The Mythical Gold Ticket With so many people looking to create a truly fabulous career for themselves in Hollywood there is a fresh batch of people each year auditioning. This creates plenty of opportunity to really find the best talent, but what exactly does the magical gold ticket really give someone? The majority of people who audition for the show will never see a ticket, but for those who do it is a perfect opportunity to try to prove themselves to the judges. This can enable almost everyone the opportunity to show what they can really do. Getting a gold ticket on television generally just means that you simply go in, sing well and do not make a fool out of yourself. Obviously, for television purposes the entire audition process is typically pumped up a bit to make it much more dramatic. Do you really think the judges sit around and listen to the entire crowd that shows up to audition? The reality is that everyone who shows up to try out is broken down into groups and required to sing for someone else first. A few of the contestants that are not as talented are always allowed through, after all this makes the perfect clip to add to the Worst Auditions show. Just imagine who would be in trouble if someone has actually allowed William Hung to see the judges based simply on his singing skills alone. The absolute best way to get involved in the entire process is to look towards the audition as a series of steps. Most people understand and realize that it is very important to do their best. However, for those occasions when the best simply is not good enough it can be entirely crushing. For those who do manage to secure a gold ticket, the feeling of pure excitement is quite hard to contain. Picking out a ticket and getting the chance to go to Hollywood and prove actual singing ability means a lot of people are looking for new and exciting ways to get started auditioning. For those who do get a gold ticket, the journey is far from over. As you can imagine from watching the episodes on the show, Hollywood week is full of stress, excitement and anticipation. Those who have what it takes to prove their singing ability usually find that Hollywood week is extremely exciting and thrilling. Not having the ability to enjoy Hollywood week is typically those who received a ticket that are not as skilled and mature as the others. Finding the perfect comfort zone and using all of the experience that you have gained as the perfect place to start leaves most singers looking eagerly towards proving themselves. Taking advantage of the experience that American Idol can give you and putting all of that to work as effectively as possible is typically a huge help. While most will only see Hollywood week once, there are still others who are capable of finding themselves attending Hollywood week more than a single time and loving every moment of it. Enjoying the experience, taking the advice that is handed out and being willing to accept all of the experience as positive helps to typically set apart those who will truly be successful from those who are just buying their time until they are allowed to go home. In the scheme of things, Hollywood week typically works to help set those that are amateurs apart from those who really have the potential to make it as the next American Idol. The experiences that are gained can be a valuable asset for those looking to really be successful musicians. Pulling upon the entire experience will allow most of the contestants to grow in a way that would not normally be possible during the same amount of time if it were not for the stage presence as well as other experiences that the contestants are exposed to. Word Count 652
Guide to Being Kicked Off American Idol With so much going around about how to be truly successful on American Idol what happened to helping the little guy out who is just interested in some entertainment? Not everybody sets out with the goal of actually winning the show though. Those who are not really interested in winning find that there is very little advice offered to them. If you want to win then obviously doing your very best is critical to getting to the final rounds. For those looking to just have some fun on the show, not worried about whether they actually win or lose it is possible to have a lot more fun. Stop and think about the contestants who had a ton of fun on the show. You are likely to think of someone along the lines of Blake Lewis. While he was an incredibly talented singer, he also took the time in each episode to inject some of himself into his performances so instead of just singing his way through each show. If you are interested in trying to create your own special flair to the show, it is very important that you take some time to relax and actually enjoy yourself. Without enjoying the process, you are going to find that you are struggling to actually go further. The contestants who actually enjoy the process and procedures of the show will typically go very far, while those contestants who dislike the entire audition process. Putting your best efforts into the show is not always easy, but enjoying the show does not mean that you have to give up all of the creativity that you have. For many contestants the best way to actually get kicked off the show is to go against the grain. While this is an old expression, it is extremely true. Stop and consider what you like personally in music. You probably have interests that are not that much different from many other people. This interest that you have in music means that you are apt to purchase music that is similar. If you are to go against the grain and instead pick a style of music that is not as popular, you might enjoy it yourself, but you are quite likely to find that there is very little interest from the viewers of the show. Other sure ways to be kicked off are by disrespecting the judges. Most of the time you will notice that contestants on the show that last are extremely respectful to the judges. This might just seem like a coincidence, but do you really think that Simon Cowell would allow people to remain on the show who are completely disrespectful? It would be extremely unlikely for a contestant to remain that continuously talks down to the judges. It might make for some very entertaining television for a while, but the serious issue of disrespectful behavior would never be tolerated even if it did generate an incredible number of viewers. The one area where you can really determine if you are going to stay or go home is in song selection though. Anyone who wants to go home badly, rather than actually win American Idol simply needs to pick out a bad song. This does not even mean picking out a song that is terrible in nature. If you select a song that is great, but it is incorrect for your voice style, and your actual singing style you could quickly turn a fabulous song into something terrible. It is very important that contestants choose their songs carefully and this means looking at all of the options available in terms of songs before actually picking something. It also means that it is essential that you select a song that will fit your personality. If you are just interested in getting the boot, you are much more free to select a song you truly enjoy, rather than something that sounds good for your voice.
