered about myself through the show. And I plan to use it.”

Blake Lewis (Season 6 runner-up): “I just got done wrapping a video game but I can’t really talk about it because of the contract situations. I am also doing some voiceover work. I just did the series finale for a show called Durarara. It’s an anime series. I play a movie star and brother to one of the show’s lead characters. And then I did an episode of Generator Rex for Cartoon Network. I play a crazy alien mutant monster that beatboxes. It was funny. I’m digging the voiceover work. I am also in the studio every day currently working on finishing my third album. I have a single that just dropped in London called ‘Til We See The Sun’ on Blackhole Records so I have been going there for publicity a lot. I moved to LA full time about a year ago and I am finally adjusted. So I just keep moving and hustling.”

David Cook (Season 7 winner): “We have a new record coming out June 28th called ‘This Loud Morning.’ We have a new single called ‘The Last Goodbye’ that is out now and the video just came out Monday. We will turn until the wheels fall off this summer and fall. I love performing live more than anything. We did 150 + shows for the last record and I really want to beat that record. I want to double that. I loved my time of the show and I love the relationships I built on the show. I would not be where I am now with the opportunities I have had without the show so if I always have ‘comma American Idol‘ after my name, I am ok with that. There are a lot of worse things people could call me. But there is a misconception that the show is a golden ticket and it isn’t. You have to work at it. It is a great platform but if you don’t work at it and have the passion, you will fade away. I haven’t had a vacation in three years because I am working so hard at following my dream. The hustle never ends and even then, even if you are super talented and work very hard, there is still a certain amount of luck involved.”

Casey Abrams: “I am working on a couple of jazz things here and there. Not rock and roll and not really album-y things, but a couple of jazz concerts are maybe in line. And then I have the Idol tour which I’m excited about. I think they are going to let me do a little jazz and probably a few duets.”

With reporting from Carrie Bell

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