American Idol 13 Audition Numbers Are Small

The American Idol 13 audition process has begun. Potential contestants have already sung for producers at cattle call auditions in Salt Lake City and San Francisco, and it appears the numbers are significantly down vs prior seasons.

ETA: This is only the 1st phase of auditions. Singers won’t perform in front of the judges until later rounds in the fall.

From the Mercury News:

SAN FRANCISCO — A relatively small, but passionate, throng of pop-star wannabes endured long waits and frigid temperatures outside AT&T Park on Tuesday in hopes of landing a coveted spot on Season 13 of “American Idol.”

Based on numbers alone, their chances of making a solid impression in this early audition session appeared to be much better than in years past. The last time “Idol” made a stop in the Bay Area — for Season 10 — long lines snaked around the ballpark and beyond.

This time, the crowd was held to only Willie Mays Plaza in front of the park. Meanwhile, behind AT&T, several long rows of metal barricades set up in anticipation of a massive turnout were all for naught.

I heard, from somebody who did a quick count inside the venue, that there were maybe 1,000 hopefuls in the venue. When Idol auditions hit San Francisco in the summer of 2008, the number was 7,000. The first audition city, Salt Lake City, also saw fewer auditioners, with the SLT reporting that “hundreds” showed up at the EnergySolutions arena.

The next audition city is Detroit, on July 21.

  • No Thanks

    It could be a lack of interest. But, aren’t they doing more online auditions this year? I know I’d much rather upload a video than spend money traveling for a long shot.

  • bestmusic

    So if they are doing auditions you are the judges?

  • julia

    1.000? wow

    and the x factor auditions had like 7.0008.000 in each city

  • http://www.jstamers.com/ Jordan Seltzer

    Interesting. XF had big turnouts this year.

  • Sassycatz

    The celebrity judges don’t come into it until later rounds. This is the first cut, usually taken on by the show’s producers and coaches. I honestly don’t even know what “level” of producer is involved.

  • girlygirl

    considering the sinking ratings and the lack of current success for all but a handful of ex-Idols, this really isn’t a surprise.

  • Sassycatz

    This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. When AI was the only game in town and was #1 on TV, it probably attracted every delusional character as well as average shower singer in the region. Some of these types may now stay home or try out for all the other shows that are now sprouting all over the place. People who have actual talent will keep trying and trying, whether through Idol or one of the others. In other words, this might be a thinning of the herds allowing the better ones a chance to shine.

  • Sassycatz

    But you still get to be on television in front of a huge audience and a dream is a dream. Everyone believes they will be the one who will buck the odds.

  • No Thanks

    This is the first round. There are usually 3 rounds:

    1) The cattle call – “thousands” audition and they cut it to a few hundred for the city.

    2) Producers round – usually a few weeks later, Idol producers audition the few hundred and cut it down to about 100 for each city.

    3) Judges round – The 100 or so audition over 2 days and the ones that make it got to “Hollywood”.

  • girlygirl

    Yeah, but they can chase that same dream by auditioning for XF or The Voice. Idol’s not the only game in town anymore and I think a lot of people that might have auditioned for AI in the past are now more likely to try out for one of the other shows instead. All the negativity and lack of buzz about AI, not to mention all the judge drama, isn’t going to make people as excitied about trying out for AI as they might have been 3, 4, 5 years ago.

    IMO, The new production team really has its work cut out for it if they want to try and save this show

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    They do… but they have other places to buck those odds.

    For a musician who’s a casual media consumer and not actually tracking the careers of recent winners, The Voice and XFUSA have all the buzz, while Idol’s coverage is about how old and depressing it is.

    For a musician who’s paying attention to recent career progress of finalists, XFUSA shouldn’t look so hot, but The Voice is launching Danielle Bradbery with trumpets and confetti, while Candice Glover doesn’t seem to be surrounded by the same up-beat environment (and doesn’t have a real lead single yet).

    Which career bits you watch would make a difference in what conclusion you reach, but Idol has gone from “big launch for top 2 and others have a shot at a major label!” (through S10, even though big S9 top 2 launches fizzled on actual results) to “only the winner can hope for a real launch” (S11, unless one follows Christian radio) to “um… can the winner even count on it?” (S12).

  • girlygirl

    Let’s hope this will turn out to be the case

  • Valarie

    If Idol wants to lure big numbers at it’s auditions, it should announce a huge pay raise for the top 12. Since the contestants can no longer count on contracts and big pay days from the idol tour, they have become relatively low paid pawns who are only there to make big money for Core Media and the judges and producers.

  • Chrissie

    AiI audition numbers are small? — really? After last year´s succes? What a surprise – lolll

  • tripp_ncwy

    Any word yet if Johnny Keiser will try again? Or any previous auditioners?

  • Chicagolaw

    Not really surprising. Honestly, I don’t know how they begin to turn things around.

  • dangrey

    Maybe this will be Schuyler Dixon’s year then lol

  • JimBobby

    Idol producers even contacted William Hung to audition again.

  • Sassycatz

    Yes, but on those other shows you are far more a pawn than on AI.

    On The Voice, you are a chess piece being maneuvered around by a judge who has you on their team and wants to beat another judge. They select what songs you perform and choose whether you will go on based upon the team dynamics. It’s not about you.

    On the X-Factor, you are *again* on a judge’s team — a judge who wants to beat the other judges and you’re likely to be criticized unfairly by the others so they can tout their own team. The judges mentor you, choose what you will sing and what your image will be. It’s not about you.

    On AI, if you have the strength of mind and know yourself, you can manage your own journey on the show, even within Idol’s well-known limitations. That should appeal to anyone who has talent and a musical identity … not just someone who’s desperate to get on TV.

  • James

    After last year’s nonsense with Nigel & company, there could be guys who are not going to try out because of what happened to the guys last year and girls who are not going to try out because they fear that the show will overcompensate for the way the guys were treated last year.
    There are a combination of a lot of things and none of it is good for the show.

