Ole Publishing Creative Director & Ole Hit Songwriter Visit American Idol Finalists (Pics & What Does This Mean??)

How did our American Idol finalists spend today? Well among other things, they were visited by Chad Richardson, creative director for Ole Publishing and hit songwriter Monty Powell! Richardson tweeted:

Ready for a good day at #americanidol with @forasong . #1 writer for a #1 show! @olemajorlyindie

Hmmm. @forasong is none other than Monty Powell, Keith Urban’s go-to songwriting partner, who cowrote Keith’s big hits “Tonight I Wanna Cry,” “Days Go By,” “Sweet Thing,” “Kiss A Girl,” and “Til Summer Comes Around,” among many others. Here’s a picture of Kree Harrison with Monty Powell:

Why might this be significant? 19/Interscope has connected previous finalists like Pia Toscano and Haley Reinhart to Ole writers. Pia cowrote several songs at an Ole writing camp. In fact, Haley Reinhart signed a worldwide publishing deal with Ole last February.

Could the Chad Richardson tweet mean there may be some effort to start the finalists on the road to original material early? With the early showcasing of Angela Miller’s original song as well as original songs by contestants like Charlie Askew and Kez Ban, plus the fact that Kree Harrison auditioned with an original song (that wasn’t shown), it sure seems like the groundwork is there for original material, cowritten by finalists, to be introduced on the show.

So what say you? Do you think adding some songwriting into the mix for the finalists would be a good development for the show? Is Ole trying to set tinfoil hatters off by only tweeting out pictures of Angela and Kree? Discuss!

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Deb G

Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.
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  • http://twitter.com/therealmikas Mikas

    It would be super cool if we get a “Original songs” week on Idol! Very cool!!!! PS: The girls would kick the guys asses!!! =D

  • b_james

    It would be great for people like Kree and Angie. For Lazaro? Not so sure.

  • Devin Harper

    I’ve been saying they should have done this for years…..They should have 2 original song weeks. What better way to show where a contestant is going to go musically than with an original song?.

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    It sounds great, but only if they can get Superstar performers to sing these songs in battle rounds, each representing a contestant! ;-)

  • irockhard

    Original songs theme is a good idea but I’d save it for a bit later like around Top 5. Reason being contestants who place lower than that usually don’t get signed. And of course the coronation songs should be co-writes.

  • AM

    Kree sang her original song You Would Have Wanted It That Way at her audition. It’s a beautiful song about her parents. I hope she can sing it on the show. Here’s the song on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78gtdjovTu0

  • http://twitter.com/Lutrell4 Ira

    I like the idea of helping those who can write, to produce some original material. However, to depend exclusively on one team to do that for this year’s crew of very talented, and diverse ladies would be a mistake. I think Devlin, Amber, Kree and Candy would benefit more from a team like The Smeezingtons, Bruno Mars songwriting team or Kerry Brothers (Krucial), the under-appreciated songwriter/production team behind Alicia Keys’ best songs.

    Next, I would rehire the great Debra Byrd to workshop these kids on their vocals.

  • AdamCee

    Wow.. the last time I heard of Chad Richardson was of him being in the Broadway cast of “Rent” circa 2000.. good for him making progress since!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bug-Menot/100003601718986 Bug Menot

    Maybe someone is going to sing an unreleased song just like Haley performed “You and I” by Lady Gaga. But we were told that was a bad idea.

  • girlygirl

    Maybe the contestants will be allowed to do an original song for the coronation song?

    I’d like to see an “original songs” theme week, but only if the contestants have enough lead time to actually write something (not, you must write a new song in 3 days, for example)

    Also, I think this would be something that would be better later in the season rather than early in the season

  • elliegrll

    I hope it means that they are working with them on post show/ coronation songs. It would be good if the winner gets a song that suits her or him.

  • vdawg

    Original song week would be great. I hope this happens this year. Idol please make this happen.

  • Incipit

    I don’t think trying to write or co-write an original song to use on the show, under the working conditions and time constraints on Idol, with random contestants who may or may not know the first thing about songwriting will get anyone more than some rush jobs that would be 85% the pro, and the rest the hamster.

    Songwriting isn’t easy, it isn’t quick, and it very often isn’t successful…it is actually a learned skill with rules and parameters, and experience doesn’t guarantee success – – as anyone who actually does it could tell them. Also, one size certainly doesn’t fit all, when it comes to co-writers. Train Wreck, and kinda insulting to the profession of songwriting, IMO, if they are even thinking of going in that direction.


