has seen a lot of changes throughout the years, and so has the impact it has had on society, as well as the music industry. Many applauded the concept of allowing fans to actually pick who they want to be on the radio, as opposed to label executives who seemed out of touch when deciding between what is quality vs. what is popular. However, there are some who still cannot understand the show’s success.
While it looks like a brilliant marketing idea on paper—develop long-term audience associations with certain singers, then release an album and watch the sales skyrocket—it doesn’t always work out that way. For example, take a look at the record sales from Idol
winners and you’ll notice that not all of them have maintained the type of success that was projected for them.
Just as Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson have broken all kinds of records and achieved incredible accolades, there are just as many, if not more, that faded out. In fact, one of the most popular contestants did not even win—Daughtry—who continues to remain on top of the charts.
Year after year and season after season, Idol
draws huge ratings and provides a spotlight for a variety of entertainers, which brings us to the question of why all of them are not on the same level. No matter what the judges on the show say, and no matter how many votes are counted, an individual career is still based around the songs released on the album.
So artists who can write their own songs will have the precise advantage of not waiting for or relying on others for material. As a result, the future of American Idol
might be in songwriting, where people can have the chance to display skills beyond singing. Until we get there, it is a vocal/stage performance competition that will generate a lot of profit for the network and labels, and a lot of entertainment for the fans!
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