Bill Carter, the most excellent media reporter for the New York Times interviews Idol producer Simon Fuller here.
Not only is Fuller one of the producers at the helm of America’s most popular TV show, but he also negotiated a stunning multi-million dollar deal to bring soccer player David Beckham to the US to play for the LA Galaxy.
…It doesnt matter anymore if you win on the show, Mr. Fuller said, noting that Mr. Daughtry new album has been outselling the album released by last year winner, Taylor Hicks. He predicted the album would soon pass Justin Timberlake as the nation top-seller, reaching at least three million in total sales.
…You can finish fourth, like Chris did, or fifth or sixth, like Jennifer did, and you can still make hits, he said.
Fuller needs a fact checker–Jennifer Hudson actually finished 7th in Season 3. Interesting that he’s upfront about the fact that a contestant needn’t win to spin a successful career off American Idol. How does an admission like that affect the urgency of the contest and the fans who vote for their favorites? Will there be fewer Cingular Go phones purchased this year when the fans figure out that not only is it not necessary to win, it may be better NOT to win…
As far as Idol’s spectacular ratings so far, Fuller makes a good point. He says that Idol’s higher profile, due largely to the awards and accolades Idol graduates have been receiving lately, has even more people tuning into the show:
Mr. Fuller pointed out that music fans from many genres were now being exposed to …Idol performers. …You have Carrie, who is selling millions of albums to country fans, he said. …You have Kelly, who is a mainstream pop artist. And you have Chris, who is the first real rock artist weve broken on the show. There there Jennifer, who winning every award for ‹Dreamgirls. I just think the music is getting out everywhere, and subliminally that has helped.