AMERICAN IDOL- A BURNT BRIDGE
There are several singing competitions now . American Idol, America’s got Talent, The Voice, The sing offs, Duets and a host of others across the world. This shows seem to have something in common, Judges and contestants . Judges who are overpaid to sit and tell the people what everyone already knows and contestants who are forced to push their natural talents in a shoe hole for publicity and popularity.
Why would anyone go on American Idol?
If you win, you would get a 1 Million dollar recording contract, which means, a million dollars would be spent to make an album for you. This has recently been slashed down to $350,000 or even $250,000 for the winner and a paltry$175,000 for the second place. The remaining top 10 or 12 may have the opportunity to make singles with their advance fees amounting to about $24,000 for up to 4 singles. Not all contestants get a red cent but if you make it to the top 10 or 12 in some cases, you then register with the performance union AFTRA from which you then get performance fees for the show upwards of $921 per hour. The contracts then go on to fix their pays for albums one to six depending on it’s success and if they are greenlighted. The top 10 contestants also make money from the whole show by going on the top 10 tour in which they make a minimum of $1000 per show. This sounds good to the guy living in his trunk and getting money from his piggy bank but when you consider that Jennifer Lopez is going to leave Idol without breaking a sweat with $17.5 million, an amount, the winner would not be worth in 5 years, it leaves a very bad taste in your mouth.
American Idol like most other singing competitions across the world, benefits only two sets of people, the producers and the judges. The audience might also get some form of entertainment but the thousands and thousands of people sleeping outside in the cold waiting for their fifteen minutes of fame are just building their tent in the wind. Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Kellie Pickler are all alumni that most intending contestants take as role models but for you to get to these heights with American Idol, you would first have to have a massive hit debut album with singles running up and down the charts. Chances are that with $350,000 and no songwriting or production abilities, you wouldn’t be able to come up with that massive album.
Why you shouldn’t go for American Idol or a singing competition
1. If you sound good and can make good music , you probably don’t need some overpriced Judges to tell you so, on National Television, you need to get up and do something about it instead like facing a recording studio. Come back to the Competition when all else has failed or when you are the same age with Susan boyle
2. There are a lot of contestants who have had to go back to normal jobs after being on the show and it sucks. Just ask everyone among the 7-24 on each season. These shows put you in the spotlight with strobes , backup singers, live instrument players and then leave you out when the show is over, moving onto the next set of contestants next year. The show doesn't care about the contestants ,they are just exploiting the love we have for the underdogs and cashing in on it and just to prove that point, everyone is talking about who takes the judges seats to save the show , not what all the former winners and contestants are up to or how to get the best crop of musicians out there and help them build a career.
3. Everything about the show is showbiz and if you look closely, most of the artists on billboard today would not have made it pass the audition room of American Idol. And if they did, they wouldn’t make it pass the selection. The selection process is what the Voice tried to capitalize on and make a show off,where you listen to people’s voice and not look at their appearance or how camera friendly they are. Most of the artists making waves now , even if they get pass the audition would not make it pass the Top 40 selection, think Lorde, Adele etc.
4. Music is no longer really about being able to hit high deafening notes and the earlier you get on that train the better, Music is now about how highly produced your tracks are, just think Rihanna winning urban contemporary album over fantasia, or Chris Brown winning the same award over R.kelly and then think Daft Punk winning album of the year. If you want a music career, start learning how to work with garage band or Steinberg or J4T Multitrack and how to make lots and lots of new unconventional sounds, even the grammys is towing that road, think Macklemore and ryan lewis who have never performed with live instruments but just get those engineered sounds and just hold instruments in their performances. In the present day and time, you can become an independent artist and go far.
5. The terrible contracts these contestants have to sign, virtually giving all their rights and careers away to the mercies of shrewd businessman who may not even have their time but still keep them under locks and chains is alarming. If your talent is really worth it’s salt then maybe you should find yourself a better breeding ground.