The folks at American Idol continue to expand the brand, and their influence to other ventures. Last week, came the announcement that Freemantle and 19 Entertainment would open an Idol Camp for teens and pre-teens.
According to the press release, Idol Camp will be “the first performing arts summer camp for kids between the ages of 12-15 based on the nation’s most watched television show and #1 talent search. Born out of the desire to foster passion and creativity in young teens, Idol Camp will be a fun-filled and non-competitive training ground for America’s future stars.”
Interestingly, the camp is not competitive:
“We want to honor a diverse cross-section of educational backgrounds and opportunities and provide a valuable experience to kids displaying a passionate motivation to learn and grow within themselves through the performing arts, ” said Keith Hindle, Executive Vice President, FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide, North America. “As in American Idol, the goal for our kids is to soar beyond their expectations; however, because Idol Camp is not a competition, every kid goes home a winner.”
Every kid goes home a winner? C’mon is that really the Idol way? More information about the camp can be found at their website. From their FAQ:
- Idol Camp works to honor a diverse cross-section of educational backgrounds and opportunities. Acceptance is based on short application questions such as personal and performance background, past inspirations and future goals, and a general passion for the performing arts. Applicants are assessed by their display of a passionate motivation to learn and grow within themselves through the performing arts.
- Acceptance into Idol Camp will not result in placement on the American Idol television series. Idol Camp alumni will not receive any preferential treatment or advantages in the American Idol audition process. Idol Camp alumni would need to audition for the television show just like everyone else.
- Idol Camp will feature special celebrity guest artists, favorite former American Idol contestants and other top professionals to teach master classes on technique as well as offer valuable lessons on the highs and lows of pursuing one’s dreams, including the audition process, performance technique and harnessing one’s talent while learning how to take rejection.
American Idol, the TV show is about cut-throat competition. The show’s audition rounds send the message that untalented people who dare to pursue a dream deserve to be humiliated. American Idol the summer camp will be all puppies-rainbows-and-hugs and OMG-everyone-is-a-winner-yes-they-are! The camp sounds like a fun summer activity. However, how do TPTB reconcile the mean tone of the show itself while running a summer camp that promotes “diversity”?
The camp is located in the beautiful Massachusetts Berkshires in Northfield, close to the Vermont border. I imagine if this summer camp is successful, it will eventually be franchised across the country.