    “I would rehire the great Debra Byrd to workshop these kids on their vocals.”

    I can get behind THIS idea, as the Hyperbolic judges would say, 1000 and 10%. On the list of Ten Dumbest Things TPTB Have Done – that’s right up there – replacing Debra Byrd with Iovine’s people.

    IMO. Of Course.

  • http://twitter.com/nsideguy25 Chris

    I’m pretty sure it has to do with winner song. Candice said on twitter they brought in chantal kreviazuk, who wrote for avril and drake,etc. In case “she makes it far into the competition. This was a few weeks ago.

  • Miz

    I think a lot of us have been saying they should have an ‘original song’ theme week for quite a few years. It seems that most singers want writing credit on songs whether they are writers or not, so this would be a good way to give them an intro to it.

    I’d suspect it would be something they’d start on now for later in the competition. Maybe we’ll get original songs for the finale for a change.

  • http://twitter.com/Universian8X Anna Bones Clarkwood

    I was hoping for a long time that they’d be told Top 3 was going to have 1 song be an Original Song (with or w/o collaboration), near the start of the show. Like Hollywood is when they tell contestants to start writing, thinking of ideas, stuff to write about. For those who don’t write, collaborations with anyone (known or unknown) are allowed.

    I also think that if one or more of the Top 3 doesn’t come up with a good song, they can push that whole idea out to an Idol Tour Release, kinda like Pia’s. Though, if someone really likes what they come up with, they can choose to sing it during the competition.

    I might be willing to go Top 4, maybe Top 5, but it has to be one of 2 or 3 songs, ideally 3. That way if it doesn’t do good, the other song(s) can help them out.

  • Face

    as interesting as some sort of original song week theme might be, I just cant see it happening… for a whole host of reasons… not least of which is TPTB don’t appear to have it in them to do anything that original…
    after all, these are the people that… moved us to 4 judges following TV and XF… showed us the rankings in week 1, following XF… and have so far brought us Beatles & Motown theme weeks for 4th or 5th (or maybe 6th) times each…
    and if they were, doing something as new and unique as original or co-written songs week… then with the ratings going down the toilet… i think they’d be promoting the fact they are doing it… to try and pique interest…
    so I can only assyme it may be linked to discussing winners songs or post show publishing deals and/or material…

  • blackberryharvest

    moved us to 4 judges following TV and XF.

    Except that Seasons 8 and 9 had four judges.

  • Face

    true, but it never really worked… and was ditched for S10 & 11… and seems it only came back once XF and TV had both launched with a 4 judge panel…
    besides, whether its those examples or others, my point is, that TPTB on AI haven’t shown themselves to be ground-breaking or creative when it comes to dealing with how to address the fact the show is getting old and tired and losing viewers…
    so it would seem incredibly unlikely for them to try something like original song week

  • http://www.facebook.com/hank.stromner Hank Stromner

    Ole followed Kree and Angie on twitter so I would guess Monty is working on songs for them today in some capacity.

  • standtotheright

    Songwriting isn’t easy, it isn’t quick, and it very often isn’t
    successful…it is actually a learned skill with rules and parameters,
    and experience doesn’t guarantee success – – as anyone who actually does
    it could tell them. Also, one size certainly doesn’t fit all, when it
    comes to co-writers

    All of those things are true. But the alternative is not to wait for the ideal partner, the ideal skillset, and the ideal session in this case. The alternative is to cast about for writers who are willing to submit songs without meeting with the contestants, without familiarizing themselves with their voices (both tonal and lyrical), and without having a sense of their preferred market.

    What’s insulting to the profession is assuming that a better result is simply waiting in the ether to be bestowed upon the vocalist.

    I am willing to bet that if you ask any of these contestants, whether they write regularly or not, if they would prefer to spend some of their time on sessions like these as opposed to wardrobe or movie premieres or any of the other types of filler that have been used throughout the seasons.

    IMO, it’s about damn time.

  • springboard2

    I don’t think that a whole evening of original songs from the contestants is a good idea because the public likes songs thkey know and there may be so many mediocre songs that the theme would bring AI to its death.

    But a mix, with contestants allowed to perform their own songs when the theme allows it would be excellent, in my opinion.

  • standtotheright

    Well, even if this isn’t just for potential coronation songs (which I still think is most likely), by the time they get to top 4 or top 3 they are doing multiple songs in a night anyway.
    One original song round at that point wouldn’t be “so many mediocre songs.”

  • springboard2

    Yes, this is what I mean. One original or two would be OK, but a whole evening of contestants own songs would be unwatchable.