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Thread: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

  1. #11
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump;3005869;
    The biggest question which seems to have been underlying this whole season is: is it just as beneficial to not win than to win?
    I donít see where it makes one whit of difference for the careerís of Cook and Archuleta who takes #1 who takes #2. They have proved themselves in their performances and in their iTunes singles. They have both shown that they can inspire fans. Theyíve had months of national television exposure.

    What can the AI producers bestow on the winner, that he hasnít already earned for himself? At this point, neither one of them needs AI or the win. (As a matter of fact, I would say that AI needs them much more than the other way around.)

    I donít think that measuring the careers of past performers is useful, because each person is unique and the market is constantly changing. As far as the past goes, the only interesting issue is could the AI win have given the runner-up something that would appreciably change their career arc? I donít see it. Anything AI might withhold from the second place finisher would be more than made up for by other producers rushing in with offers, should they see an opportunity to make $$$.

  2. #12
    Helplessly Hoping AsIs's Avatar
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    Re: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

    The problem I see with estimating a career based on winning AI is that the selection process is flawed. And I know many disagree with me. But using the system that they are using, a good singer can leave early because they have a great performance on a show and are judged safe by many of their fans, who then vote for their second favorite to "save" them. That happened a few times this season with Michael Johns leaving well before his time and Carly as well.

    On Rockstar, a lesser show in a few ways, but not in the elimination process: Voters vote and the bottom two then perform on the results show, then the judges decide who to boot. The format would have to change to use this method, the judges wouldn't be able to decide live who to boot in many cases. Well, Simon could, but I doubt Paula and Randy could do it.

    This process still lets America vote and the Idol machine make money, but ensures against a favorite getting booted in a fluke.

    I think these shows are what the participants make of them. Rockstar season one, a few of the top singers have albums on Itunes. Season two has many albums on Itunes by the singers, they made more of the opportunity.

    So winning is better, you have more money behind you, but placing includes fan recognition if you can get your act together to produce something.

    Michael Johns left in the middle and I can see him doing very well. Working with mentors helped him a great deal since Dolly seems to want to work with him. Similarly Storm Large placed I think forth on Rockstar season two but Dave Navarro loved her song and helped produce it as a single and on her mini album.
    "How do you know the chosen ones? No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his friend. Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame... for one person. In the dark. Where no one will ever know or see." - Sebastion, Babylon 5

  3. #13
    You call that MUSIC!!?? Ellender's Avatar
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    Re: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

    First, I think it's always an advantage to win. It's not like the Miss America Pageant where you have to go around fulfilling your "duties" for a year while wearing a tiara. And if there's any stigma to winning (say, for a rocker), I think if you've been on the show for a couple months, you've already got that.
    But considering the post-Idol careers of various former AI contestants and how they've been treated by the Idol execs, I think being supported by the AI people is even more important than actually winning. Look at a few examples:
    - Kelly Clarkson: OK, they made her do a crappy movie, but they made Justin do it too. They made her do a partially prefab first album, but they got her at least a couple very radio friendly songs. And in early 2004, when Clay Aiken was set to do a solo tour and had the fan base to pull that off, the Idol folks made him share the bill with him - and even sort of made it sound like she was the headliner, although it was a totally 50/50 split ticket. Then they gave her much more leeway on her second album, which became a blockbuster because much more time and care went into it. They probably would not have done either of those things had she lost.

    - Tamyra Gray: She was the darling of the judges and a fan favorite until her shocking elimination in 4th place. But they did not allow her to put out an album while her Idol "star" was still high in the sky.

    - Justin Guarini: Did they ever really support his career? They let him sing a couple times on AI2, but they had him release his album exactly when the big buzz was about Clay and Ruben and the release of their singles on the same day. Justin got lost in the excitement about them

    - Ruben Studdard: I think Ruben benefitted not only from Idol support but by the narrowness of his win and the decision by the Idol PTB to "continue the competition in the marketplace. Like some other winners, both his first single and his debut album were rush jobs and not carefully tailored to him as a contemporary artist. But there's no doubt both Clay's and Ruben's debut singles and albums saw inflated sales in their early months because of that "continuing competition." The Idol people also used their influence to get him a Grammy nomination for a cover of a cover of a song and to get him a feature article and cover in Rolling Stone. And this year they gave him the high visibility of using his recording of "Celebrate Me Home" every week on the results show. Ruben's done OK in air play, and I'm sure the support of the 19R people helps there. Ruben's had an ambivalent relationship with 19/AI, and he hasn't had the success of Kelly, Carrie, Chris, or Clay, but that brings me to...

