Posted: 10:33 am Friday, February 21st, 2014

‘Idol’ bits: South rules again, big ‘Idol’ lawsuit, Justin Guarini/Kelly Clarkson, missing auditioners 

By Rodney Ho

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: TOP 13: Clockwise From Top Left: Caleb Johnson,  Emily Piriz, Sam Woolf, Kristen O'Connor,  Ben Briley, Jessica Meuse, Majesty Rose,  Dexter Roberts, Jena Irene,  C.J. Harris,  MK Nobilette, Malaya Watson and Alex Preston. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: TOP 13: Clockwise From Top Left: Caleb Johnson, Emily Piriz, Sam Woolf, Kristen O’Connor, Ben Briley, Jessica Meuse, Majesty Rose, Dexter Roberts, Jena Irene, C.J. Harris, MK Nobilette, Malaya Watson and Alex Preston. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

“American Idol” has been dominated by the South for its 13-year entire run. Nine of 12 winners are from the South (if you count Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma as the South per se but even without them, it’s still 6 out of 12 from the Southeast). A much higher-than-normal number of singers among the finalists are this part of the country.

This year is no different. Of the top 13, which I will rank next week in order of likely elimination, has nine people from the Southeast.

That’s even better than average. None are from Georgia but three live in Alabama (Jessica Meuse, Dexter Roberts, C.J. Harris), three are from Florida (Kristen O’Connor, Sam Woolf, Emily Piriz), two from North Carolina (Caleb Johnson, Majesty Rose) and one from Tennessee (Ben Briley). Georgia had two in the final 20 (Emmanuel Zidor and Bria Anai Johnson) but neither made the cut.

As usual, the Northeast, the  most barren home for talent over the years, has only Alex Preston from New Hampshire. (The Northeast has generated zero winners to date.) Two are from Michigan – Malaya Watson and Jena Irene Ascuitto (who has dropped her last name for some reason). Although there were auditions held in Salt Lake City and California, the West Coast is represented only by MK Nobilette. (The West has created just one winner in Jordin Sparks.)

Amazingly, auditions were held in Omaha, Neb. and Austin, Texas and we ended up with zero finalists from the Midwest. (The Midwest has generated two winners in David Cook and Lee DeWyze.)

Of those non-Southerners, I can’t realistically see MK, Malaya or Alex  reaching the summit. Jena has probably the best shot, but most of the big favorites I see some from the South. The past three winners (Candica Glover, Phillip Phillips and Scotty McCreery) were from South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina respectively.)

We’ve gone through the explanations before but it’s clearly a combination of many factors. It’s that small-town charm. It’s the lack of other opportunities in said small towns. It’s the church background which enabled many to sing from their earliest years. It’s the show’s popularity in the South among voters.

***
Another blogger pointed out notable auditioners who disappeared either before Hollywood Week or during Hollywood Week including the dude who sang while Harry Connick Jr. cradled him in his arms.

***

Justin Guarini admitted he dated Kelly Clarkson while they filmed that awful movie. When Kelly’s career took off and Justin’s didn’t, that kind of put the kibosh on the relationship, he told an audience during a one-man show in New Hope, Pa.

***

In a surprising lawsuit, 19 Recordings is suing Sony primarily over streaming royalties for its artists.

Hollywood Reporter broke the story.

In the lawsuit, 19, and by extension all of the artists — including Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry — who have entered into deals as part of their participation on Idol, claim that Sony Music has been systematically robbing them of millions of dollars in royalties. The lawsuit, seeking at least $10 million in damages, was filed after 19 exercised the right to audit Sony’s books pursuant to recording agreements, and the parties couldn’t come to any settlement.

The details are over how Sony defined streaming. They considered them “sales,” which gave artists far less money than if they were considered “broadcast” or “transmissions.” This is all semantics.

The rest of it involves different interpretations of ad buys and deductions.

***

The Olympics are pummeling “Idol” in the ratings, by a two-to-one margin. On Tuesday, the Olympics drew about 18.93 million viewers. “Idol”? Down to 9.73 million. Wednesday night was not any better: Olympics at 20.2 million and “Idol” at 9.95 million. The 18-49 ratings were the same both nights, a 5 share for the Olympics and a 2.6 share for “Idol.” The Olympics helped shave “Idol” numbers by more than 1 million viewers from a week earlier and by 15 percent among 18-49 year olds.

Fox can only hope once the shows go live with the top 13 next week, the numbers will at least bounce back to over 11 million and a 3 share 18-49.

It’s quite a tumble for the former No. 1 show. Among 18-49 year olds,’ The Walking Dead” draws TRIPLE the number of overnight viewers.

