The lengthy (and really informative–worth the read) USA Today article that leads today’s headlines thread featured a short list of tweaks to look out for in Season 7’s competition:
- Letting singers play musical instruments during their performances in the first combined gathering of audition survivors, known as the Hollywood Round.
- Visiting finalists’ hometowns and interviewing family and friends earlier in the process to help viewers get to know them faster.
- Building a new set and creating a new opening credits sequence. Idol‘s theme song will remain the same.
- Adding an hour to the Hollywood Round and a possible “where are they now?” segment to highlight earlier Idol performers on top-12 results shows.
And from today’s Daily News Rush and Molloy column. BMG execs offer more insight to why Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee and Ruben Studdard were dropped from their labels:
McPhee’s first CD entered the charts at No. 2 in February 2007, but failed to go gold. Her defenders grouse that RCA didn’t give her the time or promotion she needed.
“We put millions behind Katharine. Many of us at the label still love her songs. But we’re in the major leagues. We didn’t think she could break into the mainstream. We would rather be honest.” (McPhee is talking with another label and is due to star in the movie “I Know What Boys Like.”)
The exec noted that Studdard (above, right) put out three albums, “but there comes a time when we have to recognize the market for adult-oriented albums is tough. We allowed him to be a free agent, to make the record he wanted to make.
“The same thing with Taylor Hicks (above, left). We didn’t want to shove any songs down his throat. We wanted to make an album in the style he was comfortable with. We mutually agreed that he’d work on an album [on his own], we’d listen, and we’d see where we go from there. There’s no acrimony.”
So, it looks like Katharine and Ruben’s relationships with their respective labels are kaput, while Taylor could possibly be working with Arista again if they like the album he produces on his own…