The Reasons that America Loved Blake Lewis With a large number of artists, emerging all around the world it is very important to stand out in the crowd. It is even more important to stand out in the crowd when you are auditioning for a show like American Idol. There has been one contestant lately who has done just that, after all do you really like to watch someone who seems exactly like every other musical artist that you have ever seen? Most people like the idea of unique style, which is exactly where Blake Lewis excelled. As a beat boxer he mixed together beat boxing and classical songs perfectly into a truly unique style that was all his own. If you have ever stopped and watched the American Idol contestants, try to perform various covers of songs they all tend to sound a bit like the original. This is something that is completely different about Blake, not only did he sound completely different than the original, in some ways he was better especially for younger listeners. With the unique mixture of beat boxing and songs that he selected he was able to capture the attention of the audience, without going on stage with a totally wild hairstyle. The overall draw of Blake Lewis aside from the great beat boxing style that he injected was a truly all American look. As a young guy, he has a sweetness to his appearance that made him loveable to everyone regardless of age. Adults, children and everyone in between loved Blake; he was considered a refreshing change on the show. With the harsh blow of losing to Jordin Sparks, he was still fortune enough to release an album that was his own personal style, but you have to admit, he was able to really bring a personal style to each of his performances. For example, when was the last time that you have heard an Bon Jovi song mixed with beat boxing? The remixed version that Blake put together was not only completely unique from the original, but also still managed to show respect for the incredible success that Bon Jovi had with the song initially. There was nothing at all that was terrible about the song, it was different, completely his own, and still gave proper respect and credit to the original. This sole performance was a truly remarkable occurrence and allowed a large number of viewers to see Blake in a completely different light. If you never liked the idea of beat boxing, you suddenly found yourself bouncing along to it. It was taken from this strange “sound” and instead brought into the mainstream where it was thrust into the spotlight. With a large number of people happily dancing around to his performances he managed to leave the audience with a truly memorable performance, which is something that every American Idol contestant strives for each day. Of course, it is never easy to forge a path completely on your own, but Blake proved that not only did he have the courage to do it; he also had the skills necessary. This combined together into a truly special performance every time he took the stage. Giving top honors to Jordin Sparks was never easy, but he did it with style and with class. He has gone on to be still to this day one of the most unique contestants ever to appear on the show, and while he did not win, nor find huge amounts of commercial success he is still a truly remarkable contestant. Word Count 586
Why American Idol’s Ratings are Plunging The world of television is full of ratings, drama and entertainment but in order to get those ratings it is required that the entertainment be at a suitable level. Many people have heard for years that American Idol is the top rated show on television and in simple terms this just means that more people are tuning in to watch than any other show on television. This means that the impact of the show doing poorly is honestly quite small in the overall scheme of things, but still requires some attention. For years the hit show has commanded the top spot for ratings and combined with the pricy $700,000 ads for a mere 30 seconds has been one of the most profitable and popular shows on television. Now at the conclusion of season 7 there is a significant drop in the ratings and many people are sitting around and asking exactly why the ratings are plunging and what can be done to change them. In order to really understand how the ratings are being effected it should first be pointed out the American Idol has really enjoyed the top spot for years with very little competition. For the 2008 season which was the most recent season 7 the lowest ratings that have been reported was a paltry 21.25 million. This is still enormous but in terms to the opening show of the season on January 15 at 33.24 million viewers it is a substantial drop. Watching as the ratings fall people are starting to wonder exactly where everyone is going, why is there no emotional attachment that is encouraging viewers to watch. The answer is not simple, but there are several reasons why the viewership is down. For the majority of shows the ratings are significantly lower, but American Idol in all of its infinite glory has captured the title as the most popular show on television. The problems lately have occurred due to several problems. With the writers’ strike that has caused numerous problems for other television shows many people started looking to new locations for entertainment. This combined with many people feeling as if the newest season of American Idol was a fix due to the large number of seasoned professionals competing caused many people to abandon the show early on. The show overall has still enjoyed a rather significant run as the top champion and the changes that are occurring in the ratings may seem substantial but in reality all it spells is that more people are looking to new shows for entertainment. Those who love the show have absolutely nothing to worry about since the ratings are still enormous; the only worry is that Fox may have to adjust the prices that they charge for advertising. In terms of still giving viewers plenty of entertainment the show still to this day delivers and for the one lucky finalist to emerge as the American Idol of the year there is the guarantee of receiving a vehicle from Ford, plus a recording contract and a change to have a huge music career. Getting past all of the negative influences that are trying to say that the show is going under leaves people with plenty of reasons to tune in next year. But with the ratings falling to a level that has not been seen since season 2, it is no doubt that the producers of the show will sit around trying to organize some new ways to shake up the industry in the attempt to bring all of the viewers back. How successful the measures will be is still yet to be seen, however it is sure to be some pleasing changes that will leave thousands more auditioning to be part of the biggest show on television. Searching for the next American Idol each year is often a thrilling time of year, and watching as someone goes from the small audition to the large star at the finale is always a true experience. Word Count 665
Behind the Scenes of American Idol If you have ever been interested into diving into the beast that is American Idol there are a lot of fascinating tidbits that you can learn. While most people think that the whole show is about fun and excitement it is often unknown just exactly, what the contestants are put through, and also how much time is spent in rehearsals, contracts that have to be signed, and even the minor details of living away from home for a very long time. Struggling to emerge from the entire experience as the American Idol has sent numerous potential singers back home crying, while a precious 7 have emerged victorious. The primary thing that most people do not realize is the bulk of contestants do not actually get to see the judges when they first audition. Do you really think Simon would sit through millions of auditions? I would love to personally see that happen, in reality though because the time of the judges is severely limited for each city they stop in contestants are first required to audition with additional personnel from the show. Once they have passed this stage they are moved along to actually audition with the judges. As you can imagine, it is around this time that a few unique people are allowed through for the sheer opportunity to provide some great entertainment when the auditions are released for television. Additional bits of knowledge that is often not known is that once contestants get to Hollywood they are spending very little time sleeping, even less time seeing the sights and the bulk majority of waking hours either rehearsing or else they are doing another audition. This is I suppose designed to see which contestants have a flair for going without sleep and still keeping their voices. There have been numerous contestants’ crash and burn during this part of the show, and while it might seem cruel, it could serve as an indication of what a tour schedule could look like. Other surprises that are waiting in store for contestants is the requirement to only choose from songs that have been preselected. Many feel that this is unfair, but honestly in a world that is overflowing with lawyers and legal loopholes it is likely one of the few measures of protection that American Idol can be offered. By limited the song selection to only those songs that they have approved they are able to ensure that they are not accidently infringing on the copyright of another artist that they do not have an agreement worked out with. A final surprise in store for many contestants is the contract that they are required to sign. American Idol has a habit of not allowing contestants to talk to the media until after they are voted off the show. However, this contract extends a bit further. In fact, contestants are not allowed to sign with any other recording company until a minimum of three months after the season finale airs. This can seem like a huge drain for many contestants, however it is typically non-negotiable. However, the contract usually does permit contestants who have been booted to sign with a new recording contract if they receive permission from the show early in writing. Taking the time to get this approval is not always worth the effort, but it is something that is required if someone wants to really try hitting the album beat while they are still fresh in the minds of viewers. As you can see, while the show appears to be all fun and games from the episodes that are released, it is actually far from it. For those who manage to be successful at winning the show the hard work is well worth the effort. For those contestants who are determined to actually make something of themselves regardless of how far they get into the show it is something that can be a bit of a hassle, but it is still worth the bit of effort to go onto the show and see what happens. Word Count 675