  • JimBobby

    American’s Got Talent.

  • JimBobby

    The winner gets $5 miilon dollars. That would be my choice.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    On AI, if you have the strength of mind and know yourself, you can manage your own journey on the show, even within Idol’s well-known limitations.

    Through S8, I would have said you were absolutely right in this and probably applauded loudly.

    S9’s a bit of a black hole for any form of analysis or comparison. In S10, we got the “rebelling against Iovine” narrative for several of the guys (Abrams, Durbin, McCreery, at minimum). In S11, we got it for P2 only. In S12… it was gone. Kaput!

    S12 ended up looking at least as manipulated as its rival shows — prominent Idol bloggers were ripping handfuls of hair out over this, so it was all the buzz — and the manipulation came across as a mix of stupidity and malevolence toward both the singers and the audience.

    The Voice puts up a good front that its manipulation is kindly and mentoring (whatever the reality is), and XFUSA is still young enough to coast one more season on promises to be better.

    As things stand now, XFUSA has the edge on catering to viewers’ lower impulses with the prospect of tormenting people to meltdowns. The Voice has established itself as the “fun” show. Idol has to overcome the perception that it really hates its audience — not just the “long-time fans” it openly tried to dump in S12 (which I wasn’t against) but anybody who tuned in for wall-to-wall ballads, “Lazaro Arbos is the best undiscovered singer in America in 2013,” and other shenanigans.

  • JimBobby

    It’s some summer intern posing to be a producer.

  • Amy Beth

    Just getting a televised audition is a step up for many of these folks. If you’ve achieved some measure of success, you might be able to be picky. But if you are playing local talent shows and open mic nights, AI is still a relatively big pond.

    If I were trying to make it, I’d go on every audition there was!

  • Amy Beth

    I don’t think they hand you a check. Even if it’s not tied to music produced, it’s probably an annuity, like $5m over 50 years.

  • Amy Beth

    Hope it’s not the same intern who confirmed the fake names of the crashed airplane’s pilots!

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    If I were trying to make it, I’d go on every audition there was!

    If I lived near an audition city for all three shows and had flexible employers, sure!

    But if I were an aspiring musician working a McJob while playing ill-paid gigs, becoming well-acquainted with the Taco Bell dollar menu, and sleeping on friends’ sofas… and it cost me actual money to get to an audition city (plus lost work days)… I’d put my money down on the one I thought gave me the best chance of getting the biggest career results.

    On a choice between “be at loggerheads with Iovine and insulted by crazed judges” or “be mentored by one of four big names in the music biz”… when NONE of these shows can deliver consistent major sales, “be mentored” starts sounding like the better bet. Idol’s competitive advantage was its ability to launch careers. If Iovine throws that away…

  • RedMountainRanch

    The lack of judges could be am issue too. At least people could count on Randy, now who knows the three or four that will be there.

  • Ria.

    “But, aren’t they doing more online auditions this year? I know I’d much rather upload a video than spend money traveling for a long shot.”
    That is an important point. The online option has only been available in recent years. Many artists will have online material available to send in. It saves them the expense, time, and coordination of showing up for a cattle call. It allows them to control exactly how they present themselves, what they perform, and what state they are in emotionally and from a health perspective at the time they perform.

  • Larc

    It may be. I understand that intern no longer has a job with NTSB.

  • Ria.

    “Yeah, but they can chase that same dream by auditioning for XF or The Voice.”
    XF has a fraction of the ratings and almost no track record for recording success. Anyone who won’t bother with Idol because it is not as big as it used to be, is certainly not trying out for XF instead.
    On the other hand, XF does cater to some of the styles of performers Idol does not. So given Idol is no longer the only game in town, some percent of auditioners would reasonably conclude XF or The Voice is a better ‘fit’ for them where in the past they might have tried AI.

  • gem2477

    Idol said 3,000 at the SLC auditions

  • Ari

    Is anyone surprised after bad ratings and press & no idea who the judges will be

  • Ari

    At least in season 1,hey claimed it was $1 million per year for 5 years and the money wasn’t applied to recording/marketing expenses. I don’t know if that has changed. That’s one reason I’m dying for someone to interview Amaro.

  • Montavilla

    Another, more depressing possibility is that we’re seeing the effect of arts education cuts made years ago. Fewer students may be learning music to begin with.

    The truly passionate will follow their bliss no matter what, which results in, as someone put it, “culling the herd.”

  • Ari

    Or posting a viral song on YouTube of you’re really good and original

  • Ari

    Well no one knows what format changes there might be or what the show might actually look like

  • LeoCS

    At this time, last year, people know didn’t either if Randy would be a judge again.

  • vamp111

    Meh who cares, as long as there is some talent then it won’t matter in the end.

  • RedMountainRanch

    She probably has a stipulation where she can’t discuss it. I would imagine she is recording some new songs and one will debut around the time that X-Factor starts, so they can try again.

  • No Thanks

    At this point I think they should scout for talent like The Voice does.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Amaro? She’s already been dropped by her label. There was a lot of back-and-forth, and then she finally confirmed it. So no “new songs to debut on XFUSA” unless the show feels like supporting her in a self-release.

    As for the $5 million, it used to be right on XFUSA’s site that from S2 on, it’s a $5 million recording contract, so the $$$ is spread over multiple hypothetical albums and includes all sorts of expenses other than feeding and housing the winner.

  • vamp111

    Can’t you also audition online now? I wonder if that is a big reason.

  • Sassycatz

    Are there stats on how many people auditioned at the cattle calls during Idol’s first season?

  • JimBobby

    That’s true, The Voice is like a Chess game. The contestants are pawns. But if you are a country singer on TEAM BLAKE you will be a WINNER!

    http://blog.sndimg.com/gac/blake_shelton/blakeshelton_daniellebradbery_thevoice_getty_v.jpg

  • JimBobby

    Melanie Amaro is done. No one is promoting her. She’s on her own. Not sure how much of the $5 million at $1 million per year she has banked or will receive in the future?

