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Thread: A.I. Media Articles

  1. #691
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    Re: A.I. Media Articles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jexter;3878694;
    I sort of agree with this and sort of don't. In many respects, the show is more of an ensemble TV program than a strict singing competition. At the end of the day, it's all about ratings.

    In this way, Paula was an ensemble player and replacing her is difficult.

    If the show were more of a singing competition than an ensemble show, then the quality of the singers might be the driving force behind ratings. In this way, the crappy lot we have this year (well, all but 4 or so) could be the reason people aren't tuning in as much as they used to.

    Still another way to look at Paula's role in all this is.....maybe we wouldn't have the crappy lot if Paula were around to help decide who advances.

    I was thinking this exact thing earlier. Mind you, I don't know if I believe it. It just popped in my head. But I wondered about the overall level of talent this year, and wondered if some better talent get passed by. (There were a few rejects that sounded good to me). How much did Paula's input affect who made the top 24 (or 30, or 36)? Or is Simon trying to saboutage the show so people will be ready for something new - like X Factor? Conspiracies theories, I know...

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    Re: A.I. Media Articles

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeAddict;3878731;
    I was thinking this exact thing earlier. Mind you, I don't know if I believe it. It just popped in my head. But I wondered about the overall level of talent this year, and wondered if some better talent get passed by. (There were a few rejects that sounded good to me). How much did Paula's input affect who made the top 24 (or 30, or 36)? Or is Simon trying to saboutage the show so people will be ready for something new - like X Factor? Conspiracies theories, I know...

    100,000 people tried out for AI. If 1 percent were very talented, that would still mean that 1,000 really good people tried out. Clearly if the producers had wanted to just have a group of 10 outstanding singers, they could have presented enough good contestants to the judges to make that goal. But the producers' aim is to pick people based on other criteria, like looks, background story, unusual voice etc. etc. I also think the producers look for people who will have entertaining reactions to the judges. I don't think the judges' input on the contestant roster is as great as one would think, because they are more part of an acting ensemble than anything else.
    Last edited by pillbeam; 04-17-2010 at 12:45 PM.
    "Tons of surprises, but it wouldn't be 'American Idol' without it, would it?" Cowell told MTV News. "At the end of the day, I could go out and find 12 great singers, but that's kind of boring. The fact that there's people there who shouldn't be there makes it 'American Idol.' "

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    Re: A.I. Media Articles

    Pillbeam, I think it's very true that the producers and the judges pick the 24 semi-finalists. Also different years they are looking for different things. I think that the raging success of Taylor Swift last year had them responding positively to Swiftian qualities: young, guitar, small-voiced, pretty. The result was a slate of semi-finalists that had almost no professional experience or training. Yes, a good producer could probably have taken them and polished them up into a marketable product. But in the Idol world, they are on their own. They have to improve themselves and make smart choices. Very few of them have been able to do that.

    One of the odd things about this is that certainly the lesson of the past two seasons has been that the more experienced contestants produce more interesting performances, while the amateurs tend to belly-flop. It's kind of built in to the DNA of the show - it's very difficult to survive the pressure-cooker (as even poor Crystal seems to have experienced a couple of weeks ago). Yet, rather than take a lesson from their own show - the Idol machine looks to what is selling on the outside to guide them in contestant selection.

    One last unrelated comment:

    I think we should take all this discussion that the real brains behind Idol's past success was actually... (wait for it) ... PAULA ABDUL and turn it into a SNL sketch.

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    Re: AI9 Spoilers

    I wasn't sure where to post this, so I figured I'd drop it here.

    Really good article from Newsweek on AI's rise and pending fall?

    How American Idol Lost to Dancing With the Stars - Newsweek.com
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    Re: AI9 Spoilers

    Quote Originally Posted by norealityhere;3882417;
    I wasn't sure where to post this, so I figured I'd drop it here.

    Really good article from Newsweek on AI's rise and pending fall?

    How American Idol Lost to Dancing With the Stars - Newsweek.com
    I think this article is premature. We all know that Idol is heading down the drain but we don't know that DWTS is going to be able to maintain its current popularity. And it hasn't been beating American Idol regularly.

    I think I am more interested in knowing how AI will attempt to cope with its most recent losses. The should be announcing Simon's replacement soon, right?
    Has anyone heard what will happen with the music now that Rickey Minor is gone?
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    Re: AI9 Spoilers

    Quote Originally Posted by RealityLovesMe;3882424;
    Has anyone heard what will happen with the music now that Rickey Minor is gone?
    The show just seems to be imploding, doesn't it?

    I'm not sure if you meant that Rickey was gone now or will be gone next year, but he is staying with AI through the end of this season. His debut with The Tonight Show won't be until June.

