Has American Idol run it’s course?

According to this, American Idol may not be all it’s cracked up to be for the music industry. Out of the thousands of people who have appeared on the show, only eight of them have won any awards, and only four of them were the actual winners. From the website:

On a detailed note, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are the only two Idols to win at all three of these major music awards shows. Carrie Underwood is the only Idol to sweep up honors at all these awards ceremonies in the same season (2006-2007) (2007-2008), and the only Idol to win Best New Artist at the Grammys. Kelly Clarkson is the only Idol who has received a Grammy Award for an album, as opposed to new artist of the year or a vocal performance. Jennifer Hudson is the only Idol to be nominated for and to win an Academy Award. She won the Best Supporting Actress category in February 2007 for her performance as ‘Effie’ in the hit film Dreamgirls, based on the musical of the same name.

This brought me to looking at the album sales for the season five contestants. This makes me wonder if America might have gotten it wrong when they picked Taylor Hicks to win. Do I make You Proud went gold, while Daughtry had 2 platinum songs and a gold.

Maybe the idea of America picking out a winner isn’t the best one, especially if the public isn’t willing to support that artist after Idol. We have talked before about the difference between a TV fan and a music fan. Not everybody can be both.

Then there’s the fact that Season Five remains the highest viewed season. Maybe American Idol has just run it’s course, or maybe this isn’t the best way to pick talent. This might be the best way to visually pick an artist, but how many ugly people do you see get through? What would be interesting would be for the judges to just listen to the contestants, not watch them through the audition. I wonder how many deserving people would get through and how many bikini girls would not.

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12 Responses to “Has American Idol run it’s course?”

  1. Taylor really played a “great game” season 5. He knew exactly how to go about getting those votes, LOL, reminds me of Outplay, Outwit, Outlast mentality of Survivor. Did america get it right? Well as far as CD sales one could say the same about Fantasia. Both of them have soulful sounds, such talent…but radio play, not so much… I don’t know, I’m glad Taylor won…remembering the winning moment brings a smile to my face. But it really is just a game..American Idol and Taylor played it extremely well.

  2. The more I learn about American Idol, the more I hate it. Remember last year when Paula gave her critique of a performance that hadn’t even happened yet and there was speculation that the judges comments are scripted? It made me wonder about their comments after Taylor performed “Trouble.” That song moved a lot of viewers, yet the judges said they didn’t like it.

    I hate being manipulated. If AI producers try to sway the public to vote a certain way, then I would rather not bother watching. (So I don’t.)

  3. jerseyirish Says:

    iag, My take is Idol peaked season 5, they have never recovered from the pool of talent that year. Taylor of course was the biggest draw, but I also thought Elliot was great. Kelly Pickler not only could sing she had style and a sense of humor always enjoyed watching her. Chris was talented in his genre, I just don’t care for that in your face rock. Ace and Bucky, loved Bucky’s country rock style and Ace’s soft way. Paris was just adorable with her squeaky voice but could she belt them out. Season 6 the only real talent that year was Mellinda and Jordin, they were the best from the get go. Last year the only two that caught my attention were David Cook his ability to change up songs was amazing and Jason Castro, just loved his laid back style. Season 8 is just underway too early to call, but I think they are struggling to keep the show going as far as ratings go. I believe the biggest ratings night for them since season 5 has been the finale.

    JI

  4. JI,
    Season 5 was jam packed with talent, you are so right. Elliot had the best voice as far as I’m concerned, but certainly his inexperience showed. Not much fun watching idol since season 5….especially knowing chances are the winner most likely will be dropped from their recording deal rather quickly. It’s all about the money honey.

  5. jerseyirish Says:

    Caro, Elliot was my second favorite that season, you are right he has an amazing voice but did not have the stage presence to match. He was on last season and he has really come along way from 2006. Taylor was the whole package, the voice, he owned the stage everytime he appeared. I agree the win doesn’t matter because they do not stand behind their winners and work with them if the numbers aren’t where they want them, they are dropped. I really liked David Cook I hope he does well, he really had the ability to make the songs his own!! 🙂

    I am watching this season as I do enjoy watching the young talent, haven’t seen anyone yet that really catches my ear. Most that have gone through to Hollywood have been good, but nothing that I would stop and say they were great.

    JI

  6. Caryl, The judges never said they did not like Tays Trouble. Simon said it was excellent, Paula liked it and Randy merely said it didn’t let Tay show off. You can view it above. I always watch and vote on AI yet Taylors music is the only contestants I have purchased. Taylor being so popular on AI5 did not translate into huge CD sales because he had no radio hit. I just heard him state for the 3rd time in 3 weeks, that he wishes he could do Idol all over again because he loved it. Perhaps he is thinking how he would have done thing differently, post win. The ratings were down 10% from last seasons opener but may pick up if there is a buzz. I agree with Caro in that if winning does not mean much and winners and runner ups, get dropped, the big fame thing from Idol, is no longer true. When they did not support Taylor and even dissed him, they were only shooting themselves in the foot.

  7. American Idol is a money machine plain and simple. After Taylor’s win, the airwaves were oversaturated with him. Probably more than any other winner.

    In the beginning I think AI tried to sell him as best as they could. They used every angle. The “Aww shucks” southern gentleman, the most eligible bachelor, the loner, the enigma.. etc..

    It seems after the beach debacle things with AI soured for him. There’s probably several reasons for it. They no longer could market him as the adorable bar singer that would never think of taking a woman home…

    Then there’s also the conspiracy theorists that believe that Daughtry took the fall with the promise of a way better CD than Taylor. Back door shady deals and all that jazz..

    I agree with Caro also. He played a singing game of Survivor. He played to win. He’s admitted to looking on the AI Boards and seeing what women wanted from him.

    I don’t think AI really cares about the end result of who wins, just how many “units” they can sell. They treat their winners like pack mules.

  8. Rosie, you’re right. I must be thinking of a different song, but thanks for pointing that out. (seriously! I don’t want to be inaccurate.)

  9. Grey,

    To answer the question that you asked, YES I think that AI has seen it’s better days, and for no other reason than that is just the way it is on TV.

    If you take a successful show, such as a sitcom like Friends, it takes 2-3 seasons for these shows to really peak and hit their strides. Then from there it is about staying on top. Most of these shows prefer to fold while they are still on top which is the smart thing to do. American Idol may be slightly different since it is a reality show, but there is only so much a show like that can do before people start getting bored with the concept. So the fact that their ratings are going down is probably more of a natural progression than anything else.

    As for what Idol means to the music business, I don’t think that it makes that great an impact that it would matter.

  10. spinshack Says:

    Willpen, exactly what I was going to write. Shows run their courses.

    Basically it’s a reality show, it is entertaining, one of the best marketed programs on television. To rely on this show to pick great talent, not so much a marker of that; after all so much more goes into play for the contestants than just singing.

    Regarding manipulation by the show and producers – you bet, they’re after the ratings. Does this sway me from watching it? No, because I see the show for what it is and enjoy it anyway.

  11. I’d like to see AI get to the top 12 quicker, but then again I don’t really enjoy all the crap that comes before…so, if I’m around and if I’m not reading, or if I’m not watching something else…you know…maybe I’ll check it out. Regarding Elliott, JI…he has come a long way in stage presence, I agree! You know, it’s just a show. And it will end..sometimes shows stay until they limp away.

  12. Right, caro…and that’s usually not the best way to go out.

    It’s just so dramatic, though. Like I need more drama. 😉

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