Up against both “Big Bang Theory” (and it was a repeat!) and the Winter Olympics, “Idol” came in a tepid third last night for the results show with its worst ratings in its history. Early numbers: 9.2 million viewers and a mere 2.4 18-49 share. “The Big Bang Theory” repeat drew 10.06 million and a 2.6 18-49 share. The Olympics: 19.93 million and a 4.9 18-49 share.

71 comments
DanJohn
DanJohn

Siting here in my office surrounded by my collection of LP's and CD's I'm reminded of why I love shows like Idol and The Voice. It's the hopes of seeing the next big star. Music and how we view it has changed over the years. Now it's about downloads! While I have an I-Pod and I-Tunes account with most of my music on it I feel like the youth today have been shortchanged. They haven't experienced the feel of a vinyl LP, some may have never owned a CD. I grew up watching American Bandstand and Soul Train. Whether it was hearing this young kid named Prince for the first time on Soul Train or Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods on AB it was must see. Those shows were what Idol and The Voice are now...A bridge!


Growing up in Duluth I remember I would listen to WQXI while getting ready for school. Sadly it seems that local radio has been taken over by Satellite Radio. Sadly I think there's a disconnect between Local and Physical connection to music. From Gary McKee to tearing off the plastic of the latest Bob Segar album.


I watch The Voice, American Idol and XFactor (albeit only the Australian and UK versions now) to make the connection to the artists who are pursuing their dream. I say this because once these shows are over they will be a void that may take years to fill. The shows aren't perfect but they are a bridge that connects us to our friends, family, coworkers and the artists themselves for a brief moment. My point is simply I enjoy what we have now but I won't forget my musical roots or why I love music. It started a long time ago!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I will probably watch WD this afternoon.  Not sure when we will watch DA, probably tonight since Idol will take up Wed. and Thurs.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

D: "WD" is really good this week! Some great moments, some scary ones - I really enjoyed it. One of my season faves. Haven't watched "DA" yet, and at 2 hours, may be the weekend before I get to it.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

Got back late last night.  I see Mo was in rare form yesterday....well, not rare for Mo. 

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Mo: Here's my take, as a kid, on the Dr shows:

Dr Kildare:  the cute one

Dr Ben Casey:  the swarthy unappealing one

Dr Joe Gannon ("Medical Center") - WOW!

Dr Marcus Welby - the one you'd want to be your doctor

MoSch
MoSch

If it is the Ben Casey television program you should mean then yes but no for that Kildare program on the other channel I forget which one of the three it was with that Chamberlin guy that all the teenage girls were crazy about which just goes to show you.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Are there 3 nights or 2 this week (2 pleasepleaseplease)

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Two people have mentioned voting for Casey and I don't remember a Casey. Do you mean Caleb? Or maybe CJ?

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

DanJohn - thanks for almost singlehandedly keeping the place going today!

If I were to vote, at this point it'd be Casey for me. May change - has before. The only times I remember NOT switching after the first show were Kelly, Bo and Michael Johns. And I remember at the very beginning, Hollywood week I believe, I actually liked Lee D - felt like such a fool later in the show!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Sitting in an airport. Mj is reporting that Idol will lose money this year based on the ad revenue. I think we are now talking about this possibly being the last year, if this is true. Unless something happens to bring up the ratings so that the ad revenue goes up, there really is no point in continuing.

DanJohn
DanJohn

As far as Idol goes I see the first 4 eliminations being girls. Only 2 girls IMO have a chance at the top 5 and they are Majesty & Malaya. Kristen, Emily, MK & Jena will be the first to leave.


The Voice tonight? Anyone else watching?

MercedesS
MercedesS

Finally saw Thursday's elim Idol show. Didn't dislike the Pretty Boy quite as much since I knew he wouldn't make it.  Surprised that girl I liked, big frissy triangular hair (Cleopatra type), wasn't even asked to sing. As for the racial thing... don't think the panel picked the best black male singers for their top ten. Look forward to Rodney's guessing list of order in which idols leave.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Sam, turns out the Bieber protesters'  gathering was a radio prank.  Not surprised - I'd never hear of that particular "neighborhood group".  Real neighborhood groups would be more subtle.  Install speed bumps... have people call cops when parties get too loud, etc.  That's how Big Poppa's rental project across the gov's mansion  was stopped.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Mercedes: The home Beibs is considering is on Blackland. However, the home he's currently renting is that flying saucer monstrocity that sits on the corner of Old Powers Ferry and N'Side Dr. I go by there heading for Phipps/Lenox, and yesterday there was no papparazzi, but there were 6 or 7 cars in their parking area. Goody - so love having "Mr Trouble '14" ,living  within a few short miles of me! The big protest fell short - only 3 people showed up today. 

