American Idol Begins 11th Season-Some Info, Snark, Gossip and Speculation
As of this writing on 1/25/12, we've had a couple of intro shows of American Idol. There's one big piece of gossip about this mostly fluff beginning of the American Idol count down to success, which will go till almost mid-May.
The biggest, and happiest, bit of news is that last season's winner-Scotty McCreery, released his debut album this past October and it's now gone platinum!
American Idol’s season ten winner, Scotty McCreery has just got a taste of what success feels like when his debut album, Clear As Day was certified platinum recently. Clear As Day has sold over one million copies, in just three months since it’s release, which also makes Scotty’s debut album one of the biggest selling American Idol debut albums. What does Scotty McCreery have to say about this? Scotty is elated, as he said: “It means the world to me. It’s one of the highest honors you can get with your album and it’s a huge testament to the loyalty of country music fans and how great they have been to me this year. 2011 was absolutely an incredible, life-changing year for me. I want to say a huge thanks to the fans for this.”
But that is not the only honor for Scotty McCreery – Clear As Day also raked in the highest sales of any country solo album released last year, and taking the number one spot with his debut, Scotty became the youngest male in history to open at the top of the Billboard 200 chart with a debut release. Scotty McCreery went on to gush: “Never in a million years did I dream that the album would go platinum. It’s wild! It’s going to take me a few months or years to really wrap my head around it.”
The snarkiest bit of news is who showed up for an audition THIS season. Caution, please, she didn't want to use her famous name. For she is the daughter of comedian JIM CARREY!
So okay, she sang okay. I doubt very seriously she'd go very far were it not for her father. She did protest that she didn't want to bank on her famous parentage but I have one response to this….WHY DID SHE EVEN MENTION IT?
I've got some eleven years experience now with American Idol. I love the show, watched it faithfully every year, consider it the mother of competitive reality shows. From the caliber of voice expected on this series, Jane Carrey's is not a winner, not the top 10, not even the top 20. She did get a ticket to Hollywood. All things being equal she'd be sent packing before the top 20 premiere. It will be interesting to follow young Carrey's progress.
By the way, for videos of auditions and performances, try this site.
Below, some information about the upcoming AI events:
Wednesday, Jan. 18 (8:00-10:00 PM) ~ Season Premiere, Part 1
Thursday, Jan. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM) ~ Season Premiere, Part 2
Sunday, Jan. 22 (10-11PM ET/7-8 PM PT) ~ Auditions Episode (Special Broadcast)
Wednesday, Jan. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM) ~ Auditions Episode
Thursday, Jan. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM) ~ Auditions Episode
Wednesday, Feb. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM) ~ Auditions Episode
Thursday, Feb. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM) ~ Auditions Episode
Wednesday, Feb. 8 (8:00-9:00 PM) ~ Auditions Episode
Thursday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM) ~ Hollywood Round, Part 1
Wednesday, Feb. 15 (8:00-10:00 PM) ~ Hollywood Round, Part 2
Thursday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM) ~ Hollywood Round, Part 3
Semi-Finals: Round 1
Wednesday, Feb. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM) ~ Performance Challenge
Thursday, Feb. 23 (8:00-9:00 PM) ~ Semifinalists Announced
Semi-Finals: Round 2
Tuesday, Feb. 28 (8:00-10:00 PM) ~ Semifinalists Perform/400th Episode (Special Broadcast)
Wednesday, Feb. 29 (8:00-10:00 PM) ~Semifinalists Perform
Thursday, March 1 (8:00-10:00 PM) ~ Results Show; Finalists Announced & Judges’ Wild Card Picks Revealed (ET live/PT tape-delayed)
Top 12: Finals Begin
Wednesday, March 7 (8:00-10:00 PM) Finalists Perform
Thursday, March 8 (8:00-9:00 PM) Results Show; First Elimination (ET live/PT tape-delayed)
On to the more mundane I must ponder what all wannabe pundits are pondering. For in this 11th year run of this show there's a whole lot of other competitive reality shows than in the Kelly Clarkson season one. There's "America's Got Talent", ""The Voice", and the biggest challenge of all, hosted by none other than the original producer of American Idol-Simon Cowell, "X Factor".
Surely there is only so much singing talent in America, no?
American Idol's executive producer, Ken Warwick, didn't deny that viewer fatigue wasn't a concern of AI. However 29 million viewers tuned in for the 10th season's AI finale. To those who say most of the American Idol winners don't go on to super stardom, well who said that was part of the package anyway. For the record I just saw Kelly Clarkson, AI's first winner, in a commercial for a car. Carrie Underwood's a superstar on the country western circuit. I insert about Scotty McCreery's first album just going platinum. This guy's not going to die away. Jennifer Hudson, who wasn't even a first place winner, went on to star in a Broadway musical and is now a recognized spokesnoid for Weight Watchers.
Of course not every winner has gone on to fame and stardom, but plenty of them have. The argument that AI top tens go down to a poverty stricken anonymity is just a silly argument.
I tend to believe that these new competitive reality singing shows will find their niche. Already American Idol has contenders joining in during their young ages, evidently waiting until they reach the AI age of 16. Scotty McCreery, for example, knew since he was ten years old that he'd be entering AI just as soon as he came of age.
I've seen at least one American Idol contender show up on The Voice. I'm thinking this venue might be a second chance place for a lot of the AI contenders who didn't make the top rung. AI has the strictest standards for the rise to stardom and, as the rise and success of "The Voice" would indicate, on AI, it's NOT all about the voice.
As for X Factor, this competitive reality show has only been on the air for one season. My initial assessment is that the X Factor is more edgy, more likely to have singers that don't please the broad swath of middle America that AI seems to appeal to. Rap singing, for example, is not a genre likely to come in top place on AI. This genre and other fringe type of music will likely find a place on X Factor. X Factor also allows older singers and singing groups so there's definitely a slot for prize winning singing groups.
America's Got Talent does have singers as winners but this is a competitive reality show that features all sorts of entertainment types. I suspect as time goes on AGT will have less solo singer entries and that show will be the place for acts more about magic, comedy, dance than singing.
So we're keeping an eye on this year's American Idol. Drop in and see the snark and gossip and speculation that is my opinion and hey, everybody's got one.
American Idol is now showing on Fox, on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 8pm. A repeat show has been airing on Sunday nights but I don't know how long this will last. As the season moves along, the days and times of airing will also change.