The top ten finalists from American Idol's
sixth season embarked on the Idols Live Tour in the beginning of July with the expectation that they would be welcomed with enthusiasm as previous Idol
tours. For some reason, this isn't happening. Attendance on the current American Idol t
our is down a striking amount. The combination of Jordin Sparks
, Blake Lewis
, Melinda Doolittle
, and Sanjaya Malakar
appeared poised for a successful tour. Unfortunately, through thirty concerts, there have been exactly zero (0) sellouts, which is shocking.
The 2006 tour, which featured beloved singers Taylor Hicks
, Elliot Yamin, Chris Daughtry
, and Katherine McPhee, had 17 sellouts through 30 dates. This year's tour has suffered from a massive drop in interest. Fourteen of the shows thus far this year have been under 64% capacity. One show, in Birmingham, Alabama, had about 39% capacity. Ticket prices have gone up, but not by enough to make that a significant reason for the attendance drop off. Why is no one going to see American Idol Live?
The comparisons to 2006 are apt. That year boasted some great performers (and singers) who fans just had to see. This year, is there anyone in the top ten who fans go crazy over? Anyone they absolutely HAVE to go see live? Perhaps some severely misguided teeny-boppers wanted to see their crush, Sanjaya, sing out of tune with a big smile. Besides that, as good as Melinda Doolittle or Jordin Sparks may be, they're a little too vanilla to incite passion in fans.
The depth of the top ten is also an issue. There aren't a lot of great singers in this year's top ten. Concert reviews have been poor, some downright cruel. I don't think it's a train wreck, but it appears to be close. Could this all be indicative of a collective waning of interest in American Idol
? Is Idol on the down slope? Some have made this claim, but don't buy it. The show's ratings were the best on TV. There's nothing wrong with that. Tours are weird things: they're unpredictable and sometimes not an indication of interest, but a series of random occurrences. Or, at least that's how Idol fans can rationalize this general lack of interest in this summer's tour.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of Miami New Times)