    -Clay Aiken: Idol at first emphasized the virtual-tie nature of Ruben's margin of victory and said they'd treat the guys pretty much as co-winners, but they didn't follow through. Right after Idol, you'd have thought Clay had finished a distant second in every respect, but when he was offered Rolling Stone (article and cover), soundly beat Ruben in singles sales and emerged as the overwhelming star of the AI2 Summer Concert tour, the Idol execs seemed to switch to supporting him almost as much as Ruben. But Clay's first single was hurriedly thrown together, as was his first album, with preselected tracks and was release-delayed 2 months specifically because "lost." RMG did not support the CD release parties the fans had organized nationwide. Nor was Clay ever allowed to tour internationally or market his CDs abroad. Clay was popular enough in 2003 without the title that for a while the Idol people pretty much seem to have supported him. They had him emcee the AI Christmas Special and in early 2004 had him sing on Idol twice. They allowed him to have his own Christmas TV Special in 2004 and probably helped him get that. But despite Clay's Christmas album going platinum in 6 weeks and continuing to sell well in the next two holiday seasons, RCA did not support the album in 2005 and beyond the way you'd expect of a record-setting album. In fact, Clay never has seemed to have good support from Idol or his label when it comes to the selection and timing of album cut releases for radio. And unlike Kelly, Ruben, and Carrie, Clay was not allowed to make his true "sophomore album" - one that really reflects him as an artist - until 5 years after AI5, with a mandated-covers album thrown in to hurt his industry reputation in the meantime.
    Clay has done well in CD sales and in concert tours but he has never had the chance to promote an album by singing a cut from it on the show, plus he is rarely mentioned by the 3 judges, especially in a way that reflects the kind of praise he got from them on AI2. I think there's little doubt that Clay would be doing better by now if he had been the official winner and not had to constantly be referred to as "runner-up." Which brings me to ...

    -Chris Daughtry: I think Idol learned their lesson with Tamyra and Clay, so they didn't hold Chris back because he lost.
    One good thing about coming in lower than second is that it's too cumbersome to say "nth-place-finisher-in-the-finals," so you don't get anything comparable to that "runner-up" label thrown into every article about you. Chris not only had the backing of the Idol people but they did like or support Taylor Hicks, which made it easier for them to get behind Chris big time. He got to release his debut album before the "winner's" and he was given great latitude to make that album the kind of music he wanted it to be. Plus Idol used one of Chris's own compositions and album cuts as the goodbye song every week on AI6. Chris would probably have succeeded without them, but clearly he benefitted from that kind of promo and publicity.

    -Taylor Hicks: I think the Chris/Taylor scenario shows how Idol's support is worth a lot more than the crown. They made it clear Taylor wasn't their choice, and they haven't done much to promote him or his career.

    - Kellie Pickler: Like Daughtry, Kellie was allowed to make an album - and a well-produced one, not a cookie cutter - and release it fairly soon after the AI5 concert tour ended. Her album was aimed squarely at the radio-heavy genre that's her specialty and the label supported her efforts. She's doing better than most of the runners-ups and probably will have a better career (commercially) than some winners.

    -Carrie Underwood: Carrie would have been a star without winning. Probably even if she'd never been on the show. But the Idol people did not make the mistake with her that they made with Kelly Clarkson's first album. Her label and Idol put her together with top country songwriters and produced a top-notch album (I'm talking, backup tracks, lyrics, production, the whole shebang) strategically aimed at big crossover markets (country/CCM/AC). Just in terms of radio-friendliness of songs, production, etc., Carrie and Chris probably had the best made debut albums of any Idol alumni. I'd say Carrie's star has risen a lot faster and probably higher, too, because she had the full support of Simon Cowell and 19 from early in AI4.

    -Bo Bice: Bo's career fluctuations are harder to analyze because of all the serious health issues he's had since AI4. But one thing does stand out (which Bo himself has admitted to being very frustrated by). As with Clay and some of the others, the Idol people tried to change the style and sound that won him fans on AI when it came to his first post-Idol album. It didn't sound like Bo, nor was it given the top-notch songs, arrangements, production values, etc., to give it a good shot at airplay.
    Even Bo's AI single, which sold really well, was overshadowed by Carrie's version of exactly the same song being released a month earlier. That's not what I call "supporting" one of the Idol alums.

    -Diana DeGarmo: She seems to be doing well on Broadway, but although she lost to Fantasia by less than half a point, you'd never think it was that close by looking at how Idol promotes the two of them. Like Bo, Diana had to release the same song on her first single that the winner did - but a few weeks later. Then her album seemed to not to be geared either to her performance strengths, her age, nor radio-friendliness. Had Diana won, the Idol people would probably still have supported Fantasia, but I don't think they'd have left Diana hanging out to dry.

    -Jennifer Hudson: I guess her Idol connections helped her get the audition for the DreamGirls movie, but mainly the Idol people seemed to write her off as "not star material" (Simon's assessment) after AI3, even though she delivered one of the most stunning AI performances ever. It's like, "buh-bye," until Jennifer got the role and then won all those awards - and now Idol is oh so happy to embrace her as one of their own. I think she just might have risen to stardom a year or two sooner if they'd supported her the way they did Kellie Pickler.

