Sunday, January 9, 2011

Be a new pop star. Remember the times of the Ed Sullivan Show or others like it when it was a combination of comics, talk and the new artist that had the opportunity to perform on a national television show? Those were the good old days for the audience as well as the artist. We got to see someone new and the artist got the opportunity to know if they really were going to be the new sensation by how they were revered based on their appearance. No one ridiculed them publicly for weeks end and no losers got to vote yes or no for them endlessly. You simply faded away if you couldn’t cut it or if you were great, you became the international icons like Elvis or the Beetles.
Now we are tortured with a panel of three gods who berate hopefuls endlessly on all media on any subject from singers to cooks. When American Idol launched in 2002, it promised to create instant superstars. It did for awhile there. Last year’s top sellers were the winners of the show’s third and fourth seasons, with 2005 champ Carrie Underwood selling approximately 750,000 copies of 2009’s album “Play On.” From the past two seasons, runner-up Adam Lambert has seen the most success, combining 782,000 sales of his album “For Your Entertainment” with a headlining tour of small theaters. Last season’s winner Lee DeWyze, had no big radio hit and only 100,000 in sales according to Nielsen SoundScan. Bases on these sales, the show might currently be better titled American Opening Act.
Idol is now going into its 10th season and the amount of buyers are shrinking. The artist even if they are a hit don’t get any profits from their performances during the show. No wonder Simon Cowell, the outspoken critic from past seasons is so wealthy. He made all the profits from any Itunes sales of songs performed during the show; not the struggling constantly berated times 3 artists.
They have not had a multimillion seller since Chris Daughtry in season 5. Author of the upcoming book “American Idol: The Untold Story” Richard Rushfield says, “The clock is ticking for Idol to do what it promises. What made this show different from a Survivor or the Bachelor was that the prize was something so massive, the highest coin of the realm: actual, bona fide super-stardom.” Not lately and not as entertaining as the old Ed Sullivan Show where expectations were not that high and performances were great.

1 comment:

  1. The Ed Sullivan show was great. There was public voting but in a different way. As you said...if you were good you came back, if not, you faded away. But...what an array of talents and personalities we were exposed to. Ed just put it out there. As a kid growing up in the sixties I think it was the closest thing we came to vaudeville.