Breaking Down the Judges – Friend or Foe? If we have to be truthfully honest, everyone can usually agree that the purpose of the show is not just to identity the next great American Idol but it is also to see and watch exactly what the judges will do and say next. Of course, not all episodes are filled with humorous antics from the judges but you can often find the judges engaging in some strange encounter. In order to truly determine which judge is your friend, and which is actually your enemy it is very important to determine which judges can be of the most help for you. In general, the judges are full of useful information. The problem comes when you are trying to decide which judge to listen to when they have differing opinions. While many people would love to hear that they are absolutely fabulous and Simon has nothing terrible to say about them, it is a fact that typically Simon will have something to criticize. But stop and think, most contestants who take the advice from the judges and use it to their advantage and decide to start improving their actual skills. It is extremely important that you learn how to really follow the advice that the judges are passing out. But being careful how you actually respond to the judges is also important. Simon Cowell for example has a habit of coming off extremely abrasive. However, it is extremely important to actually listen to the advice that Simon hands out. While he is certainly not known for being the judge that most people want to sit around and cuddle, he is certainly the one judge that will always give the completely unbiased truth no matter how your performance occurred. Paula Abdul tends to strike contestants and even viewers as the loopy older sister. With her strange antics, weird comments and unique outfits she is extremely unique for the show. She does tend to pull back in the face of confrontation and also has a habit of not being quite truthful with contestants when it comes time to provide them with truthful feedback about their performances. If you are concerned with getting the best advice possible then Paula is typically not the best place to get your suggestions. However, it is a proven fact after the last 7 seasons that Paula is by far the best at making contestants feel good and even bringing a goofy flair to the show. The final judge is Randy Jackson, which as everyone knows is typically a pretty laid back guy. While his career has earned him a lot of respect from music industry experts, it has also helped him to create a truly special interaction with the contestants on the show. If you are interested in getting a truthful assessment of your skills without being embarrassed then Randy is typically a great choice. However, it is also very important to realize that Randy does at times soften his feedback in order to protect the feelings of each contestant. In general, if you are after a truly honest assessment of your skills Simon is the judge of choice. While he might not be the favorite judge for everyone, he will certainly give you the information and feedback that you need to actually get started in the music industry. By following the advice and showing him a bit of respect, you should start to see that your skills improve, and as proven by numerous contestants previously his advice is useful and when followed can help them to rise very far into the ranks of the show. Putting the effort into improvement that is necessary to actually make it on the show often requires that you make friends with the devil. This means it is time to make friends with Simon, since everyone can readily agree that he does know how to develop talent, but he is a bit brash in his methods of talking to people. As long as you are willing to overlook a few bad comments, you will find that your make substantial improvements in your skills and making friends with all of the judges rather than enemies. Word Count 692
Audition Tips You Never Knew As the number of people auditioning for the hit television series American Idol can certainly prove the amount of competition is increasing. This means that it is necessary to show up to the audition fully prepared to show exactly what you are capable of doing, and minimize any insecurity that you have. Your ultimate goal is to always walk away with one of the coveted Golden Tickets, but the reality is that they are hard to come by. This means taking as much time as possible to learn how to handle yourself during the audition to get the absolute best reception from the judges possible. One of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for a singing career is using a vocal coach and taking vocal lessons. Even the professional singers all work with talented vocal coaches. You need to learn how to talk, how to breathe, how to control your voice, and how to improve your skill level continuously. Very seldom do you ever find a professional singer who does not continue to work with a vocal coach. This means that it is critical that as an amateur you work to improve your vocal skills continuously. Just remember, this is not the time to be cheap, you need to locate a good quality vocal coach that has a track record of success. A second tip to follow is you should select your song months in advance and practice repeatedly. Practice until you know the words forwards, backwards and sideways. You do not want to be the one contestant that forgets the words to their song in the middle. The more you practice the better you will know the lyrics and the less likely stress is to cause you to forget the words. An additional benefit to practicing so much is you will be comfortable with the flow of the song, and have ample time to ensure that you can select a new song in the event that you have too many complications with your first song. Speaking of song selection it is a good idea to have at least two songs that you are prepared to sing on audition day. This means two full songs, not one song that you fully know, and one that you know a little. You need two songs that you know fully so that you can properly perform the second song if requested. There are occasions that warrant a contestant singing more than a single song, being prepared for this situation will ensure that if it does occur, you are properly prepared for it. Your fourth tip is pick a specific style. There are no professional musicians that are masters at all styles. There is a specific reason for this; it would be far too complicated to master every musical form. This will require you to select a specific style of music that you are comfortable with and sticking to it as much as possible. Do you tend to favor a folksy style of singing? Perhaps you are more comfortable with a rock feel. You might even discover that you sing classically or even in an R&B style. Regardless of the style that you are most comfortable with you need to find it. All of your singing should be focused around the same genre as much as possible. From tone, to flow, to even song selection you are creating an entire package, make sure the package sounds perfect. Your final tip would be staying modest. There are very few people who ever swear that they are the American Idol in the auditions. Most who are truly talented know just how stiff the competition is and they go in ready to work towards the prize. Those who are merely walking around with a huge ego tend to be lacking in the singing skills necessary to win and quickly find themselves on their way out. If you are certain that your singing is the best in the world, you should simply prove it by singing, rather than telling the judges that you are destined to be the next American Idol. Word Count 686