    I have not heard who his replacement will be. He leaves metaphorically big shoes to fill.

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    Re: A.I. Media Articles

    A couple of good articles. The first one is a spoiler-free peek at rehearsals, although it's interesting that only Crystal, Siobhan and Casey are mentioned (regarding their performances).
    'Idol' Monday rehearsals: Lee and Siobhan get cozy, Crystal goes full-on hippie, Casey's still sexy | Idol Tracker | Los Angeles Times

    This is a writer's opinion about why Shania makes for a good theme.
    Why Shania Twain makes a great 'American Idol' theme - Idol Chatter: American Idol News, Rumors, & Information

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    Re: A.I. Media Articles

    I just came across this article on the NY Times about AI and how much contestants can expect to realize after being on the show. Very good article.

    ‘American Idol’ Winners Collect Big Bucks as Well as Fame - NYTimes.com

    By EDWARD WYATT
    Published: February 23, 2010
    LOS ANGELES — It is doubtful that any of the remaining 24 contestants on “American Idol” hope that they will be playing the Teen Angel in a touring production of “Grease” in Milwaukee three years from now.

    But that’s what Taylor Hicks, the 2006 American Idol winner, is doing. And it shows that winning the most popular talent competition in the country is no guarantee of superstardom.

    Easing that potential pain are the substantial financial rewards promised to winners of “American Idol,” regardless of how many records they sell once the show ends. In the year since he stood under a confetti shower in the Nokia Theater here, Kris Allen, last year’s winner, has earned at least $650,000 from “American Idol,” according to contracts that last season’s contestants signed with the show’s producers during the competition.

    That amount reflects the minimum a winner would earn. Including performance fees and merchandising royalties from the “American Idol” tour, as well as other opportunities, winners have never failed to earn less than $1 million in the year or so after the contest, people close to the show say.

    It is not just the winner who cashes in; finalists who reach the Top 5 this season are likely to earn close to $100,000 from the show — and three to four times that if the “Idol” producers sign them to a record deal. The Top 12 contestants are guaranteed several thousand dollars for their efforts. And that is before accounting for the Top 10 finalists’ earnings for appearing in the summer’s “American Idol” tour.

    These details emerged from copies of last year’s contracts filed in state court in Los Angeles under laws requiring court approval of entertainment-industry deals with minors.

    Last season those laws applied to Allison Iraheta (who finished fourth) and Jasmine Murray (Top 13) and to three other contestants who reached the Top 36 but were eliminated in the semifinal round.

    The winner and those finalists fortunate enough to secure a management contract with 19 Entertainment, a producer of “American Idol,” and a record deal, are likely to earn far more than they would if they were independent artists who found their own way to a recording deal.

    “I’m shocked that they give them that much money,” said a longtime agent for recording artists who works at a major talent agency here. The agent spoke on the condition of anonymity because she had not seen the contract; portions of the deal were read to her by a reporter.

    A respectable recording contract for a new artist today would include an advance of $100,000 to $150,000, the agent said, although she noted that the “Idol” contract potentially binds the artist to the show’s producers for up to seven years, roughly twice as long as a typical first contract.

    Executives at 19 Entertainment declined to comment on the contracts. In a statement the company said: “Our business is built through strong, respectful relationships with our talent, so it is important that they are fairly represented in contractual agreements with 19 Entertainment. With ‘American Idol,’ we have deliberately structured these agreements to ensure that artists can cross the threshold of success, and that they have all the support necessary to achieve their dreams.”

    Mr. Allen, last year’s winner, earned an advance of $350,000 for his first album, exclusive of recording costs, half of it paid soon after the competition ended and half when he finished recording. His self-titled first album sold 80,000 copies in its first week of release last fall — disappointing for an “Idol” winner — and 260,000 in its first three months, according to Mr. Allen’s Web site, krisallenofficial.com.

    An Idol winner’s riches extend beyond the recording contract. Last year the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida opened “The American Idol Experience,” an interactive attraction.

    To promote it, Disney paid Mr. Allen $100,000 to turn to a camera and shout, “I’m going to Disney World” after winning the competition and to visit the park, according to the contracts. He stood to earn another $100,000 for spending a day filming scripted dialogue segments for use in the attraction and for taping a vocal performance for the Walt Disney World Christmas Parade television show.

    But wait — there’s more. Also according to the contracts, as the winner Mr. Allen has received a $100,000 advance on royalties from a three-year merchandising contract, which gives 19 Entertainment the right to use his image to promote goods and services.

    Those $650,000 in earnings do not come without strings, of course, strings that bind “Idol” contestants to 19 Entertainment for years. The company can sign a management contract with any contestant it chooses, binding the contestant to pay 15 percent of his earnings, not including those from recording and merchandising contracts, to 19 Entertainment-related companies as a manager’s fee. The initial contract extends for three years, although 19 continues to collect a percentage of some of the contestant’s earnings for 10 years.