DanJohn
DanJohn

I have to admit I hate to discuss race as it applies to a show like Idol. I don't think race place as much of a role as genre does when it comes to selecting the final contestants from the voting public. I think voters vote for whatever music genre they listen to regardless of talent. Since Pop, Country and Soft Rock have huge followings on Idol the contestants who sing those genre's have a greater chance in winning. That's not to say Fantasia, Rueben, Candice (all winners) and others can't do well. However R&B does not have the representation that other genre's do year in and year out IMO.


On the flip side I wonder if the Network (Fox) has input or a policy in place to make sure there's balance in the race of the contestants?  I don't say this from a racial standpoint only as a policy to attract viewers of all races. Call it: FAIR AND BALANCED!  In my perfect world I'd have 2 country, 2 pop, 2 R&B 2 rock and 2 soft rock/alternative singers with a male and female in each category.


Since we don't live in a perfect world and Idol isn't perfect we have to accept things as they are or chose not to watch. There's always The Voice which is starting Monday.    

DanJohn
DanJohn

Rodney, I'm sure it's an oversight but you have Ben Briley being one of the 3 from Alabama when it should be Dexter. You correctly have him also listed as being from TN.

DoubleNaughtSpy
DoubleNaughtSpy

Based on its representation, I don't see the west coast securing its second AI winner this year.....

MoSch
MoSch

After how many years thirteen or fourteen maybe less tell me what does not decline and get enjoyed less?  Of their automobiles and their wives men get tired of in fewer years then that.  And not necessarily in that order. If you are lucky she will ask the judge for the automobile and you can kill two of the birds with only one of the stones. Hollywood television programs should be so different from the rest of us?

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Good weekend all, and D - enjoy those babies!

Rickster_
Rickster_

Hey... if it's lost me, Idol can lose anyone.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

How about this for humbling: "Idol" lost to a "Big Bang Theory" REPEAT. Worst ratings ever last night: 9.2. million and a 2.4 rating 18-49. The BBT repeat drew a 10.1 million and a 2.6 rating 18-49.

G_
G_

SMH.  I can't believe we're still here talking about a non-issue.   

An observation is only that....you can derive something negative, positive, or nothing at all.  The only thing that appears to be negative, is some people having a problem with "observing" the obvious.  So what now, we can't express observations now? LOL!!!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Double, you are correct - 4 of the top 5 girls were black that year, and many, myself included, thought there were many better singers and with better attitudes and personalities that JenH. Elton was way outta line, must have had an album being released or a tour starting up at that time. I like Elton, but.......

DoubleNaughtSpy
DoubleNaughtSpy

Merely Stating an observation that the last 5 contestants sitting on the couch were all black is hardly a reason for outrage or an example of racism, "race baiting", or whatever you want to call it.


In my opinion the worst example of racism on AI was dumb azz Elton John howling about Jennifer Hudson's elimination.  He whipped out the race card but I'm of the opinion that Elton hadn't truly bothered to watch the show that year.  Of the top 7 contestants, 4 were black, 3 gals and 1 guy.


Jennifer Hudson finished 7th

George Huff 5th

LaToya London 4th

Fantasia 1st


Right, Elton, it was a racial thing................

JTesla
JTesla

I seem to remember Ryan mentioning the elimination of Munfarid Zaidi. 

MoSch
MoSch

Also as well there was the television program with that Reed girl and I mean Donna and not that other one who had the doctor who was her husband and those kids Betty and Wally I think it was one of which is in a motion picture with that Elvis person all the kids are watching I forget which one but he sings that much I remember if it is any help to you.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

@DeirdreC YES!!!!!!!! Thanks - it's Caleb - you by now know I'm dreadful with names! And to JT _ bite your tongue off! Once goround with Casey A was more than enough!

DanJohn
DanJohn

@DeirdreC If Idol is losing money then they should do what other businesses do. Cut costs! How much are they paying the host, mentors and judges. The expense of the venue? Scale it back to season 1. Expensive isn't always better!

G_
G_

@DanJohn

I'll be watching The Voice tonight.  However, I think that Adam and Blake should branch out and choose different types of artist.  The producers should encourage the judges/mentors to challenge themselves and work with contestants just outside of their comfort zone.  They all have done it "slightly" in the past, but Blake will always have the bulk of country singers. 

G_
G_

@DanJohn

I'm thinking the final three are Sam, Casey and Ben. They are strong musicians with a decent voice, and I believe they can garner the most long term votes. 

I feel all the girls leave relatively early, with the first two being Malaya and Majesty.  Majesty is cool/quirky, but I don't think she can gain enough audience appeal for the long haul.  Malaya has a bubbly personality, but who is she as an artist? Her voice is strong, but still so young.  I don't believe she'll be able to gain enough support for the long haul either. 