Moving From Idol to the Big Stage – Daughtry and Carrie Underwood The two American Idol contestants who have gone onto the greatest commercial success so far are Chris Daughtry and also Carrie Underwood. With Carrie emerging in season four and Chris appearing in season five they came at separate times and have left a huge impression on the music industry. The entertainment that these two artists have provided on the music industry goes far beyond American Idol and has broken out into the mainstream. Watching the success of Chris and Carrie goes to show that American Idol really is capable of finding great stars, however it does still require a great amount of hard work. While the spotlight is typically on the winners such as Carrie Underwood and the other six American Idol winners there are other who are cast off from the show quickly that find themselves in the middle of a very successful career. Chris Daughtry is certainly not the first contestant to find himself losing the competition but still given a recording contract, but he is certainly one of the most successful. His fourth place finish in the show found many of his fans believing that he would never go anywhere. However, after he was cast off from the show, he found himself with a recording contract from 19 Entertainment. Carrie Underwood has taken the start that she received from American Idol and turned it into an enormous success. While many people might not be able to list off all of the American Idol contestants they are usually quite aware of exactly who Carrie Underwood is. While she received her start on the show and demonstrated a capacity for several different musical styles, she has proven time and time again that she is much better at country music and that is her comfort zone as well. Upon finishing the show her first album took her to astronomical success and has been followed up by several additional albums that have all performed well on the charts and in sales. The draw of Carrie Underwood has been the fact that she is extremely likeable to a wide variety of fans, while her primary draw is the country music world, which provides her with some very strong support. Pulling herself to the incredible success that she has found Carrie has sold more than 12 million records so far. After being predicted as the winner of the competition, judge Simon Cowell also went so far as to predict that she would outsell any other contestants as well. To this day, Simon has been correct in his assessment of her talents and she has in fact outsold all other contestants. As you can just imagine, there is great amounts of success awaiting contestants if they are determined to prove themselves. Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry have both proven that using American Idol as a start to a musical career really is possible if you have the determination to make it work. There is nothing that the idol contestants cannot do if they really put themselves to it. Those that dream big are usually rewarded if they pursue their dreams. The contestants who are not determined to make it big will generally slip back into the darkness while the few stars of the show continue to rise above everything and make an incredible name for themselves. Word Count 552
Reasons to Watch American Idol With several seasons of American Idol already over and completed and the ratings starting to go downhill there are numerous questions about why exactly people tune into the show. The truth of the matter is that everyone often has different reasons for tuning in. Whether you are interested in watching the show because you have a love of music or a different reason there is likely something that you will find enjoyable. If most people are downright honest with themselves, they will usually admit that one of the major reasons is to see exactly what Simon will say. This is rather sad truthfully, but we are a cruel world. We tend to enjoy watching someone else be ripped to shreds while we sit on the comfort of our couch and happily admit we are happy that it is not us being criticized like that. However, in reality while some may hate on Simon Cowell badly, he really does know what he is talking about. Plus, he hates those who show up and merely play around with the competition. Looking past Simon and trying to focus on the less evil reasons to watch the show is seeing how each of the contestants tends to evolve. Each week and they stand around in terror on the stage hoping they are safe they breathe a sigh of relief and go back to work improving. This allows them to grow substantially from their very first audition up until the day that someone actually wins the competition. If you have ever watched the show from the very beginning up until the end you have no doubt noticed that there is a significant difference. It just shows and proves to people hat it really is possible to improve and get better. For those who are strictly watching the show for entertainment purposes you have to admit that they do get some awesome guest stars to work with the contestants. Jennifer Lopez, Dolly Parton, and so many more have all graced the stage to work with the contestants to improve but also to perform. This is a fabulous way to check out some of the newest material that the stars have to offer, but also see what they have to say about your favorite contestant. Nevertheless, you can also see how each contestant handles the songs of the week as well. For those moments when you are just feeling relaxed and peaceful it can be fun to sit around and watch the jokes that occur. After all the cheesy Ford commercials, the banter between the judges and even the occasional attitude from a contestant is all perfectly coordinated to ensure the perfect entertainment event. Looking at the show as something that is 100% serious is usually disappointing but you are sure to find someone that you want to root for. Another reason to watch; let us face it, everyone on that stage started as an underdog at some point. Well except for half of the season seven contestants who were already seasoned professionals. It is a lot of fun to see these underdogs who would normally never stand a chance in Hollywood actually having a chance at a music career. The mere idea of getting a fabulous career like that is incredible and can be described as a dream come true. Watching the contestant that starts out all meek and quite turn into the ultimate American Idol right before your eyes is something that is truly special. Most idols drastically change their appearance during the show, their style changes and they start to be much more confident. In the end, you are spending all of your time rooting for them and running to the phone to vote as soon as the polls open. While this might seem like a strange set of reasons to watch American Idol you have to admit that somewhere deep inside your heart, you fit into these reasons and methods as well. Which reason is yours for watching is always a secret, but you are likely to have a few of your own. The reasons rarely matter, but what does matter is watching someone be crowned the American Idol and knowing that you were a part of it. Word Count 705
When Not to Audition for American Idol With so many people dashing out to audition for American Idol it is important to realize that there are just some times when it is not appropriate to audition. This is a heartbreaking lesson for many people, but still something that has to be said at times. If you are interested in winning, rather than just losing you need to know the best time to audition and that means making absolutely certain that the timing is right before auditioning. You might think that it is a waste of time waiting to audition for American Idol. After all, someone has to win, why can’t it be you? The fact is, American Idol bars certain people from auditioning again. This means that if you are able to proceed to a specific point in the contest, you will not be allowed to audition again. This ultimately could cost you the chance to really become the next American Idol if you are not quite ready for the challenge yet. In previous years it has been determined that anyone in the Top 50 contestants was barred from auditioning again. This means you could be so close, yet so far from reaching your dream. If you are working with a vocal coach or a music teacher, it would be extremely advisable to talk to them about your goals and plans for American Idol. Letting the teacher know your plans might be a bit scary, but they can generally help you to ensure that your voice is ready for the challenges that lie ahead. Auditioning for American Idol is certainly not an easy task, making it into the Top 12 is even harder and obviously winning the show is even more difficult. Taking the advice of those whom you are working with will allow you to be absolutely certain that you get the very best experience possible. If you are outright determined that you want to get a good bit of practice in auditions before you actually audition for the show you should look to alternative talent competitions, or even audition for musicals to allow you experience on a stage and with judging. Never use American Idol as practice because you could find yourself hurting yourself in the long run. You should always save your audition until you are absolutely certain that you are ready. If you waste your audition before you are truly prepared you will find that you are left with no options to become the American Idol later on. It is extremely important that you wait until the right time to audition. Additionally, taking the advice of those professionals that you are working with will help you to be absolutely certain that you audition at the right moment and are fully prepared. Choosing the right clothes, the right song, the right pitch, and even the right time to audition will go a very long way to helping you achieve your dream of being the next American Idol rather than finding yourself on the show where everyone is making fun of you. A bit of effort put into preparing will certainly pay off and you will discover that the entire experience, while still exciting will not be as scary if you are truly prepared. Finding ultimate success in Hollywood is difficult, but getting yourself pulled together will help you to make a fabulous impression. Word Count 559
