With the Season 10 finale of “American Idol” set to broadcast live on Tuesday, May 24, there is one question to be asked: What if America gets it wrong again?
Again, you ask. What does that mean — “again”? Since the winner takes the prize due to a popular vote, how could there be a wrong choice? And since both the winner and the runner-up get a recording contract, are there truly any losers in the bunch?
Philosophical musings aside, picking a “wrong” choice is often determined by the level of success the winner has after they have been chosen by America as the next American Idol. Given those rather straightforward parameters, and given the sentiment found in a good many articles over the past several years, America has gotten it wrong two years in a row. Some think they might be setting themselves up for number three…
Scotty McCreery seems to be the hands-down favorite to win “American Idol” this season. He’s never finished in the bottom (as far as we know, because some shows the results were not revealed). Every online poll you come across has the 17-year-old country boy with at least a two-thirds margin lead. Professional oddsmakers prefer his chances of winning over his competitor, Lauren Alaina, as well.
But if he wins, will he be the wrong choice?
Back in Season 2, Clay Aiken seemed to be the odds-on favorite to win. He came in second. However, since becoming the runner-up, Aiken has released five albums, sold almost 5 millions copies of said albums, and starred in a Broadway musical. Ruben Studdard, winner of Season 2, has sold only half as many albums.
In Season 5, Taylor Hicks road a very successful social meida campaign by the “Soul Patrol” and won the competition. Although he has managed to out-sell his nearest competitor, Katharine McPhee, by a few hundred thousand units, Hicks has been outshone by fourth-place finisher Chris Daughtry (the guy most expected to win that season), who has, with his band Daughtry, sold over 6 million albums to date. He has also been overshadowed in sales by Kellie Pickler, who finished seventh. Pickler has sold over 1.3 million units to date.
In Season 8, Kris Allen defeated Adam Lambert in the finale. Lambert’s first album has moved over 800,000 copies to date while Allen’s has amassed just over 325,000.
And last year’s finalists have seen the same positioning in album sales. The winner, Lee DeWyze, has yet to break 150,000 in sales, while runner-up Crystal Bowersox has gone on to sell nearly 200,000 copies since December, her album giving DeWyze’s a month’s head start.
So will among get it wrong again? It is difficult to tell, but given the static that some country music radio programmers have been giving the prospect of playing Scotty McCreery’s music, it could be a tough road for the young singer if he does win. And if Lauren pulls off a surprising win and the programmers play their music equally? Only time will tell.
America makes its “right” or “wrong” choice Tuesday (May 24). Results will be broadcast live on Wednesday (May 25) night’s results show.
“American Idol” can be seen on Fox Television. Myrtle Beach fans of the show can view the two-part finale on Tuesday, May 24, and Wednesday, May 25, on WFXB TV 43.