  • JimBobby

    Thanks for the info.

    So, Tate Stevens from S2 the $5 million is not a cash payment? It’s $5 million worth of albums, and expenses?

  • Tinawina

    Not surprised. The show is dying.

  • Wfish88

    Let hope for a comeback in S13. They managed to get the exitment back in season 10 after a disasterous s9. I believe they can do it again

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    So, Tate Stevens from S2 the $5 million is not a cash payment? It’s $5 million worth of albums, and expenses?

    You got it. The money is probably spread over a normal recording contract (1 album guaranteed plus 4 or 5 options, for a maximum of some number of years), as that’s what XFUK winners have said happens with their contracts. Nobody knows what’s included in the $5 million — it could be anything from “just the singer’s advance” to “advance plus direct recording costs” to “absolutely everything down to the ad used to solicit songwriting submissions and Simon Cowell’s hair gel.”

  • Anny_nanny

    I’m not sure that Melanie saw lot of this money. Simon can be a complete jerk, but he has never produced an impression of a complete idiot. *remembered XFUS* OK, but I’m sure he has good lawyers and accountants.

  • Montavilla

    But the premise of AI is finding undiscovered singers. Unless AI is prepared to become baseball and send hundreds of people to scour all every school choir, gospel group, and karaoke bar in the country, they need to hold some kind of open audition.

  • Soe

    You do realize AI already uses “scouts”, right…

  • chloe18

    I agree with this so much. If you go far in the competition you are basically tied down to idol on and off for close to a year. The contestants are as important if not more important than the judges to the success of a season and I think they should be paid well for each week they’re on the show.

  • vamp111

    As most shows do in their 13th season. It has been “dying” since Season 6.

    Actually, most shows don’t even get a 13th season.

  • vamp111

    Its not like the Voice or the X Factor have found any major successes yet.

    And LOL, the X Factor doesn’t have buzz.

  • chloe18

    Yeah but I think for whatever reason the perception of the public and media changed this year from it just getting old and a little stale to the show is starting to tank. Almost all the articles I saw were negative, mostly about ratings. I’m not saying it can’t be a somewhat still successful show for a few years but I think it took a huge hit this year.

  • vamp111

    Yeah, but they can chase that same dream by auditioning for XF or The Voice.

    But first the Voice or The X Factor have to actually find a real success LOL. Tate, Melanie, Jermaine, Javier, etc sure are rolling in the dough, eh?

    Idol has actually given people multi-platinum songs, even over the past year(Home).

  • chloe18

    I haven’t really watched much the last few years but even though the show is on it’s way out I’m kind of hoping with the new producers and people brought in there’s a chance that it can be a fun show again for the next couple years. I have a little hope of that b/c of the new staff so I’m willing to check it out to see.

  • vamp111

    Probably because the age range is unlimited, so of course there will be more. The ratings and contestant sales however, will be lower.

  • vamp111

    Only there is no mention of that prize for Season 3.

  • vamp111

    Well at least Idol can claim they have a handful of success. The Voice and X Factor can’t even brag about one success lol(unless you count the judges).

  • bannanafish

    Also it’s California. Every single year they have auditions in either Los Angeles or San Francisco (sometimes both) as do all the other talent shows. At a certain point they have to have rejected every single wannabe in the state. There are other parts of the country that only get tapped every 3 or 4 years or never.

  • vamp111

    The first audition city, Salt Lake City, also saw fewer auditioners, with the SLT reporting that “hundreds” showed up at the EnergySolutions arena.

    Umm, it doesn’t say that MJ. I saw this:

    He said he’s expecting about 3,000 people to sign up to audition, “and that’s a good number for us.”

  • Not fit to print

    It has become increasingly obvious that the show is a bit more rigged than many people thought, which may discourage some potentials, but it’s still a good opportunity.

  • Not fit to print

    QUESTION: does this reflect the drop in last year’s ratings or portend a bigger drop in this year’s ratings?

    They can still find 24 gems in the many thousands showing up.

  • shell29

    That may be the case now, but The Voice & X Factor may have alums to brag about in the future.

  • vamp111

    If so, it would have took long enough. Idol had alums to brag about every season from the first up until Season 9.

  • Ria.

    Idol has many more than a handful of success stories. It is only in the Idol bubble that the competition never ends and anyone outside of the ‘most’ successful somehow don’t count.

  • girlygirl

    They supposedly changed that prize after S1. Now isn’t the prize a recording contract potentially worth $5 million — NOT $5 million in cash

  • shell29

    Idol was also the ‘only show in town’ (so to speak) for most of its run. Yeah, there were a couple of singing competition shows that popped up here and there but none of them lasted very long and weren’t really viable competition for Idol. It’s different now.
    Look, I’m not “Team Idol” or “Team X Factor US” or “Team The Voice”…I don’t have a dog in that fight LOL. I’m just saying that the other two shows may have alums they can brag about in the future. Whether that happens remains to be seen. Even though those shows can’t boast of producing superstars yet, people are still auditioning anyway. Idol isn’t the only show in town anymore…they have options.

  • bannanafish

    Also in the past these “intern”/producers cut people at a 90% rate with a “not what we’re looking for this year” at the initial cattle-call stage. A lot are very talented people, but they figure they have so many to choose from that they can dismiss most on a 90 second acapella audition and producers whim,and they will still be able to find a decent Top 40 from those they let through. If they put a little more effort into assessing them from the initial cattle call auditions we might end up with a far more dynamic Top 40 that can all sing in tune, perform with a band, and have heard of the Beatles.

  • vamp111

    Its funny how everybody’s perception changes on why the audition numbers were so “low.” It says here that only 2,500 showed up to audition in Los Angeles last year.

    http://www.mjsbigblog.com/idol-headlines-for-060712-the-evening-edition.htm

    Everybody was saying “Its so low because only WGWG will win! I bet it was only WGWG who showed up!” Now its because the show is “bad.”