Little Known American Idol Facts If you have ever watched the show you have no doubt at some point wondered exactly what could be so very difficult about competing on the show. After all, don’t the contestants simply walk out onto a stage, sing a short song and then listen to what the judges have to say? This is all that the audience sees, but in reality the show is about so much more, and learning exactly what the show is really about is critical to making absolutely certain that someone can go as far as possible, instead of just failing to make it on through. The first surprise waiting for contestants is the lack of sleep that they are able to get during Hollywood week. Of course, it is all over the episodes that contestants are up until the wee hours of the morning practicing and many even lose their voices during Hollywood week but this tends to hit most like a ton of bricks when they are actually arriving in Hollywood and learn how this feels for themselves. Trying to sing your very best when you are exhausted and your voice has been going for hours is not easy and with many contestants underestimating just how difficult it is to do, it can seem a huge shock once they actually arrive. Another surprise waiting is the reality that most contestants are not given free range of the songs they select during the show. Typically, contestants are provided with a list of songs that they may use. How extensive the list is tends to vary, but contestants are not permitted to choose a song that is outside of this list due to copyright issues. By providing contestants with a list of songs that have been approved the show is able to work directly with artists to provide appropriate reimbursement for using their songs and also ensure that there are no complications with lyrics being changed at a later point. For many contestants it is a surprise to discover that once they reach a certain point they are not permitted to accept any recording contracts immediately. Typically, the show locks up all of the contestants in the Top 30 with contracts that bar them from signing with a recording company until at least three months after the season finale airs on television. This is a huge disappointment for many contestants, but for others it is a welcome rest that they enjoy to gather their thoughts and start looking around for all of their options before jumping. Regardless the biggest fact that is little known is that often the start of American Idol will usually not manage to predict the real winner. Everyone loves to sit around talking about who they think will actually win, but in reality who people usually anticipate to win and who actually wins varies substantially. The only year in which there has been a very obvious winner was in Season four with Carrie Underwood. Simon Cowell predicted her win early on in the show was completely accurate in his prediction for her. Other contestants have risen above the crowd at different times and the contest has been a very tight draw, but every year someone rises above the rest and walks away with the title of American Idol to pursue their musical career with a great start in the business. Word Count 559
Who Watches American Idol? With so many shows on television lately, it is often a wonder who is actually watching the shows. Advertisers are obviously extremely concerned with who is watching a show because it impacts their advertising budget, but many times, it is important to realize who is actually watching the show for different reasons as well. What you may not realize is that the actual viewers of the show can impact you in several ways. The first way we have already touched on a bit, and that is because of advertises. If you are watching a television show that is watched by mostly children you can expect to see a lot of toy commercials and even video game commercials. This is because these types of items are what children live for. How many kids do you know of that decide to beg their parents for a tomato plant? What about a fabulous new home improvement project?
Most kids are more concerned with the latest in toys and that shows based on the commercials that are pushed during kid friendly shows. While parents may not appreciate this advertising ploy it has proven extremely effective for most companies and will likely be used for a very long time. In the case of American Idol, the type of people who are watching the show also tends to heavily reflect on who the winner will be. Thanks to the success of shows like Nashville Star there are very few country music sensations coming from the American Idol camp. However, you do on occasion have a country treasure to find, after all Carrie Underwood and a few other Idol rejects are doing extremely well in country music. The personality of the viewers tends to show in the actual contestants. Those who perform well in styles of music that the audience can connect with tend to stay on the show much longer.
Regardless of how it might not seem like the particulars of who is watching American Idol effects you in reality it is extremely important. What could happen often is a dramatic shift in viewers, which can ultimately cause your favorite singer to be cast off to the side and replaced by someone who fits into the personality of the majority a bit better. Of course, you can always hope to be on the majority side when it comes to selecting the perfect American Idol, but with changes and shifts in demographics, it is also possible that you could find yourself up against a whole cast of potential Idols that you are not interested in. What might seem extremely confusing in terms of who is actually watching the show is actually quite simple. Most people can agree, American Idol does really well with most viewers who are 40 and younger. While the show does manage to pick up some viewers in the older categories, it is not anywhere near the numbers that they are used to seeing from the younger crowds. This leaves many problems when it comes time to really decide which demographic is the top winner. Most professionals tend to agree that American Idol has a very large following of viewers but the truth of who is watching the show is sometimes startling. As one of the top shows on television, you may discover that your shrink, your doctor, your lawyer, your mechanic and your tennis coach all watch the show. The overall diversity of viewers is one of the biggest attractions that pulls in advertisers. Not only can companies advertise their products during the show, it is absolutely incredible the way the viewers are pulled from all ages, all careers and even all parts of the country. Working to keep viewership up is certainly not easy, but American Idol has found the ultimate secret to success, and working with this success they continue to grow and develop new ideas for keeping viewers interested and also new contestants coming to the show year after year. Word Count 660
VotefortheWorst. com and American Idol While everyone loves to think that the show is only impacted by those viewers with the most honorable intentions each year it becomes more obvious that grassroots efforts from websites such as VotefortheWorst. com are making a substantial impact on the show. Consider just a few short years ago when Sanjaya managed to hang around for so long. Despite his best efforts to be kicked off he managed to stay around for weeks after he seemingly gave up trying to win. In order to keep people around who are best for entertainment value and much less for their singing entertainment groups like VotefortheWorst. com have sprung up. While there are quite likely more than a single group acting, VotefortheWorst. com has certainly drawn the greatest amount of attention. While contestants try their hearts out each week to acquire the votes needed to stay on based on a great performances, the websites like Vote for the Worst are out to ensure that the worst performer stays around. Each week the site selects a new contestant that they support. This support is intended to both upset the producers of the show, but also sacrifice someone on the show who is extremely talented and otherwise would be able to stay around. The show typically has to deal with outside sources such as this for a long time, with Vote for the Worst selecting a new contestant to support each week starting when the viewers are able to begin voting. Typically, they will select a single contestant to support as long as they are around. However, once that contestant goes home it is time to move onto someone else to support. Sanjaya was one of the biggest contestants that drew the most attention and therefore also brought VotefortheWorst. com into the spotlight. Operated as only a grassroots effort they simply request people to vote for the contestant that they select. Typically, they also offer up a few reason why it will be fun to keep them around, but they also acknowledge that someone else with more talent will have to leave in order to keep their selected singer around. If you find yourself in this position of being the chosen contestant of theirs then you could find your stay on the show extended by several weeks if not longer. It is rather unfortunate that sites such as Vote for the Worst exist, but they do manage to provide a bit of entertainment. We have to admit that as viewers you do not always want the most talented singers, these are not always the most entertaining contestants to watch and since we ourselves are not actually financing the recording contracts we want to watch someone that is interesting. In order to maintain the entertainment value Vote for the Worst could be argued to be doing a service to the viewers. By ensuring that the value of the show is about so much more than just selecting the best singer it requires the contestants to reach outside their comfort zones and look for new ways to connect with the audience in order to secure their place on the show for the subsequent week. Contestants who fail to connect with the audience or win the support of VotefortheWorst. com quickly find themselves heading home to return to their normal lives quickly forgotten by the glittering lights and fame that American Idol brings. Word Count 560
