Wednesday, April 19, 2006

New York Times Discovers "American Idol"

Guess what? A guest appearance on "American Idol" can spike sales for a recording artist and even having their songs covered can mean an increase in sales. That's the startling revelation in the New York Times about the Number One show in the country. ONe clue they point to? The fact that Daniel Powter's song "Bd Day" has been featured every week on the show for two months and went to Number One. That's the thuddingly obvious insight at the NYTimes, but of course they still get it wrong. The article implies that major acts are dying to appear on the show as guests and that "Idol" producers have the pick of the industry. Wrong. The real story is that despite their massive ratings, "Idol" has to depend on middle of the road, aging acts like Kenny Rogers, Paul Anka, Barry Manilow (the only one to really help the kids with his pointers and arrangements -- he should be on every year), Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, etc. -- Granny music, I'd call it. The musical guests are HEAVILY weighted towards aging stars. Since the theme weeks rarely focus on one act, country week for example could have included any hot act in the world, from Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson to Rascal Flatts and the Dixie Chicks. But the hottest country act they could round up was Kenny Rogers. In other words, despite the appearance of Shakira (and Latin artists are much more used to cheesy variety shows), cool contemporary acts are still avoiding Idol as uncool.

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