  • Tinawina

    Whatever. AI is nearing the end of its run IMO. This is not a gentle decline as the show ages, like before. The last 2 years have shown a flat-out collapse.

    We’ll see if the new folks can slow the process and eek out a few extra seasons. Who knows, maybe they will do the impossible and reverse the trend.

    But this is not business as usual at the moment.

  • vamp111

    Why would Fox cancel their number 1 show? What other shows do they have that will even help their ratings a little? It also is a top 10 show. That’s not how ratings work.

    No doom and gloom to see here.

  • Tinawina

    “Everybody” was saying no such thing in those comments. If there was any consensus at all, it as that the auditions were in LA and that doesn’t pull a huge crowd.

  • shell29

    She confirmed that she’s been dropped? Not that I doubt it but I don’t remember it being confirmed.
    Poor Melanie. Oh well, at least she got a boyfriend out of the deal.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Hey, better than The Voice and X Factor.

    Totally true until… 2013. The Voice has two recent winners with singles that are visibly being promoted. There’s no guarantee that Pope or Bradbery will succeed, of course; but right now, both are doing better than anybody from S12 Idol.

    Idol’s descent into managerial idiocy in S12 — simultaneous with The Voice getting serious about launches — has changed what’s true about the dynamic between the two shows.

  • Tinawina

    I didn’t say it was getting cancelled immediately. It won’t. I said it is in a rapid decline. ~30% year to year losses are not like the 10-15% that came in the proceeding years, that matched the overall decline in network TV watching.

    It will stay on at least a couple more seasons at this rate, but it may not be even a top 20 show in a few of years if this keeps going on.

    They need to get the show to stablize somewhere decent. That’s what the revamp is about.

    But I’m not going to pretend like this show is not in trouble.

  • vamp111

    Look at the comments. A lot of people said it was because it was because of “one type of winner winning.” Someone even said its because it was all WGWG.

  • vamp111

    Seasons 10 and 11 weren’t the only games in town and they still produced major success(Scotty and Phillip) while the Voice and X Factor contestants flopped.

    And who knows Candice could get a decent single and do well too.

  • shell29

    In fairness to S12 (Candice), neither Cassadee or Danielle have been saddled with something like “I Am Beautiful” (which wasn’t that great of a coronation single). I’m reserving judgment until Candice releases her first “real” single from her album-we’ll see how much of a push she gets from her label then.

  • vamp111

    During the audition stage this year, it was actually the normal decline. But something happened along the way this season that caused a sharper decline. The 2nd episode’s ratings actually matched the 2nd episode in Season 11.

  • Tinawina

    I saw a handful, and I also saw a lot of other speculation. That is not “everybody”, you were implying most of the thread agreed WGWGs were the problem.

  • vamp111

    Its just one season, and its still too soon to call Candice a flop. Look at Phillip Phillips promotion just one year earlier. Way better than Cassadee or Danielle. Just because they haven’t been promoting yet this year doesn’t change the history of its past success(which the Voice has none of). Look at the promotion of Season 9 compared to 10 and 11.

    They are also with Scott Borchela(sp) so it has more to do with being on Swift’s label than the Voice. What happens when a non-country contestant wins? Its back to Jermaine and Javier territory.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    It is possible I’m hallucinating the confirmation (mea culpa!), as all I can find on MJ’s is “album delayed indefinitely” followed by “no, still on the roster.” When I look at Epic’s artist listings, she’s not among those listed, so even if the contract hasn’t officially run out its clock, Epic’s sure not treating her as an artist it needs to… um… mention exists.

    Jordin Sparks got delayed indefinitely on album #3 and stayed with RCA, but she was visibly working on other projects. If Amaro starts showing up as a tour opener or on Broadway or in movies (all of which Sparks has done in the interim), I’ll start believing Epic may release her album someday.

  • Tinawina

    I agree S12 started out back to a normal rate of decline, but ended the season drastically down from the year before, which was itself drastically down from the year before that. It also has horrible press and overwhelmingly negative buzz. Now auditions are way down. All of that spells trouble to me. Like I said maybe it could be turned around, but this is not a normal ho-hum state AI is in right now IMHO.

  • Anny_nanny

    So, this year they have only two auditions on South. I hope many guys in cowboy hats and country-blondes realise that participation in AI no longer guarantees for they interest from Nashville and all they go to audition on TV (I don’t watch TV, I’m no pity this show). And finally we can get more of southern rock, blues and (OK, I agree) country-rock.
    I’m a dreamer, I know.

  • vamp111

    “Everybody” doesn’t always mean to be literal.

  • Tinawina

    It should at least mean “most”, no? It wasn’t even that in this case.

  • MyDailyComment

    People are probably realizing that these shows aren’t gong to do much for them. Even american idol does not make everybody a star. We have year after year seen people on tv and then never heard of them again.

  • Montavilla

    Yes, but not exclusively.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Its just one season, and its still too soon to call Candice a flop. Look at Phillip Phillips promotion just one year earlier.

    Well, part of my point is that P2 was a year earlier. At this time last year, P2 had a single that got positive press, was getting radio play, and was being used in (or about to be used in) the Olympics.

    Glover has… none of that. It’s not that I think SHE is a flop (I voted for her) but that Interscope appears to be shrugging her off. No UMG label signed Kree Harrison, nor snapped up Angie Miller nor even Amber Holcomb. Interscope had Sanchez and Reinhart record rather decent albums, then dropped the ball on promo; and that looks GOOD compared to its treatment of S12’s finalists. RCA et al could be conventionally blinkered stumblebums, but they at least tried with DeWyze and Bowersox.

    Interscope/UMG is busily proving it cannot be counted on as a label. With RCA, a smart musician could hope to win some arguments and build a base. It was precarious and risky, and after S5 (Daughtry), it stopped going well in the longer term — but there was hope.

