Monday, August 07, 2006

"American Idol" Adds Songwriting Angle

This season, "American Idol" will run a parallel contest to its talent show: a songwriting competition. Instead of using top talent to craft a bland, middle of the road all-purpose pop song like "A Moment Like This," "American Idol" will be accepting submissions from one and all for the finale's big number. It's not quite clear how it'll work yet, but creator Simon Fuller hopes the result will be tunes geared more towards the specific talents of the finalists. And since that song would presumably be the first single and -- like almost all the others -- hit #1 and sell a million copies, the lucky songwriter would almost certainly become a millionaire. Unless you have to give up publishing rights in order to compete. And don't put THAT past Fuller. Maybe it's all just a clever way to keep a few million more in house. In any case, songwriting has been the terrific element of "Nashville Star" that has kept that contest unique and interesting. I wonder if "Idol" contestants will be eligible to submit songs themselves? In any case, constantly refreshing the formula is why this show remains such a phenomenon.

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