JTesla
JTesla

@Sam-A1 Let me get this straight: snow, earthquake, and the Beiber? Water into blood, frogs, and locusts were less obvious signs than that!

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

@RodneyHo  Oh man Rodney...That's not good at all!  How can we get the folks to come back and at least take a peek?  Bet if we could answer that one, we'd be rich, too.

DoubleNaughtSpy
DoubleNaughtSpy

@RodneyHo


AI has no one to blame but themselves for the decline.  And while I say that I'm also disappointed in the decline because I really think this year is better.  Problem is, it will take a lot to undo the damage of the past 2 seasons


Season 11.  TOTALLY satisfied with the winner, but the judges with their over-the-top praise for 7th place finisher Jessica "Mulligan" Sanchez and Screamin' Joshua Ledet, the constant standing ovations, ridiculous claims such as Jessica being the best singer of the past 50 years, admonishing the viewers/voters when poor lil ol Jess was booted and then saved, was just about more than I could take.  I was thrilled to hear that Steven Tyler and JStankho were leaving.


Season 12.  The worst ever.  Cartoonish judges.  Marginal talent.  Loading the deck so a girl could win.  Sissy boys comprising the bulk of the male contestants.  Good grief, it looked like a casting call for "Cabaret".  For the first time I quit watching the show.


Season 13.  Jstankho comes back.  Major setback for me.  Let's get real - a mid 40s mother who wears clothes for the show that are so revealing that when they show clips from that night they have to black out her crotch.  What type of depraved person wants that kind of attention.


The only thing that has saved the show for me was including HCJ.  He's honest, knows what he's talking about, and has helped Keith elevate his game.  Jstankho is still the low point, but the guys have ruled the day when it comes to moving talent through.  So as I'm watching last night I'm beside myself when the 6 guys I wanted to get through did just that.  And on top of that, Emmanual and Spencer get the boot.  In years past the judges would have put a freak show like E and a pretty boy like S right through.


I'm on board again, even with Jstankho.  The herd still needs to be thinned to get to the real talent but there is hope.  The only unknown is whether AI waited too long to make some much needed moves.




JTesla
JTesla

@RodneyHo Very humbling, but frankly it's to be expected. The show did so poorly last year that, and has been on for so long that it will be tough to get people back. I'm not certain that getting viewers back is even a possibility.

JTesla
JTesla

@G_ Can't we express our observations regarding the observations of others?

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I loved Munfarid and do not understand his elimination. He could sing and he had a personality. Maybe the personality was the problem.

JTesla
JTesla

@Sam-A1 I like Caleb too, and he doesn't remind me of Casey Abrams. I just realized that my dislike of Casey may be why I don't really care for Alex Preston. Too music nerdy.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

A show can go from cheap to expensive but not from expensive to cheap. Unless the ratings come up the show has this year and maybe next and that will be it.

MercedesS
MercedesS

@DanJohn  My "no" meant to go under DJ's question if anybody was going to watch   the other song contest tonight. Just placing it under ANY DJ post makes no sense!

DanJohn
DanJohn

@G_ @DanJohn The Voice is at a point where both Blake and Adam have a massive advantage since they can cherry-pick the top talent. Both have had multiple winners and lets face it the contestants know it so if they have the chance to have Adam or Blake as a mentor they'll go that way. Truth be known CeeLo understood exactly that and figured he had no real chance of mentoring a winner. I would love for Usher or Shakira to upset the apple-cart and have a winner this year.


I think going outside their comfort zone would be good for Blake and Adam but honestly only CeeLo did just that on a regular basis and you see where that got him. Indy singer do well early but I don't see one winning. Not enough support for the genre. However R&B artist seem to do better on The Voice and that's one reason I watch the show.  

DanJohn
DanJohn

@G_ @DanJohn G, only Jena seems to have a personality that stands out in a positive way among the girls. I think Malaya and Majesty have a chance if the mentors can direct and assist them on song choice. As for the guys? I think all of them are pretty good. I think if I were going to pick a winner I'd go with Caleb with Ben a close second. I think both can grow their base but they need to get out of the gate quickly. The first two weeks are important to influence voters. Much like Iowa and New Hampshire is to politics.  

G_
G_

@JTesla That's the beauty of the country we live in. 

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC He was also Pakistani, another problem.  

DanJohn
DanJohn

@DeirdreC There's no question it would be difficult but just in salaries between Ryan, J-Lo, Harry, Keith, Randy, Chris & Adam are what? 25-35+ million? I think cuts could be made there! Regardless when Idol gets cancelled I'd bet Fox would come back with another singing competition show soon thereafter. I wonder if Simon is on their speed-dial? LOL

JTesla
JTesla

@JTesla Wait, sorry, he wasn't black so race is not the issue.

What?

;)