    Meanwhile, Big Machine DID want Bradbery and Pope, right soon as Voice started saying “oops, we need to launch artists successfully!” So we don’t know that it’s back to screw-ups if the winner isn’t country.

    A musician in 2013/2014 can’t eat Idol’s past glories. Idol had to keep repeating those glories and/or the rival shows had to keep being eff-ups on launches. Neither of those conditions have been met.

  • vamp111

    The Voice doesn’t guarantee success in Nashville either. It’s way too soon to declare Danielle and Cassadee as successes. And look at all the other countless country contestants that have been on The Voice-The Swon Brothers, Holly Tucker, Gwen Sebastian, Raelynn, Patrick Thomas, and many many others haven’t made a success in Nashville/Country. Kree and Janelle have already sang at the Opry even though they haven’t been signed. And look at how well Scotty and Lauren did. Way better than any Voice contestant.

  • jpfan2

    Something happened to the show somewhere mid season. All the air went out of the balloon and it’s been in free fall. Who really cares about the S12 tour or even more scary who the new judges will be? It’s shocking how swift the decline has been. I almost wish Randy had stayed. Aside from Ryan, there is nothing left of the old Idol. It’ll take a miracle to revive this franchise.

  • vamp111

    It looked like it was. A lot of people were blaming the WGWG.

  • vamp111

    SLC was 3000 which they said was good. And SF had 1000, which is about half of what LA had last year. And since they are both west coast cities, and SF has a way smaller population than LA it makes sense. Add in the online auditions.

  • shell29

    I’m not saying that Idol is no longer capable of producing success stories. I’m just saying that there are other options out there for those who would audition for these types of shows. People are still auditioning for X Factor US and The Voice in spite of the fact that the winners (so far) have flopped.

  • Tinawina

    Yeah, it feels like everything just abruptly blew apart. I guess it could turn around, but I’m not holding my breath. *I* don’t even care about next year, and I’m an Idol stan LOL.

  • vamp111

    It hasn’t even been a year since Phillip’s album release and its nearly platinum and look how well it’s done. So that is more of a current success as opposed to past. And GGG was promoted on Idol in 2013 so that was just a few months ago. So it’s not like Interscope is incompetent in promoting everybody. Phillip has had great promotion in 2013 compared to anybody from The Voice and has been way more successful than any of them.

  • Frederick

    The show’s on it’s last legs for sure.

  • Guest

    If you cared enough to click this thread, then you must care LOL.

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    Reminder:

    DON’T put words in poster’s mouths! Continue to do that, despite repeated warnings from me? I’M GOING TO BAN YOU.

    ETA: And guess what. I did.

  • Montavilla

    Maybe this is geographical. AI’s voters have traditionally skewed South and Southeast. Possibly West Coast hopefuls are deciding to take their chances with shows that have less regional bias.

  • Larc

    It’s probably not so much how many people show up for auditions as the kind and quality of talent that makes it to the finals. An exciting show with strong talent could help rejuvenate Idol in spite of the apparent sagging interest. Another season like S12 would keep it headed down the toilet, IMO.

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    I’m quoting from the news article. And some spinny quote from a producer about what he’s “expecting” does not mean it actually happened.

  • SallyL

    I’M GOING TO BAN YOU.

    Unless you happen to be a long time poster, they get MANY chances. Or indefinite chances. I have seen long time posters do the same thing, but they get away with it.

  • Jon Glass

    HAHAHA

  • Guest

    HAHAHA The X Factor gets lower ratings than Idol.

  • Stooch

    They won’t cancel it but they will cut it back. Look at this year no collection CD and I bet next year no tour. They will strip it down to bare bones to keep their profit margin, which is shrinking quickly cause of lower ad revenues. Even if they address the complaint of the viewers/audience it will take a couple seasons if it can be done at all. I think they might have passed the point of no return ( not saying it will be cancelled anytime soon). Idol’s claim to fame was they created stars, which is true they’ve done a great job at that over the years. But here’s the thing maybe the label cares about that and maybe the Fox team cares about that and probably even the contestants themselves care about it. The general viewing public at large doesn’t care about it, they want to watch a show that entertains them. If the show fails to give them that, then it’s gonna lose viewers and ultimately fail.

  • Joob

    Yikes….

  • Joob

    Um. What is a sockpuppet? lol

  • Ronnie D

    People using fake names maybe?

  • Ronnie D

    I remember thinking to myself last season that this is the BEST they can come up with? It was a joke season IMO. Idol needs to put their money where their mouth is and find good talent AND promote it. They totally dropped the ball last season.

  • Ria.

    “but Idol has gone from “big launch for top 2 and others have a shot at a major label!” (through S10, even though big S9 top 2 launches fizzled on actual results) to “only the winner can hope for a real launch” (S11, unless one follows Christian radio) to “um… can the winner even count on it?” (S12).”

    But success can never be a guarantee. Jessica still got an album and a single featuring a very popular artist. She has been on Glee and has other prospects. All the top 10-11 get quite a bit of national TV time, go on the Idol’s tour, and have some degree of celebrity for at least a while. It remains to be seen what will happen for the season 12 contestants over the next year or so.
    If we are going to down play the advantages of being an Idol finalist, we need to look at the other shows with the same eye. The other shows are a good option if you don’t think your style would make it on to Idol, but so far the Idol finalists still seem to clearly benefit the most from their time on a show. If the ratings keep sliding then that might change at some point, but we are already seeing Idol clearing house after dull season12 gave them a wake-up call.

  • vamp1111

    Nope.

  • Ronnie D

    Maybe the students with natural talent will float to the top now instead of having to fight through a bunch of wannabees who need auto tune. Then again, having talent isn’t a prerequisite for becoming a star anymore lol.

