MTV.com contacted Idol Executive Producer Ken Warwick for a statement on the seemingly “professional” backgrounds of some of Season 7’s rumored Top 50:
It’s all part of what makes the early-season “Idol” episodes so mesmerizing: a heady mix of the bizarre, the talented and, of course, the talent-less, all hoping to get famous (or at least get their 15 minutes). The ultimate goal is the discovery of the “diamonds in the rough, ” the sublimely skilled singers who have somehow fallen through the cracks. Of course, if you believe the rumors that have been swirling around “Idol” fan sites in recent days, those diamonds are becoming more difficult to find ‘ which is why the show producers have seeded this year’s field of contestants with a handful of ringers: male and female singers who have been signed to major labels, worked with established songwriters and musicians, released albums and even been nominated for Grammy Awards.
The whole thing has created such a stir ‘ and brought into question the very validity of a show created to find undiscovered talent ‘ that MTV News went to “Idol” executive producer Ken Warwick for comment. And while he didn’t deny that some of the season-seven contestants had previous experience, he explained that the process of finding new, never-before-discovered talent has grown increasingly difficult, given the show’s popularity.
Here’s what Ken has to say:
“The truth of the matter is, there are too many people who come on to audition for us to go into all their backgrounds, ” Warwick said. “We judge it purely on, when they walk through the door, if they have a record company attached to them already, then we’re not interested. If they have a management contract, they’ve got to lose it. it. … We take them on the merits of ‘Can they sing or not?’
“There are kids who are sufficiently good out there, that maybe should be stars, ” he continued, “and the fact that they’ve been a backing singer to someone else in the past ‘ if they were within the age limit and they meet all the criteria that we set ‘ then who are we to say, ‘No, you can’t have another go [at it]’? That’s ridiculous.”