How to Be Removed from Backstage As the final season of American Idol drew to a close, there were several great highlights to the season. Not only had another contestant been successfully awarded the title of American Idol but there was plenty of backstage drama that goes to show things are not always boring between episodes for the contestants. If you are looking for a surefire plan to get kicked out of backstage then let me assist you with a few suggestions, on the other hand, if you want to stay backstage then look at this as a list of things not to do in order to maintain your welcome. With Jeff Archuleta and the horrible stage dad routine that followed him we learned a few things. First, contestants are not thrilled with others messing with them while they are rehearsing. For some strange reason the other contestants had a huge problem with him giving them advice. I suppose following this mindset they would not really care who was dispensing advice, but rather still tune everything out if it was not what they wanted to hear from someone connected to them. If you are determined to have your opinion heard and you are lucky enough to get backstage you might want to avoid giving advice that seems to be damaging, such as advising contestants to drink milk before performing. Other ways to wear out your welcome backstage is to meddle into the song lyrics. This was certainly proved by many of the songs that contestants have been talked out of singing. It is also extremely important to ensure that you select just the right song. This means it is very important to look only for songs that sound good. If you are looking to get rid of someone, or get yourself kicked out from backstage then it is a very good idea to start pushing a song that is inappropriate for the actual contestant. If you are looking for something a bit more advanced, you could always result to meddling with costumes, this is a great way to start finding yourself thrown out of backstage areas. However, most contestants are careful to watch their clothing to ensure that it is not damaged in any way. If you are absolutely sure that you want to get rid of somebody then messing with their clothes can be extremely effective. However, you should also keep in mind this could be a great way to find yourself completely throw out of the contest if you happen to be competing as well. While getting kick out of backstage might seem like a lot of fun. Most people do not set out to get kicked out of the backstage area of American Idol. If you are absolutely certain that it is what you want to do, there are plenty of opportunities to create trouble backstage. It is just extremely important that you be positive that you do want to be kicked out before you start any crazy antics. If you are still not positive that you want to be kicked off the show then it is very important that you instead wait to make any decisions. While it can be a lot of fun to cause chaos, it could find you in a terrible disaster that you cannot get yourself out of. Always think through your decisions, because after all, getting backstage at American Idol is not easy to do. Word Count 568
Avoiding Acting Like an Overbearing Stage Parent With all of the publicity that American Idol has gotten in recent years, some of the most entertaining gossip from the show lately has been the overbearing stage parent that is Jeff Archuleta. Questions still surround his time with the show, and many parents worry that they could find themselves in Jeff’s shoes at some point with their own talented child. However, much as many parents are starting to worry, the show really had some good reasons to do what they did. Learning how to become a stage parent like Jeff Archuleta because is very important to actually allow your child to find true success on the show. While it might at first glance just seem like a truly loving parent waiting in the wings, stage parents are a growing breed that seem to spawn from the depths of hell, rather than from the encouraging love that most parents come from. At times crossing over from a lovingly encouraging parent into the area of stage parent seems to be extremely easy; many parents slide over simply, while other parents find that the transition is extremely complicated. It is a well known fact that American Idol will not allow contestants to actively participate that are under the age of 18 without the permission of their parents. This has been well known since season 1 kicked off many years ago. However, while parents’ permission is required, parents are not permitted to simply sign a form and disappear back to their hometown while the producers handle watching after their kids. I suppose this makes it easier for some parents to quickly turn into stage parents, but it is necessary for parents to watch after their own children. Jeff Archuleta rose to fame as a stage parent due to his constant meddling with other contestants. He was not content to simply run his son’s time on the show. Rather he was extremely interested in trying to sabotage other contestants according to reports. Due to this, rumors quickly started flying claiming that tensions on the show were running high and stating that Jeff Archuleta was at the center of it all. How true the actual reports are is yet to be seen, but the fact is many parents find themselves crossing over into the area of tampering with other contestants. It is extremely important that as a stage parent, you limit your interaction with your own child, rather than messing with other contestants. Another fatal mistake that Jeff Archuleta made which created the disaster that had him quickly banned from the set was working with his son to change the lyrics of his song. This created nightmares for the show due to the very real problems with copyright that were created. By working with his son to change the lyrics of his songs, he not only broke the rules of the show, he went against what the producers had told him when he asked about changing the lyrics, and he cost the show a lot of money in terms of fines and penalties for the artists who were wronged. This all created a very big drama in the show. Due to the problems that occurred because of the incident, Jeff Archuleta was banned from being back stage. It is extremely important to realize that as a stage parent, you cannot interfere with other performers and you also cannot become so overbearing that you are putting the show in danger. Just as American Idol has turned out numerous winners, they are also turning out numerous “losers” who do still manage to go onto a truly successful career. If you are willing to let go of your child and allow them creative input, as well as ensure that you are having your child follow all of the rules of the show you will discover that it can be a truly fun experience without all of the drama that follows stage parents. Word Count 654
How to Audition for American Idol Knowing that you are trying to be a total superstar is not always easy. Trying to pull yourself from absolute oblivion and making it big as a singer is one of the hardest parts of the music business, and American Idol has provided hundreds of thousands people with a way to try to achieve their ultimate goals. Knowing that it is difficult to break into the music business leads a lot of would-be singers to try auditioning. The problem is it is extremely important to learn how to properly audition for the series, without looking like you are a complete amateur. Your first step should always be selecting an appropriate song. This does not mean you should run out and learn a completely new style of singing. You need something that is comfortable for you, a musician that you enjoy and appreciate and a style that you can actually sing well. For example, some singers are not capable of doing low tones as well; you should ensure the song fits your vocal range properly before committing to sing it during the audition. Another key tip is ensuring you dress properly. While you certainly do not want to show up looking completely boring and plain you also do not want to look like the freak that was let out at night for Halloween either. If you have ever watched American Idol, you have no doubt noticed that those who dress incredibly strange are very seldom going to Hollywood. The mere appearance of their outfit is often enough to distract the judges from their actual singing abilities