  • vamp1111

    On a choice between “be at loggerheads with Iovine and insulted by
    crazed judges” or “be mentored by one of four big names in the music
    biz”…

    Umm, the “Crazed judges” are gone already. And Christina Aguilera isn’t a “crazed judge” who insults people? That’s news to me!

    when NONE of these shows can deliver consistent major sales

    Idol can.

    Being mentored by a “big name” takes away all freedom. At least on idol they can somewhat go their own way instead of having somebody choose what they do on the show.

  • Venus Hooper

    Consider the heat wave too over on this side of the country, it isn’t being very nice either. Heat of these extremes do aafect people and energy levels.

  • Not fit to print

    Interesting. It definitely was an in-season thing, then.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    But success can never be a guarantee.

    Oh, I’m not saying SUCCESS was ever guaranteed by Idol or any other show. But it used to be that the runner-up on Idol got a recording contract with the sponsoring label group.

    Kree Harrison is the first runner-up in the history of Idol to be turned down by the sponsoring label group. She would have been no worse off auditioning for The Voice instead.

    That’s what’s changed in 2013. Below first place, a finalist’s prospects aren’t improved by being on Idol — the label group isn’t interested and the ratings don’t support a bigger fan base than The Voice would provide. XFUSA has lower ratings and a crappier record but at least signs finalists down to #4 or so, so they get their chance, lousy as that chance may be.

    Interscope is running the business differently as of S12. It’s not a slam on Idol’s former (impressive) success rate to notice that the system has changed.

  • elliegrll

    I doubt that the’s a lot of mentoring going on. Just like with the X Factor, I think that any mentoring is just for the cameras.

    Jimmy may be set in his ways, but he also has one of the most successful labels today, and is one of the reasons why UMG has made more money than any other label over the past few years.

    AI is probably still the best platform for letting the contestants get noticed, but the contestants need to do more to take advantage of that opportunity.

  • vamp1111

    Exactly. If I had a choice between being controlled by a “mentor” or having my own freedom, then Idol would be the way to go.

  • Ria.

    Idol still has the best formula, by far, IMO. They need to stop pushing certain contestants just because they like their story and saw promise in them early on. They need to stop looking for some of the same ‘types’ of contestants each year, as they do too often. They also need to go back to having several voting rounds before we get to the top 10-13 that we are all going to watch for 3 months.
    In terms of recording success, who’s the most successful from XF or The Voice so far? How do they stack up to Idol contestants? There are probably still 20-30 Idols who have had more success than anyone or almost anyone from those other two shows. There have been plenty of very talented contestants on those other shows. Many are still working hard on their careers and I hope to hear more from them. But XF and The Voice are still not focused enough on the contestants, on showcasing their individuality, or on promoting their post-show work. Idol theme nights are an issue, but at least they artists still have leeway within those themes. They are not (usually) given the specific songs they are to sing.

  • vamp1111

    The X Factor didn’t even sign the 2nd place contestants(Carly and Josh). Carly got Syco, but that won’t get her anywhere.

  • Stooch

    People get way too hung up on the after show success thing. It may have matter once upon a time. The general viewer only wants to watch the show to be entertain, if your show fails to do that they won’t watch. The success of your alums is great for the shows bio, but that fact does nothing for the shows ratings

  • Ria.

    After show success potential should matter quite a bit to the people who are auditioning.

  • EB

    Too many missteps last season. Crap judging panel, so much producer manipulation and bullsh-t shenanigans resulting in (rightfully) bad press for the show and causing ambivalence from even Idol’s most passionate fans… no surprise about these crowds. After all that took place, I wouldn’t want to audition for this show now.

    They have a lot of work to do to improve it and they might be able to but I’m afraid it will always be the ‘old’ singing show that isn’t exactly cool anymore.

  • Stooch

    There’s only one winner, do you wanna promote yourself to the largest audience. Or roll the dice and hope Jimmy and the producers don’t sabotage ya

  • Karen C

    And after all that, it probably doesn’t seem like a good way for someone to break into the music business anymore, like it had in the past. The judges fighting and producer manipulation overshadowed the contestants.

  • Bugme Nomor

    I’ve come to believe Melanie was in it for the money and never cared about getting a record deal.

  • vamp1111

    I doubt that’s the reason why. Its just an old show.

  • Bugme Nomor

    If the Summer Olympics were not last year, Phillip would not have seen the level of success he had.

    http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/480640/phillip-phillips-home-sales-surge-thanks-to-olympic-gymnasts

  • Sassycatz

    I agree that the show must be entertaining. In fact, that’s the real, unspoken raison d’etre of this show. Be popular. Earn huge ratings. Charge huge ad rates. HOWEVER, the selling point, the stated reason for its being, the conceit of the show is that, with America’s help, “we’re going to discover a superstar … or at least someone who will have a career in the industry.” To abandon the latter, even in some unspoken way, would diminish the show greatly. In fact, you might as well hire actors to play the contestants and totally go the way of The Voice. Make it a game show for celebs in the musical industry — especially those who need a boost to their career, and call it a day.

    But that’s the beauty of Idol. For the longest time, it managed to juggle its unspoken goals with its stated goals — with its press. It managed to do both. I don’t think they should give up on that because there are other shows who aren’t doing that and cutting into their game. Those other shows are chasing Idol but they’re only achieving the unspoken, rather self-serving goals, i.e., helping no one but themselves. Not achieving the fairytale. Should Idol give up and throw away the fairytale? For me, that would be acknowledging defeat and playing the other guys’ game even though you’re still the best at what you do.

  • Bugme Nomor

    Ratings half what they were two years ago. Idols Live Tour shows cancelled. Auditions with 1/7 the turnout. No judges to speak of. New producers. There’s obviously a problem and FOX is trying desperately to fix it.

  • EB

    I did in fact note the show’s age being a factor at the end of my rant. ;)

  • EB

    I agree! It felt genuine before, like the contestants mattered and it was really about getting to know them and enjoying their journey on Idol. Even though I suppose there always was some level of manipulation from TPTB, all I know is that it still was once really, really fun to watch every single week. Then it became a chore. :(

    S12 put it overboard into the territory of any and all other reality shows (all eight billion of them that are on TV at the moment) which are so fake and planned out from beginning to end, and where the judges are mostly there just to stir up drama and be the (unpleasant) entertainment.