    -Katharine McPhee: Right after AI5, it seemed like the Idol people were treating Kat as the actual winner or at least the co-winner. You hardly saw Taylor on TV without Kat there too (and I don't think it was a close race like in AI2 or AI3). I think had Katharine won, they'd have supported her a lot more than they have Taylor and maybe not supported Daughtry as much as they have. But she seems to be in that limbo between the winner they didn't want and the 4th-place guy they are treating like the winner. I think her post-Idol career reflects that.

    -Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis: Their careers are very young, and I have to admit I haven't followed them enough to know how the Idol people are treating them. (I did notice though, that Ryan was hyping Jordan's album sales even though some other Idols have been disparaged for having sales that low.) I expect them to stand by Jordin. Not sure about Blake.

    (Sorry this is so long, but there've been a lot of Idols putting out CDs, etc.)

  4. #14
    Leo
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    Re: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

    I don't think it ever hurts to win. The Idol promotion machine may not be as powerful as it once was, but it's still plenty powerful.

    Almost all of the "successful non-winners" are what I think of as genre artists - they do well within their genre, but have non-existent crossover ability. For that market, they do well, but they're not the multi-platinum successes that Idol wants - and that's fine, because they didn't win, so they don't have the burden of high expectations.

    The real question is how much winning can help. It can turn what I think of as an on-the-edge contestant (like Jordin) into a bigger success. I'm more optimistic about her turning out well than I was before; she got off to a very slow start, but had been doing well online.

    As for the two Davids... they're both got strong enough support that they should do well afterwards, win or lose. DavidA will get a bigger boost, but it's not going to be a catastrophic loss for DavidC either in that case.

  5. #15
    Helplessly Hoping AsIs's Avatar
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    Re: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

    Ellender great list! Thanks for putting it together.

    Responding to Razor from the other topic. I didn't realize that the winner got 1M in financing. Thanks for pointing that out. I do think it is better to win, but even better is a contestant who is prepared to take advantage of winning.
    "How do you know the chosen ones? No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his friend. Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame... for one person. In the dark. Where no one will ever know or see." - Sebastion, Babylon 5

  6. #16
    FORT Fanatic scsi commando's Avatar
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    Re: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

    To intentionally lose is a great dis-service to your fans.

    To not try your best to get that million dollar deal is idiotic (imo).

  7. #17
    You call that MUSIC!!?? Ellender's Avatar
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    Re: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

    Correction. I left out the bolded word in my post above.
    Chris not only had the backing of the Idol people but they did not like or support Taylor Hicks, which made it easier for them to get behind Chris big time.
    Also my paragraph about Kelly Clarkson should have said:
    ... when Clay Aiken was set to do a solo tour and had the fan base to pull that off, the Idol folks made him share the bill with her (Kelly) ...

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    Re: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

    So the question does everyone think the winner and the runner-up will be backed by AI and the record producers or only the winner, because if thats the case its better to win it obviously

  9. #19
    Leo
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    Re: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

    In this particular case, I think both will be backed up reasonably well regardless of the outcome. That's not necessarily always the case (see: Season Five, where neither the winner nor the runner-up got the most backing), but in this case, both Davids have proven (in the PTB's minds) they've got a sizable audience post-Idol.

  10. #20
    Crazy Shutterbug Harmony2000's Avatar
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    Re: Tell Me What You Think - To Win Or Not To Win? That Is The Question

    I thought Ruben got dropped by his record company? (Confused). Thanks for the list Ellender, its interesting seeing it all lined up like that. However, only two winners have gone on to huge success while the others? Not so much so. Is it because the management company really wasn't behind them or is it because as has been mentioned, the voting and selection process is so flawed on AI with the allowing of power voting. (Skews the results more towards the favorite but not necessarily towards the better singer at times). Most of the singers in that list didn't win and yet have done very well for themselves.

    Just curious and this is a really interesting topic. I'm trying very hard to put my dislike of DA aside and look at it a bit more objectively.

    BTW, I love Rockstar and really like the way they do their selection process and could see something like that benefiting AI (well if they replaced the useless Paula and Randy).

    Wow I didn't know they got 1M in financing, has that ever been mentioned before? Where did that information come from? If that's the case then it is definitely a benefit to win and like has been said, to have the drive to do something with that win.

    Paridy: I think AI wants to get on the Hannah Montana train and market the tween audience so they will back DA no matter what happens. I also think they saw what a huge success Daughtry became and want another piece of the adult contemporary rock market so they will back DC also no matter what happens. So, in answer....they will both benefit no matter the outcome and the only difference is that one will have the official title.

    (Now I've gone to thinking that perhaps it really doesn't matter which David wins at this point.)
    Last edited by Harmony2000; 05-19-2008 at 05:45 AM.

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