No concerts to report on this week, but let us look at some other numbers.
Way back in Season 5, Idol noticed that people were swapping MP3s and video clips of Idol Performances. They don’t like it when they can’t wring every last dollar out of something, so they offered the same things for money on their own site. The success of that venture is unknown, but the next year, they offered MP3s of performances on iTunes after the end of the competition. You could even buy the entire season of Idol songs for a discount. The following year, Idol released studio versions of songs to iTunes weekly right after the show. This resulted in a cat-and-mouse game where the producers and iTunes tried to hide the relative popularity of contestants and people kept finding ways around it. They didn’t want people to know what the most popular downloads were because it might reveal who the popular contestants are.
Those days are long since gone the way of the Idol compilation CD and the Idol tour. No singles are released at all until the coronation singles. But, can we still detect popularity based on the response to the original version of the song? “Hurricane” by The Band of Heathens was 24 on the chart after Monday’s show. Does that indicate the popularity of the singer that sang it on Idol, did his performance just remind us how much we love the song and the same rise in popularity would have occurred regardless of who sang it?