Wednesday, May 25, 2005

American Idol

It was a tough call, but after seeing Carrie Underwood singing with Rascal Flats, I think she deserved to win American Idol. She was so natural on the big stage, and at the same time a sweet down-home all-American girl. Of course, Bo Bice was great as well, and I think in a short while they will both be as well known as Reuben Studdard and Clay Aiken (and to be honest, I can't recall whether it was Reuben or Clay who actually won a couple seasons ago). And I think there was a lot of great talent on that stage, as most all of the "top ten" are incredibly talented. Vonzell was totally awesome singing her number tonight - a phenomenal voice and she is so beautiful! We've seen some great performances this season from Anwar, Nikko, Anthony, Mikhaila, and Constantine too. But I do have to quibble with the judges' repeated comment that this is the best season they've had. I think they had an all-round strong final group this year, making it hard to winnow. But while there were many really good performances, I don't think that there were any truly awe-inspiring gobsmacking performances like we saw in the past seasons. Fantasia Barrino singing "Summertime" was absolutely galvanizing, and we didn't see its equal this season. Overall, we really enjoy the show, and think it's doing a great job of bringing attention to some great young talent across the country.

And, as a technologist, I have to say, it's quite impressive that the show drew 500 million votes this season. The spring 2003 Idol drew 24 million votes, with 2.5 million text messages sent on the final show alone. The 2004 Idol had 7.5 million text messages sent in its final show, with tens of millions of votes through the season. Sponsoring American Idol was a stroke of genius for ATT Wireless, since in 2003 (the first year they used text message voting), one third of the 2.5 million voters were using the text message feature for the first time. That was a heck of a lot better marketing than the $120M they dropped on their m-Life campaign. (Remember m-Life? Nobody else does either.) I'll be interested to hear the stats for Verizon Wireless this year.

No comments: