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American Idol - a Success Story

Essay by   •  February 17, 2013  •  Case Study  •  1,017 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,718 Views

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American Idol now in its 12th season, is undeniably a pop culture machine. The show premiered back in 2002 and became an instant hit with the American public. The show's creator and popular, "love him or hate him" judge Simon Cowell is the mastermind in bringing this franchise originating from UK show Pop Idol and has become one of the most watched TV series in the Nielsen ratings. Idol has been TV's top-rated show for a record seven consecutive seasons (eight among young adults), in recent years by a wide margin. Last year, Idol's numbers actually went up 4% to 25.2 million viewers -- part of an impressive Season 10 rebound -- while its ages 18 to 49 audience (11.1 million) was down just 3%. While the sight-unseen predictions are for Idol to slip a bit this season, common for shows as they age, it should remain dominant and "head and shoulders above" everything else in the singing genre, says analyst Brad Adgate of ad firm Horizon Media (Keveney, 2012).

The concept of the series is to find new solo recording artists where the winner is determined by the viewers. Winners are chosen by viewers through telephone, Internet, and SMS text voting. Thousands of contestants endure days of waiting in long lines just to get one shot at a preliminary audition in the hopes of being selected to the next phase of three sets of cuts. The next audition is held in Hollywood and Las Vegas where contestants perform within a selected group in a series of rounds. Then 24 to 36 fortunate contestants move on to the semi-final stage. From this point on, individuals are asked to perform and eventual selection to the finals group of twelve contestants of six men and women.

After enduring twelve weeks of performance, an American Idol is pronounced winner and is then given a record deal with a major label and earns at least $1 million in their first year as winner. But the success of the show is really measured by the contestant's accomplishments after the show. Since its inception, Idol contestants have spawned 345 Billboard chart-toppers and a platoon of pop idols (Bronson, 2012). Pop Idols include Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert, and Chris Daughtry just to name a few. The song "Some Hearts" and "Inside Your Heaven", sang by Carrie Underwood stayed in the Top Country Catalog Albums for 41 and 35 straight weeks respectively. In addition, she recently released second album, titled "All-American Girl has sold 11 million records since winning Idol. Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" single was #1 in the hit charts for 28 straight weeks. Just counting the finalists, there's a total of 64 charted idols. Prior winners and contestants accolades are true testaments to the show's success. Roughly 39 Billboard Music Awards to date to include 1 Academy Award presented to Jennifer Hudson as 2007 Best Supporting Actress for her role in the popular movie, "Dreamgirls". The most coveted of all is season 4 winner, Carrie Underwood. Her accomplishments total 7 American Music Awards and 5 Grammy Awards. She holds the title of 2007 Artist of the year and Best Female Country Vocal. She also owns 2008, 2010, and 2012 Favorite Country Album respectively.

Just how successful is the

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