EW Rates the Idols and other ramblings

Things have been very  quiet in American Idol land.   The contestants are on tour, but as Ken Barnes from the USA Today Idol Chatter blog  has noted, the buzz on this years contestants  has been nearly non-existent.

Last year at this time, you blog peeps were chattering about Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee,   Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler–all had announced record deals with Sony/BMG by this time last summer.  

Between Katharine McPhee’s admission she was an active bulimic prior to her Idol audition, and her 3 week absence from the beginning of the  tour due to throat problems–this blog at least–was never at a loss for subjects to discuss.

And of course, there was the Unofficial Taylor Hicks Travelling Shadow tour, featuring his old band Little Memphis Blues Orchestra and any of the other Idols who wanted to join in on the fun… It took place in clubs in key cities after the Pop Tarts cheese-fest wrapped up for the night.

This year, so far, no signings have been announced.   All the Idols have shown up for the tour, and outside of reports of Blake Lewis being mean to old ladies, (not this one though, heh) this year’s gang is gossip-free.

Not longing for the good old days exactly, but I would like SOMETHING to happen.   News about Jordin and Blake’s contracts with 19 would be nice for starters…

In the meantime, here are some interesting articles from Entertainment Weekly.   About former Idols, of course.

EW rates the Idols and muses on their post-Idol careers.   Also, I have a little news about Bo Bice. Good stuff.  After the jump…

Entertainment Weekly posts an Idol report card.   They grade several Idols on their post-Idol careers.   Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry receive A’s of course, for their multi-platinum successes.   Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee, whose albums  underperformed by  Idol standards merit a C and C- respectively.   Elliott Yamin,  everyone’s favorite underdog,  scores a B for his eponymous album and single, “Wait For You, ”  which have become sleeper hits.

The grades are right on if only the Idol’s album successes are considered.   But, an Idol’s success is more than the sum of their record units, in my humble opinion.   While Taylor Hicks may not be selling many records right now, his tour  appears to be  doing very well.   And Fantasia is becoming a Broadway star  as Celie in The Color Purple.   Also, her sophomore album has gone gold and her latest single, “When I  See U”  is currently climbing the charts.   I would have given her a B+ at least

This EW piece,  claims there is no formula for post-Idol success:

A year ago, at the close of the fifth and most popular season of American Idol, it was easy to envision how the following 12 months might unfold. Winner Taylor Hicks, trading on his appeal among older women, would enjoy something akin to Clay Aiken’s early multiplatinum career. Runner-up Katharine McPhee would blossom into 2007’s reigning sexpot-next-door. As for the contestants who’d been eliminated earlier, third-place Elliott Yamin’s best hope was to pick up Hicks’ leftover white-soul crumbs. Kellie Pickler, who came in sixth, would go back to slinging burgers at Sonic ‘  perhaps joined by new fry cook Bucky Covington, the No. 8 finisher. And poor Chris Daughtry, who ended up fourth? He’d spend years hustling the bar circuit, desperate to establish some rock cred.

You know how this story really turned out. Hicks’ debut disc stalled ‘  it ranks 184th on the list of best-sellers for 2007’s first half. Topping that same ranking is newly minted superstar Daughtry, whose first album has sold 2.9 million copies. Country freshmen Pickler and Covington both have sizable radio hits…unlike McPhee, who’s MIA in any format. Yamin, passed over by the usual Idol label and manager, went indie and proved to be a late bloomer: His ”Wait for You” is an unexpected pop hit. ”I tell people third place is the new first, ” Yamin quips.

 In other words: Keep hope alive, season 6 also-rans Melinda Doolittle and Phil Stacey. And be afraid, very afraid, Jordin and B-B-Blake.

More about Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks:

 The Idol music factory may be taking a more cautious approach with the latest season’s power couple, Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis. There’s no plan yet for either to enter the studio (in past years, top finishers were already recording their debuts by now) ‘  maybe because neither one seems like a sure thing. ”If they push Jordin to be an edgier pop act I think it’ll do well, but if they go with the nice girl next door, I don’t think it will do that well, ” says Niko, a DJ at New York’s influential pop station Z100. And Blake? ”Everybody from Idol is going to have a chance. But if we want somebody to come on the station and beat-box, we’ll get Justin Timberlake.”

Well, both have said they’ve done some recording (Jordin, one track  and Blake says he’s recorded six).   But, there is still no word about who they’ve signed with or even IF they’ve signed a record deal.   Although Blake is on record claiming to have signed a management deal  with Simon Fuller and 19E.

And, all about Idols going Indie:

If major labels don’t come a-knockin’, go indie-rockin’. For every contestant who scores a major-label offer, many more are left without a deal at season’s end. But the independent route has turned into a surprisingly viable option. It’s certainly worked for Elliott Yamin. When the singer realized the majors weren’t biting, he signed with brand-new indie Hickory Records. ”[It was] a very modest deal, ” says Alan Becker, senior VP at RED, the company that distributes and promotes Yamin’s album. ”Not big money or big hype.” Yamin has sold 306, 000 CDs without a major-label promo push. ”I didn’t know what to expect, ” says Yamin. ”I don’t have any gimmicks. I wanted to be genuine, [but] I wanted to cross over. I wanted to make a singer’s type of record, and it is selling. People are responding to it.” Amazingly, Yamin’s disc could soon overtake McPhee’s heavily hyped big-label CD, which has sold just 344, 000 copies.

Hoping to follow Yamin’s lead is season 4’s Constantine Maroulis, who recently started his own label and dubbed it…Sixth Place Records. Unlike Yamin, Maroulis did have a post-Idol major-label experience, albeit a brief one; his Atlantic deal fell apart when the exec who signed him left the company. ”So I said, ‘F–it, ”’ says Maroulis, ‘I’m going to do my own record.”’ Due out Aug. 7, Constantine cost a relatively modest $35, 000 to make, and Maroulis says that if he sells all of the 150, 000 copies he’s releasing, ”I will be a very wealthy man. I own this record. I’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.”

Hmmm, Constantine had a deal with Atlantic records that didn’t pan out.   I wonder if his record deal fell through at the same time his TV show deal with Kelsey Grammar and ABC fell apart?

Rumors have been swirling for months about Bo Bice parting ways with RCA.   And, according to Billboard Magazine, Bo’s indie status is official.   He’ll be going back to his Southern roots with Nashville indie label StartArt:

Season four “American Idol” runner-up Bice is getting back to his Southern roots on the follow-up to his 2005 debut, “The Real Thing.” “I enjoyed ‘The Real Thing, ‘ but [the new album] is more a labor of love, ” says the Helena, Ala., native, now inked to indie StartArt. “It’s really me getting back to the roots of what Bo is, which is a Southern rock album and nothing more.” Recorded in Nashville with producer Frank Liddell, the album boasts more songwriting credits from Bice, who had little say the first time around. He also hand-picked all of his collaborators, including Gary Nichols and Chris Tompkins, whom Bice has known for more than a decade. “American Blood, ” one song co-penned by the pair, is a slower, country-driven support song for U.S. troops.

About mj santilli 34832 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!