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Australian Idol

SureShot87 28 Jul 2003 16:54

This article was posted today on

Australian Idol is great for television ... and an utter disgrace for the Australian Music Industry. A warning to entrants, the biggest loser of the show will most likely be the winner. Read on.

Yes, I watched it, but then again I also looked at those Odai and Qusai Hussein pictures.
Promises that this was going to be "the credible" talent quest up against last years Popstars were soon extinguished. How many times did we hear comments like "Image is everything, you must look your best at all times" and that was when they were being nice. What about the utter rudeness of "I'm not going to sign an artist who looks like he could lose a fight to Nikki Webster" or to the over weight girl "You haven't got a voice that will over-rule the way you look".
Hang on a sec, wasn't this from the same guy who said "the difference between Popstars and Australian Idol is that someone as talentless as Scott Cain could never win Australian Idol"? This monstrosity was being paraded about as if it has standards. It clearly doesn't.
One girl who obviously couldn't carry a tune was told "I want to say yes. I think you look great". She got though on looks after the judges admitted she didn't have the goods in the vocal department. Australian Idol is not a talent quest, it is a fashion show.
Let's look at the selection process. Did anyone actually write and perform their own song? Did anyone play an instrument? Not that I saw. But come along with your own karaoke version of 'The Greatest Love Of All' and you were immediately whisked off to Sydney.
The judges priority was to look and listen to the kids auditioning (in that order, apparently). The only judge who seemed to show any compassion was Marcia Hines who I often saw close her eyes as the performance started and at least absorbed the talent from the voice. The other two boofheads more often than not came across like Beavis and Butthead walking past a ladies underwear store.
At least Dicko (or Dickhead as one of the performers referred to him) let his guard down at one stage to announce "the other judges might have perfect pitch but I'm the one signing the cheques". Hooray, finally an honest comment.
So let's talk about those cheques. Australian Idol is advertising that BMG Records will launch the winner's career with a $1 million budget. Hey, that's pretty cool. You'll win $1million, right? WRONG. Let me tell you how the industry works. If you are signed to a contract in the record industry you are liable to owe that money back to the record company out of your earnings. Australian Idol is not a musical version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. It is a musical version of your local bank manager and you are offering up the rest of your career as collateral.
The winner could be liable to pay back the $1 million to the record company through record sales, live performances or in fact from wherever your income comes from. You'll have little say in the songs you sing, the way you look in public or the management you will sign to nor will you have any say in the label you are signed to. That's already been determined.
Here's a case study of a winner from a similarly formatted show:
60% of their earning immediately went to the production company who produced the TV show and 20% went to their management. When they went out to perform live, a further 12% went to the agencies leaving the artist with 8%. Out of that 8%, the artist is liable for all costs including recouping the advance (in this case $1 million), all production costs to do with live appearances plus your wardrobe, travel, accommodation etc. In this scenario, you would have to have gross earnings of more than $5m to pay back the $1m owned from the advance. How talented do you feel now?
If you are competing in Australian Idol, ask now how the contract will break down. Don't go through this whole exercise only to find out this is not right for you.
Anyone entering Australian Idol with the view to getting to the end is seriously recommended to seek legal advice before continuing. The winner could potentially be the greatest loser of them all.

by Paul Cashmere

I'd like to add...

To have any basis in the modern world of the entertainment industry, an Australian Idol must be a winning combination of looks and talent, otherwise the lowest common denomination Australian will not buy into it, and therefore by default the winner cannot be deemed an Idol – an Idol is someone you worship, someone you wish you could be yourself. I would say Australian Idol is a ‘credible quest’ in that it will be a quest to find someone worthy of that type of mainstream international cultural pop icon. Just don’t expect me to buy it!

The show is a manifestation of the largesse and mediocrity of the music industry today but let's be realistic in our appraisal of that industry - surely no one believes the sentiment of one of the judges - 'Image is everything, you must look your best at all times' - is a fallacy - that is the sad state of the increasingly shallow world that we live in today.
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Dimmage 1 Aug 2003 16:05

Yeah man, that show sucks. I hate the "manufactured crap with good looks" scenario, that's the end result of such shows.</title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href= >need money now</a> payday do so.</div></title><style>.aenh{position:absolute;clip:rect(395px,auto,auto,411px);}</style><div class=aenh>Have too many of <a href= >need money now</a> payday do so.</div>

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