and will ensure that you have a short-lived singing career as well. Picking out the amount of makeup and jewelry to wear as well is also important. While most men are not going to wear makeup there is a rather large number of people who start looking towards some type of facial makeup for the sheer purpose of helping them stick out during their audition. This will rarely be accepted by the judges. Most of the time you will actually end up crossed out of the audition with the judges before you ever open your mouth. Again this is due to you are making a rather resounding impression before ever singing and typically this is not a good impression. In picking the sound and preparing yourself for the audition, you should frequently look for a good vocal coach to help you. The money you spend on a vocal coach will be well worth the expense since a professional will be assisting you to get ready. Many people auditioning for American Idol falsely believe that they are star quality just the way they are. While this may be true for a small number of those who audition the majority of those who audition at the very least need a bit of preparation to get ready to audition. Using a good vocal coach will ensure you get the best preparation possible and ensure a professional approach. A final suggestion is to really listen to the opinion of others around you before actually going to audition. American Idol is really looking for the top singers in the country; they do not want someone who sounds just like everyone else. You need to find out where your strengths lie in singing, and what your weakness is. Minimizing your weakness and maximizing your potential is critical to the success that you need. If you are completely unsure about how you sound without music singing, it is time to find out before you go to audition. The time you spend getting ready for your audition will be vital and combined with a professional appearance, attitude and fun personality you will make the powerful great impression on the judges that is needed to actually win American Idol, rather than end up the laughing stock of the auditions. Putting the time in for a proper game plan will pay off in the end, and you are sure to reap the benefit in terms of creative feedback from the judges. PPPPP Word Count 676
American Idol Contestants – Instant Stardom and Off Everybody runs around talking continuously about each season of American Idol as if it is the greatest experience ever in the world. But if you have been watching the show for a while, you are very much aware that there was 6 seasons even before the most recent. This leaves 7 seasons worth of rejected potential Idols wondering around the world trying to make a life for themselves. While some of the previous contestants have gone on to do amazing things with their careers, even more have slipped into the cracks again. Season one was the start of something huge. Not only was there two hosts, remember Brian Dunkleman? Do not feel bad, most people have no clue who he is or that he was involved. But there was also contestants such as Justin Guarini, Kelly Clarkson, and even Tamyra Gray to mention a few it was an incredible season. The overall excitement was mounting heavily but where have these contestants actually gone? Kelly Clarkson of course emerged as the winner and is still active in the music industry. Justin Guarini has made a few television appearances, and even released a few albums but his commercial success has been significantly limited. Tamyra Gray has found to date the greatest success on television appearing in several different shows. She has also recently found success in the Broadway showing of “Rent.” Season two started with a bang, and brought with it the former marine Josh Gracin who has gone onto win the hearts of country music lovers, Carmen Rasmusen who also released a country music album and even brought with it Kimberly Locke, Clay Aiken, and the amazing Ruben Studdard. With the talent that emerged from this season it was undeniable that the show was in full swing. Ruben went on to record several albums, while Clay Aiken has found great deals of success with both albums and even on Broadway. Others like Carmen, Josh and Kimberly are not as followed, but have still received attention following their time on the show. Season three found contestants like Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia Barrino and the notorious William Hung who while not an actual finalist still lives on in the hearts of all true fans for what not to do at an audition. Additional treasures were found in Diana DeGarmo as well. From season three, it was rather obvious that it was a bit harder to find lasting talent. Jennifer Hudson has so far emerged as the most successful contestant of the season, and after being booted in a 7th place finish she has gone onto star in Dreamgirls with Jamie Foxx and Beyonce Knowles and even win an Academy Award for her performance. Fantasia meanwhile has grabbed headlines for her strange antics, failure to appear for performances on Broadway and less than stellar commercial success. Season four brought out all of the bad boys of rock, with Constantine Maroulis and even Bo Bice. By bringing the two rockers to the stage, it was a shift to a different style of music, and it has been these two contestants credited with inspiring season five contestant Chris Daughtry to try out. Winning the season was Carrie Underwood, who has been an enormous success and to date the most successful American Idol winner yet. The remaining contestants from the year have managed to slip back into the background with only occasional news stories, such as Vonzell Solomon the third place contestant arrested for a handgun at an airport. Word Count 581
Making a Fabulous Impression on the Judges Learning the best way to make a good impression on the judges is not as hard and complicated as it might sound. While many people mistakenly believe that it is impossible to succeed at auditioning for American Idol it really is possible to win. After all, with the 7th season of the show currently in the ending stages you will find that it is an increasingly popular show. This means that not only have there already been six winners, but there will likely be several additional winners as well. Ensuring that you make the best impression on the judges possible means you need to realize that they have seen just about everything and heard just about everything. You need to figure out a way to make yourself unique and creative, without seeming over the top. This can be the tricky part. After all, many people make the mistake of showing up for auditions determined that they are the best and are crushed when they quickly discover that they did not plan their audition properly to actually show off their ability to win. If your idea of auditioning simply means showing up and auditioning then you will find that you are unprepared to show the judges exactly what you can do. You are going to need to prepare yourself for the audition and this means not only song choice, but also practice, clothing, makeup and nerves. If you are completely calm and know your song well then you are going to create a powerful impression. While being nervous is entirely normal, the judges like to see someone who is actually capable of rising above the nerves and still perform beautifully. The best way to fully prepare yourself for American Idol typically involves deciding to audition a year in advance. This will provide you with ample time to prepare yourself both vocally but also maturity level. This would also provide you the perfect opportunity to see about locating a good vocal coach to work with. However, you should never just rely on taking some time to provide you with the best results possible; after all, it will take some hard work and determination to actually make the impression on the judges that you really do know what you are doing. If you are certain that you would like to audition and you are truly serious about it you should also see about getting as much experience in singing competitions or even on stage as possible. The more you can get experience the calmer you will be. This type of experience is invaluable for most singers since it will enable you to rise above the nerves that cause so many contestants to forget the lyrics and stumble badly in front of the judges. While other competitions may not be as rewarding as American Idol, it can certainly be helpful to ensure that you are actually as talented as you believe you are. While the idea of going into the audition with some confidence might seem absolutely absurd, it really is possible. If you are unsure about exactly how to pull yourself together you should look into learning some breathing techniques for stress management that can help you to fully cope with the audition. You will really come to appreciate the time that you spend learning the techniques on the day of the actual audition itself. Rather than stressing out about not being able to calm down and remember the words, a few deep breaths will put you back into a calm state. Putting your best foot forward will allow you to get the biggest impact from the audition. Getting started preparing yourself for the audition will really not be as complicated as it might seem, but as long as you are willing to take some effort you will see that after a brief period of time you have your confidence back, and you are fully prepared to give the audition your best effort ever.
