Shirley Halperin, Billboard’s Jaded Insider, ran the numbers on American Idol contestant and planty-plant Joanna Pacitti, and her results are pretty interesting.
So for comparison’s sake, let’s look at the numbers. We know Smithson/Hennessy debuted pitifully. In the six years between its release date and her appearance on Idol, it moved an additional 2, 400 copies. Since 2008, it’s sold another 3, 200 copies, bringing its tally to just shy of 6, 000. As of Jan. 18, Pacitti’s album has sold 15, 000 units, which in today’s sales climate, almost qualifies as a hit. In fact, a former Geffen staffer tells us Joanna “was a big priority” at the label, contradicting the belief that she wasn’t given a chance and got dropped unceremoniously.
As my friends over at Vote for the Worst would say, in the world of plants, Joanna is a freaking sequoia. Hee.
So, with the press and blog-o-sphere totally up-in-arms over Carly Smithson last year (Yahoo’s overheated rebuke is one of my favorites. I mean, seriously? Did Joanna kill her puppy or something?) , why would the Idol producers cast an even bigger and plantier plant, and then go right ahead and admit to it during her audition?
Controversy. The producers know the ratings go up when there’s a big fat controversy brewing, and I’m sure they learned, after the Carly flap last year earned the show tons of ink, that plants are good business.
The producers probably want Joanna to make it far, but I doubt that she’s some kind of chosen one. Despite all the attention Carly received last year, she still left the show in 6th place. In the meantime, TPTB appear to be happy with their winner–the totally non-planty former bartender and struggling musician David Cook.
Well played, producers! Congrats on all the publicity. And congrats in advance on that awesome winner, perhaps lurking just under the radar…