    The winner is not the only contestant who earns after the show. Last year the runner-up — Adam Lambert, whose first-week album sales were more than double those of Mr. Allen — earned $300,000 in advance royalties for his album, a $75,000 merchandising contract and $50,000 in fees from Disney World for the Idol Experience attraction.

    The remaining Top 5 finalists each received $50,000 from Disney for their participation, while the rest of the Top 12 finalists could have earned $200,000 each for a first album and $50,000 from merchandising if 19 Entertainment had exercised its option to sign them to a contract.

    Contestants do not have to make it to the Top 5 to begin making money. Once they reach the Top 12, “American Idol” singers each week record a version of their song for sale on iTunes. Once they begin recording, they receive a one-time payment of $1,000 and a $1,000 advance on royalties for each recording.

    When they make it to the Top 12, contestants also usually perform in a group number during each week’s results show. Because that performance is not part of the competition, the contestants earn performance fees under the union contract that broadcasters have with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, known as Aftra.

    That contract pays the artists from $1,011 for a one-hour show to $1,540 for a two-hour episode, meaning that a Top 5 contestant is likely to earn close to $10,000 in performance fees over the season: not a fortune, but with 20 million people viewing each week, it is a start.
    Last edited by norealityhere; 04-27-2010 at 05:36 PM.
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    Re: A.I. Media Articles

    Quote Originally Posted by norealityhere;3887756;
    I just came across this article on the NY Times about AI and how much contestants can expect to realize after being on the show. Very good article.

    ‘American Idol’ Winners Collect Big Bucks as Well as Fame - NYTimes.com
    Very interesting look at the relationship between the contestants and 19 Entertainment. Some of the things that stand out:
    • There is no separate "winners contract" that folks are always complaining stifles the winner's creativity, but spares the runner-up. All the finalists sign the same contract, and the extra benefits of being the winner, runner-up, or Top 5 are specified there.
    • 19E holds all the options. A contestant's relationship with 19 can be terminated after the tour - but only if 19 wants it that way. Otherwise the relationship continues for the specified years as long as 19 is pleased with the arrangement.
    • Contrary to popular opinion, these are not slave contracts - the contestants are well compensated. They also are dealt with professionally and above board - much better than the fly-by-night managers and producers that typically pick up young talent.
    • Good to know that those horrid group songs are good for somebody - the kids make an extra grand per week to do them and become AFTRA members. (Which, as I recall also lets you join the Screen Actors Guild, if the need arises.)

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    Re: A.I. Media Articles

    Very good article by Linda Holmes over at NPR on why the Idol producers had better be praying that Crystal Bowersox wins.

    'Idol' Thoughts: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Crystal Bowersox?

    Some highlights (this is not the gist of the article - just the quotes I thought were strong):

    It's not wrong, what people say about how 95 percent of American Idol is just good karaoke. There have certainly been flashes of talent and inventiveness over the years, but yes, most of it is a high-end version of a college talent show, sometimes without the "high-end" part, or the "talent" part. Or the "college" part. Or the "show" part. Huh.

    Anyway, last week's performance of "People Get Ready" by Crystal Bowersox was not karaoke. It was simultaneously one of the best performances the show has ever produced and one of the most troubling. Why? Because they are so hosed if she loses.

    Now, Casey, Siobhan and Aaron are, in my opinion, not credible challengers. My guess is that Casey and Aaron are both in their final wobbles before collapse, and Siobhan has had too many issues and competes too much with Crystal for the same voters, who wouldn't ultimately choose her...

    It seems more plausible, to me, that Lee or Michael would catch her.

    The problem if Lee catches her is that it looks way too much like Kris Allen came back, gained a little weight, smoked a few cigars, and then won again. They're the same physical type, they're both likable, talented adherents to styles that are already in heavy commercial rotation, and Lee wants to stand out for doing unusual versions of songs, just like Kris tried to do...

    It's true that Mike (like Lee) isn't as creative as Crystal, or as mature as a singer, or as confident. But the fact that Mike benefited from the judges' save would make his winning feel a little unearned. There's something brutal but (within the show's own twisted universe) fair about the winner being the person who survived all the weekly votes without being sent home, whatever the spurious and possibly demented reasoning used by the voters. But there's something a little less brutal and a little less fair about winning in part because you were the beneficiary of Kara DioGuardi's capricious largesse.

    Crystal is just so ridiculously much better than anyone else competing that it's basically Crystal and the Crystaltones at this point. Crystal and the Pips. Crystal, Et Al., with Aaron, Mike, Lee, Siobhan and Casey playing "Al."

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