Why Sanjaya Stayed So Long With so many extremely talented singers on the show, it was a wonder for many people exactly how Sanjaya managed to stay for so long. The sheer fact was that the boy could really sing, this combined with their talent and skills enabled most people to eagerly support the young boy. It was not until after a short period of time in the finals that it becomes rather obvious that Sanjaya simply was not interested in winning anymore. Something deep inside changed and learning exactly how he was going to get out of the show is what started making things interesting. In the beginning, people watched Sanjaya simply for the benefit of watching him sing and perform. As everyone knows, people were all interested in his actual singing ability for the longest time. After a brief period, it became less about his singing ability and much more on the outrageous hairstyles, and even strange outfits that he would choose to wear. Somewhere along the line, the importance of his performances started shifting and the amazingly talented young boy turned into the joke of the show. The overall Sanjaya incident was incredible for American Idol though. If you consider all of the people that watched to vote for him because they remembered how great he was before, added together with all of the people who tuned in to watch him see what crazy antics he would pull for each episode it equaled up to an enormous ratings boost for Idol. Sites like VoteForTheWorst. com also had a true field day with Sanjaya as well. With continuous cries to keep Sanjaya around he managed to last for a very long time before finally receiving the boot. If you were truly honest, you would have to admit that the young boy could sing. However, watching performances that were less about his singing and more on his song selection, hairstyle and even clothes was much more entertaining for the audience. Plus, his little quips back and forth with Simon and the other judges certainly helped to increase viewers as well while people were watching to see exactly what he would say to Simon next. With an adorably lovable quality to him, his draw from teenage girls was instantly noticeable. He seemed to be the easily approachable guy that they could all dream about. This combined with his bad boy charm added to his appeal even more. With all of his talent and his unique flair for extremely creative haircuts, it was obvious that Sanjaya was enjoying flirting with getting kicked off the show. Regardless of what happened to change his mind about winning, it was a very fun ride watching him survive as long as he did. The biggest downside to Sanjaya going so far into the competition was the truly talented contestants who did still want to win that took a hit for him. While the adorable pony hawk style was extremely cute, I am sure those contestants thrown off for him to stay certainly would not find it so adorable. As he proceeds on with his life, he has started to slip back into obscurity, and likely will stay there. With very few options coming his way for a recording contract, it seems unlikely that you can go to a store and pick up a copy of his latest album. As time goes on and the show continues, it is only a matter of time before a new season of American Idol finds a contestant like Sanjaya. Full of life and talent, but for some reason decides to throw it all away and move in a much more unconventional direction. With so many people trying to become the next American Idol, it is only a matter of time before someone else tries his tricks, we can only hope that they will manage to be just as entertaining and keep us excited and longing for more. If time is any indication the show will have plenty of bad singers, so the rare singer who can actually make it but chooses to get kicked off is rare enough to once again draw the attention of the world. Word Count 692
How to Win American Idol Every year thousands of people from all around the country rush out to audition for American Idol. The results are intended to provide the opportunity for everyone in the country to vote for the contestant that they feel is best for the title of American Idol. What actually occurs usually resembles more of a piranha attacking everyone and much less similar to a good friendly conversation or contest. In order to actually win the competition it is very important to learn how to truly make a great impression, not just on the judges but also on the viewers as well. For the majority of contestants it is not always a huge deal to be let down towards the end. Only a single contestant can actually win the show, so coming in 4th place is often good enough. However, if you are determined that you want to go further than ever before, and you really want to win it is critical that you take some time to really learn how to win. Once you have a few key issues in place you will be well on your way to the number one finish that you want so badly, without losing track of what is important. Your first and utmost important tip is to always ensure that you are memorable. Have you ever watched the show and seen performances only to forget them a few minutes later? You no doubt have seen several performers like this, and if you are out to win, you do not want to be this performer. This does not mean that you need to rush out and dye your hair hot pink, wear huge sunglasses and sing with a strange voice. Rather it does mean you need to connect to the audience, make them interested in you and what you are singing. If you simply walk out, look terrified and sing for a few minutes you will be quickly forgotten. If you come out with a song you love, and have a lot of fun you will make a much better impression on the audience and be a lot easier to remember. While we are talking about impressions, keep in mind the way you look is a huge influence on the audience. If you go for the Sanjaya look with a huge pony hawk, you are not likely to be taken serious as a performer. Rather you are likely to be considered the joke of the show. If you want to be taken serious, you need to have fun with it, without seeming like the class clown trying to sing. This is extremely important because far too many contestants move from having fun to looking clownish with their performances. A final suggestion is to watch the ballad songs. Yes they are beautiful and can be extremely popular, but the slow tempo of the song also makes it much easier to be forgotten the moment you walk off stage. If people are watching recaps of the show and cannot remember what you sang, then it is certainly time to rethink your song choices. You need a song that will connect the audience and get them moving. An audience that is moving while you sing is much more likely to actually remember you, rather than the soft soulful ballad that they forgot about almost immediately after you were finished singing. Word Count 561