  • Ria.

    I did not single out the winners. I never do. 20-30 contestants includes very many non-winners along with the winners.

    This thread is about low turnout at an audition. I think Idol is still an incredible opportunity for anyone trying to get into the business. If there really is a much lower turnout overall this year, I would guess it is because of what a mess season 12 was. Viable Idol contestants should still see Idol as their best option for showcasing their talent and furthering their careers. If we have another season like season 12, even I might stop watching. But for anyone paying attention, Idol is making a lot of changes and hopefully they will have a much better season 13.

  • elliegrll

    The ratings for AI and The Voice are pretty similar. At the end of the day it probably doesn’t matter to the hopefuls. They want a platform that will help them launch their careers. I’m sure that everyone feels that Jimmy can do for them what he did for Phillip, or they just want the opportunity to be seen by a larger audience than they could ever hope to perform in front of, if they don’t go on shows like AI, TV, or XF.

  • http://kristentheyellowlab.blogspot.com/ ZsusK

    Pardon me if I’m not convinced that your sources are accurate, MJ. Wannabe’s would rather busk on street corners than take a chance at the cattle call for American Idol? Don’t believe. Hundreds at one audition? Only a thousand at another? Don’t believe. The show’s ratings aren’t going to mean shit to people who are desperate to get into the business. – and there are zillions of them. How ridiculous to assume that wannabe’s are actually going to say, “Idol only gets over ten-million viewers, down from 20-million. Why waste my time? I’ll just continue to play this shitty coffee house for $25 a night rather than lower myself to the potential of at least getting an audition clip that ups my price to $100 a night.” Come on!

  • jpfan2

    There are way less people at auditions. Just another sign of lack of interest in the show. Why is that even debatable? Lower ratings, tour shows cancelled etc. etc. I bet many of the applicants in the past were there for a laugh and to maybe get on TV for a minute and meet
    the judges. Who are Idol’s judges now?

  • vamp1111

    Basically this.

  • vamp1111

    Tour shows are cancelled because of lack of interest in the group, not necessarily the show itself. Season 9’s tour bombed and had a bunch of cancelled dates, but Season 10’s tour did really well in comparison. If the group is good next year, I expect the tour to do good next year also.

  • vamp1111

    Pretty much.

  • vamp1111

    The casuals viewers figured he would be back. Most of the auditioners are casual viewers.

  • vamp1111

    No matter how he got there, he is still a success.

  • Wfish88

    Agreed. Scotty’s promo has been great, but he’s with Mercury more so than Interscope. P2’s success has more to do with Home/Olympics than anything else but Interscope did a nice job capitalizing on its success. What Interscope is REALLY dropping the ball in is promoting female artists. Haley couldn’t been a break out star. She has the look, sound, whole package. But her release was a disaster. Jessica/Pia were equally as miserably. And now Candice is starting off on a bad footing. She should’ve been presenting at the BET Awards or somthing, she’s the first black winner in almost 10 years (not including JS) & she should be promoted to the R&B market as the next big thing, and she’s not.

  • Wfish88

    The IDOL tour sells based off the cast for the most part. Not saying ratings have no affect, but the poor tour sales have more to do with a disasterous
    Top 10. I don’t see IDOL canceling the tour. I could see mabye a 10-15 city tour with the top 6 or somthing.

  • Karen C

    Maybe for some that are serious about getting into music, going on these shows no longer seems like a good alternative because they are seeing some of the winners and runners up got contracts that did not give them the artistic freedom that they have as independent artists. To some musicians that might be more important than getting a contract. Though, I agree it gives them more exposure, but maybe they aren’t seeing that.

    I also think in the past that some might have audition because it was suggested to them by an agent or manager, but maybe this is no longer happening either. It seemed there were quite a few that auditioned that had never seen the show, so I think they were influenced by someone.

  • ajr86

    Simon was asked years ago about the longevity of the show. He answered, as long as hopefuls come out to audition, we will be on TV. Sadly he was correct. Idols days are numbered.

  • BonnieDee

    I still maintain that the low ratings were due to people leaving in droves over Nicki Minaj and now that she’s gone they will come back. That’s why the Voice numbers picked up and Idol’s numbers dropped. They might not come back 100% but the ratings will pick up.

  • Karen C

    That might affect the ratings last year, but not necessarily the auditions. Auditioners know by now that she won’t be a judge next year.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Yep, had NOTHING to do with the subpar contestants, bad performances, inconsistent production, 12th season or the glut of singing shows. Nope, solely because of Nicki.

  • thedeviledadvocate

    Idol used to say over 100,000 auditioned. This year, the Voice claimed they had 40,000 audition. The X-factor with a 5 million dollar prize will have how many audition?

    Idol’s numbers are down, and it has a lot more competition than it did before. If you take the number of people who auditioned for both Voice Auditions, the X-Factor, and Idol, and the addition of online auditions, I bet the total number of auditions for a singing show this year are much higher than they were before the Voice and X-factor.

    I still love watching Idol. There are two problems that I dislike about Idol. One, is the power voting, which makes me not bother to vote. The other is the phony, over the top praise with unearned standing ovations, as well as phony unearned criticism (used for bussing).

    Idol has brought me many fine young talented singers that I enjoy today as much as I did when they made their debut on the show. Kellie, Carrie and Adam aren’t the only 3 who are talented.

    American Idol is still the one to beat. Idol has the history of successful winners and superb ratings. The Voice and Xfactor may have closed the gap, but Idol has more potential than either of the other two, if it gets its shiznit together. One would hope that with Idol’s competition actually showing some decent numbers, that Idol would make some changes from the same old same old that has caused a severe drop in ratings. Ironically, as far as Idol has dropped in ratings, and they are being crucified by the media for this drop, the Voice is being praised to the high heavens for their ratings, which are basically the same as Idol’s. Idol is still #1, but they may have to make some serious changes if they wish to remain that way.

