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Monday March 24, 2008 12:08 pm

American Idol Controversy: Songwriting Contest

Jordin SparksIdol watchers will probably never forget the moment in 2007 when finalists Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis (each at separate times, of course) belted out the ballad which won ’s songwriting competition, a first for the show. This is another of those deceptive Idol ploys - rather like Idol Gives Back - where fans might say “wow, FOX really does want to give people a chance and help others.” But let’s get real. This TV network doesn’t care about finding new talent. When it comes to American Idol, it’s all about the money.

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First and foremost, there’s an entry fee. Write a song for American Idol, pay $10 (USD) to get in the contest. How many entered the contest last year? Over twenty thousand (now, multiply by ten). Who won the contest? A songwriting professional named Scott Krippayne, who has a rather extensive collection of CDs and who has penned several top 10 hits in the past.

However, the rules of the contest bar none - not even those who have written professionally in the past. Theoretically, someone who has never sold a song has as much chance as someone well associated with Billboard hits. Amid the fanfare and under the klieg lights, two Idol finalists will sing the song that wins…and will make a truckload of money. The real worry is not that professionals may enter, but that everyone has to pay to do so.


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