Now you know I don't watch the show anymore, and usually don't even care about anyone on it, but I just had to talk a little about this latest little issue. Lyndsey Parker over at Yahoo Music wrote a really great piece last night about one of the Top 24 named Carly Smithson. It really is good and I promise worth your time reading even if you can't stand American Idol.
The premise of Lyndsey's article is that Carly Smithson nee Carly Hennessey is a former teen pop star who despite the backing of MCA and the expenditure of several million dollars could not sell any records and should not be allowed to compete against inexperienced singers.
Lyndsey goes into a great deal of depth about her indignation at this injustice, but what she glosses over is this. Carly Hennessey was supposed to be the next big thing. She was big in Ireland when she and her family decided to come to the US to get a recording contract here in LA. Upon hearing her demo tape, the label boss at MCA signed her on the spot. This was back in 2001. It is inconceivable to me that the people over at 19 Management didn't know exactly who Carly was when she auditioned. Carly was the subject of newspaper articles all over the world at the time her album failed. There was so much money spent on it for so little return that she became the lesson on marketing and how not to market new acts.
I want to be clear that there is no way, despite what everyone thinks that American Idol can be rigged in favor of the show up to a point. What they can do though is to load the show with as many ringers as possible so they don't end up with a Taylor Hicks again.
Instead of spending the money to try and release a new album by Carly Hennessey the Irish failure. They instead remake her into Carly Smithson, put her on American Idol and let the show do the publicity for them and the marketing. Even if she gets voted off tomorrow, she has been given more publicity than she would have ever otherwise received without a huge expenditure of money. The longer she stays, the better for 19 and Jive.
Make no mistake though. They know who she is, who she was, and will sign her to a record deal when the show is over. They can't control if she wins or not, but they sure as hell can control the way that you the viewing public sees her, and the way to make sure each and every person out there remembers who she is so there will be no more multi-million dollar failures when her new album comes out.
Below is a video off the bomb of the record. The video cost $250,000 to make which in 2001 was much more expensive than most videos.