In light of American Idol’s recent shows that are giving less control for the voters, American Idol season 8 is changing up how contestants are picked for each show. No doubt that the producers have had total control of the show despite what the numbers may have reflected by the voters, so as to create a “quality control” for their investment. Don’t be stuped into thinking that the show puts it’s millions of dollars on the line for the public to vote for the best talent. If that were true, numerous contestants would have been kept throughout the shows history including the incredible Jennifer Hudson, who was kicked off the show, and Von Smith who had the whole package yet met the same fate as Hudson.
Indeed the control over who gets picked for the show is in the hands of the producers, as it has always been from day one. What multi-million dollar company that invests millions of dollars in a show would ever leave the outcome in the hands of the public? The producers can phoney up any number they like and none would be the wiser. There isn’t an independent accounting firm that oversees the number of votes, nor have the producers revealed exactly how the votes that are called in are tallied, or by whom they are collected. We all assume that the viewers make the final decision, but indeed there is speculation that the producers of the show are in total control of who advances on the show and ultimately wins.
American Idol is a commodity revenue based show, wrapped in a slick package, geared toward an audience that is emotionally charged, not only by the songs that are sung, but by the life stories behind the contestants. When you have a contestant with the whole package, the talent, the look, the presence, the likability, and the backstory of their life, it all adds up to picking who is the best fit for the winner of Idol, if not they’re kicked off the show, which undoubtedly is the decision of the producers of the show.
Simon Cowell makes 45 million dollars per season on the show. But with corporate sponsorship with commercials, product placement by Coca-cola, Ford, and AT&T, the millions of dollars that American Idol is giving Simon is just a drop in the bucket from what the shows total yearly revenue is. Let’s not forget the show also reaps the profits from booking the annual 39-city “Idol” tour. Add to that merchandise and the money it makes off the winner, and American Idol in it’s eigth season has made billions of dollars from the show, which 19 entertainment and FremantleMedia North America is an affiliate of the show which oversees the artists management andtheir music industry marketing.
The Fox network pays between $20 million and $35 million annually for the show over the next several seasons. But the cost is dwarfed by the hundreds of millions Fox makes annually in ads, which include thirty-second spots on the season finale which are going for a budget-popping $1.3 million.
“Idol Gives Back” was the result of a collaboration between American Idol creator Simon Fuller and the British writer and founder of the British Comic Relief telethons, Richard Curtis. The donation-per-vote model was dropped in favor of direct sponsor donations from The Coca-Cola Company, Exxon Mobil, Ford Motor Company, iTunes, etc. and individual viewer donations made by phone and on the American Idol website. Although since it’s inception, Idol Gives back has given over $60 million dollars to charitable orginazations, but one can only guess why they pulled the per-vote model since votes don’t count for much when it’s controlled by the producers.
There is no incentive of the producers to relase how the votes are tallied by text or phone because it is their show and they make the rules, and the shows producers keep it all behind closed doors and doesn’t divulge to the public. The money making engine that is American Idol is just another way to dupe the public to make millions from not only the final winner of the show having total control who wins the finale. Idol sees no end from making hundreds of millions of dollars from commercial ads, sponsorship, merchandising, album sales, and touring. I would imagine Fox and the producers would say that indeed America is the land of opportunity, and if they were to ever publicly speak out, they probably wouldn’t reveal their dirty little secret about voting, but would most likely say “thanks America for making us billions, you’ve got my vote!”