  • Sassycatz

    Ironically, as far as Idol has dropped in ratings, and they are being crucified by the media for this drop, the Voice is being praised to the high heavens for their ratings, which are basically the same as Idol’s.

    I associate myself with this observation. Hee. (In other words, I agree.)

  • BonnieDee

    It will take time to build back up. My point is auditioners were scared off by low ratings and low sales for the winner this year. I think it’s similar to Season 9, which was terrible, but was followed up by an amazing season— Season 10 which had new and more popular judges and great contestants.

  • BonnieDee

    I have to agree with the Idol formula. The Voice has way too much producer manipulation, which is why Danielle always performed in the second half of the show and other singers like Holly had to sing first or second almost every time. It was really obvious in the finale when the Swon Brothers had finished all three of their songs before Danielle had sung her second one.

  • http://kristentheyellowlab.blogspot.com/ ZsusK

    But why this season? For 12 seasons, people who cared about their music auditioned. If anything, I would think Phillip Phillips’ success would be an encouragement to those who want that artistic freedom. And though Crystal Bowersox was not a huge commercial success, being on the show has opened doors and opportunities for her that she never imagined. (Before Idol, the girl was playing for $50 a night at a local pizza place, for gosh sakes!) As I said, I can see the audition numbers being down a bit, but only 1k at one audition and “hundreds” in SLC are too low even for a show that is less popular than it was years ago.

  • dante

    Totally agree with you!!! Having such weak boys was a turn off. And no personality as a group. Such a boring season with judges with zero chemistry.

  • Karen C

    I agree that the show gives them a chance that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. That’s what I really like about the show. What I wonder though, if because so many winners and runners up who did well initially, then went either independant and with smaller labels, and were glad to get their artistic freedom back, might be a turn off for some.
    I actually do know someone who had auditioned in the past, and now isn’t going to try again at least partially for this reason, so that’s why I think it could happen with others.

  • http://kristentheyellowlab.blogspot.com/ ZsusK

    Good point about potential auditioners seeing some idols go independent. To be honest, if your only options for success are to become the next Kelly/Carrie, that might not be appealing to many who would have auditioned for the show in season’s past just hoping for that break. But, what confuses me is that P2 has done incredibly well…. far better than he would have done on an indie label without the Idol fame.

    I still wonder about the reports of extremely low numbers. Even with everything taken into account, they don’t make sense. Hundreds in SLC vs. thousands? If the numbers are claimed to be that low in Detroit, I’m definitely going to call foul. Detroit will attract wannabes from all over Ohio, all over Michigan, all over Indiana, not to mention Illinois, Wisconsin, and even Western New York. And there are a lot of wannabes in this part of the country that don’t have access to New York/Nashville/LA.

  • Karen C

    Right, Phillip has done well, but maybe they are looking at what has happened in the long term to some.

    Another thing I’ve thought of is the singer songwriter type like Phillip is now popular again, which may mean that those of that type are getting more contracts without Idol.

    Something else I just thought of too, I think they are allowing online auditions this year. So audiitioners might be auditioning online in higher numbers, instead of having to travel to one of the cites.

    There is probably more than one factor in effect.

  • Karen C

    I don’t think they had as low turnout after Season 9. However, I also don’t think Season 9 was quite as bad as this season. And also, auditioners didn’t know who was going to be the judges in Season 10 until after the initial auditions.

  • Mateja Praznik

    LOL. Season 9 was the worst season ever. Also, season 12 was better than seasons 10 and 11.

  • jennyl2

    Season 12 was the worst for me. And from post season results, people appears to be not invested at all. If I wasn’t a long time follower, I won’t watch next season based on season 12. Sad but that’s the truth. Season 7 and 9 were my fav.

  • Karen C

    Not for me. Of the seasons I’ve seen, I thought last season was the worst. LIked 9, 10, and especially 11 much better.
    Personal opinion aside, Crystal Bowersox had way more press after her season than anyone has in Season 12.

  • Karen C

    My favorites were 7, 8, 9, and 11.

  • Mateja Praznik

    The best seasons were 4-6. Since then, the show is steadily going downhill. Every new season more stale than the one before it. Season 9 was the absolute worst with all those horrible guitar players. Seasons 10 and 11 were a little better than 9, but I liked season 12 more because it was finally a girls year. The 5 girls were easily better than the casts of seasons 10 and 11.

  • Anny_nanny

    Apparently we were watching different show. I saw the Top 10, which any zombies from favorite TV-series of Carrie and Phillip gives odds on the part of emotion and attractiveness for the audience. Zombies can scare at least, but I just rewinded show, with occasional stops.

  • Anny_nanny

    Agree. Change all girls of S12 on Crystal.

  • girlygirl

    Not for me. Last season was so blatant in the manipulation — the show has always been manipulative to some degree, but last year was ridiculous. The guys who made Top 10 were all boring and the girls, while very talented, weren’t exactly exciting performers, either (except for Janelle, maybe). Then throw in the fact that the new judges quickly went from being honest to parroting whatever TPTB wanted them to say, and last season was a huge mess.

    Seasons 10 & 11 clearly were pushing Scotty & Phillip from very early on, but overall the contestants were more interesting.

    My fave seasons are 1 (because it was the 1st season, the judges were fun to listen to that season, and Kelly!), 5 and 8. Since S9, it’s been downhill for me, but last season may have been even less entertaining than S9 for me.

  • Karen C

    While everyone has their own opinion I wouldn’t think Season 6 was better than other seasons, I would say 7 and 8 were much more popular .

  • jake

    Cassadee sang at the Opry the other night and I am convinced that Janelle and Kree sang there because Idol is sponsoring a contest on the Opry web site.