Monday, May 28, 2007

American Idol: The Runner-Ups

Blake Lewis joins Justin Guarini, Clay Aiken, Diana DeGarmo, Bo Bice, and Katharine McPhee as American Idol runner-ups. Let's hope he gets used to the label "American Idol Loser" because the media loves to use that particular description for the runner-ups.

All the runner-ups have a career in the entertainment business. All are recording artists albeit with varying degrees of success. Justin, Bo, Diana, and Clay are all working on a CD. Katharine is in an active cycle. In addition to recording, Justin is a TV host, Diana works in theater, Clay is getting ready for his summer tour and is very active with his foundation and UNICEF. How will Blake Lewis fare? Only time will tell the level of his success, but history says he will have a career that probably wouldn't have been possible without American Idol, a show he never watched before he auditioned. The rumor is that Blake did not receive a recording contract from Clive Davis which is either really good news or really bad news depending on who you talk to. Bad news maybe because it would make him the only runner-up who did not receive one, and good news because Clive is not exactly known for letting Idols have much creative input. Whatever people feel about Blake, he is musically creative and for my part, I think he is better-served if he is signed by someone who will let him have input on his own record. There isn't any doubt that someone will sign him, or for more creative contral he may decide to go the way of Elliot Yamin, with an independent label and distribution deal.

It will be interesting to see how many of Season Six contestants get signed to a record deal, and how well they sell. CD sales are on the decline and record companies are struggling. Even the massive exposure of American Idol does not guarantee strong sales. Some contestants only record one (Justin, Bo, Diana) album of the intital contract and then are released by the record company. RCA seems to be in the business of capturing as many sales as cheaply as they can without any long-term development of the Idols as artists.

Comparative data for Idol contestant debut albums (first-week soundscan sales numbers):

1. Clay Aiken - “Measure of a Man” - 612,859 (# 1)
2. Ruben Studdard- “Soulful” - 416,569 (# 1)
3. Carrie Underwood - “Some Hearts” - 314,549 (# 2)
4. Chris - “Daughtry” - 303,677 (# 2)
5. Taylor - “Taylor Hicks” - 298,199 (#2)
6. Kelly Clarkson - “Thankful” - 297,000 (# 1)
7. Fantasia - “Free Yourself” - 239,389 (# 8 )
8. Bo Bice - “The Real Thing” - 226,976 (# 4)
9. Kat - "Katharine McPhee" - 115,761 (#2)
10. Elliot - "Elliot Yamin" - 90,439 (#3)
11. Kellie Pickler- “Small Town Girl” - 79,133 (# 9)
12. Bucky - "Bucky Covington" - 60,814 (#4)
13. Justin - “Justin Guarini” - 58,749 (# 20)
14. Josh - “Joshua Gracin” - 57,257 (# 11)
15. Kim Locke - “One Love” - 56,894 (# 16)
16. Diana DeGarmo- “Blue Skies” - 47,000 ( # 52)
17. Tamyra Gray - “Dreamer” - 39,091 (# 23)
18. LaToya London - “Love and Life” - 12,546 (# 82)
19. Mario - “Mario Vasquez” - 11,812 (# 80)
20. Paris Bennett - "Princess" - 6,434 (# 133)
21. Jasmine Trias - “Jasmine Trias” - 4,855
22. John Stevens - “Red” - 4,349
23. Jim Verraros - “Rollercoaster” - 1,571
24. Corey Clark - “Corey Clark” - 557
25. Ayla Brown - “Forward” - 300


Two Runner-Ups, Two Takes on "Mack the Knife"


Both Clay and Blake performed "Mack The Knife" on the American Idol Top 3. It's not an easy song to perform without coming off like a lounge lizard. Blake put his spin on it with his dance moves. Clay put his spin on it with his fantastic voice. You can decide which one is better. I know which one I like. *g*




MACK THE KNIFE


~Blake Lewis~

~Clay Aiken~


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7 Comments:

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your blog. Question. Why do you have Elliott Yamin listed at #12 when his first week's sales were higher than Kellie Pickler's and Bucky Covington's? You have them listed as #s 10 and 11 respectively. Elliott should be #10.

I wish Blake much success. He is quite the entertainer. From the way he's been talking, he must have some sort of deal waiting for him. Maybe he has decided to go Indie. He'd have more creative freedom and would stand to get a larger share of the profits.

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger Vox Vixen said...

Elliot is now in the correct order. He is number 10. I guess I didn't proof-read the list.

 
At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Clay wins this Battle...(but then he always does)

 
At 10:23 AM, Anonymous MaryMary2 said...

No contest, Clay wins hands down!

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are both good. I like Clay's better. As for Blake going Indie, I think Idol-19E/RCA have first choice on whether they give them a record deal. It is written in their contracts when they first appear on Idol.

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger Carolina Clay said...

EE,

Thnx once again for a very thorough blog, this time about AI runner-ups.

For me, Clay is tops; but I enjoyed
reading what everyone else is doing. This morning I saw Blake on the Today Show; and after one or two phrases, the network faded to a commercial. One of the minuses about being #2!

Have a great week!

Caro

 
At 6:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog. BTW...according to Billboard Magazine's Fred Bronson, Blake has a deal waiting with a label under Sony/BMG. He even said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, apparently, that he's meeting with Simon Fuller (19E management) and Davis this upcoming week before the tour to finalize the deal or something. I'm not sure on the specifics. But that's good news for him, and of course, for Jordin who is going to get that contract also! Again...great blog!

 

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