Monthly Archives: August 2009
I cannot believe the Fox syndicated show, American Idol Rewind, is already set to feature Season 5 next month. Wasn’t it just this past season that they had shown Season 4? Hmmm. You know what that means?
If they’re planning to showcase Season 6 next spring (Yay! Melinda Doolittle! Jordin Sparks!), then September of next year is… Season 7!!!!
Wow. Now I’ve got real high hopes that, by the time AI Rewind features David’s season, he’ll really have moved above and beyond his Idol journey. Where would David be by this time next year? And what would Season 7 AI Rewind possibly reveal? This season, more than any other seasons of the show, is a time I would really like to revisit. Not just because it’s the magical season of my discovery of David Archuleta but also because of the behind-the-scenes drama. There seemed to have been so much going on.
Of course, it would also be quite the spectacle of the extraordinary journey David has already taken. Consider, for Season 5, the only thing I really remember is Paris Bennett’s awesome audition (still my favorite AI audition of all time – keep in mind that I had missed David’s audition and didn’t see him until his Hollywood performance of “Heaven”):
This is also the season of Elliot Yamin, Chris Daughtry (who obviously is being pimped to the max in the Rewind promos), Kelly Pickler, Taylor Hicks, and Katherine McPhee. As memorable as each of these contestants were during their season, none of them hold a candle to David, who I believe transformed the show by simply forcing other contestants (like David Cook) to up their game. I don’t think anyone would have predicted the ODD that had fallen upon so many of us, just by watching his audition:
If you put the two auditions together, sung by then teenaged contestants, it’s curious how their journeys on the show ended up so differently. Paris, whose vocals definitely sound richer here, showed through her youth her inability to pick songs that matched her talent and her lack of emotional connections. She mimicked the emotions in songs while David, during his performances, made real heart connections. Needless to say, Paris made it to 5th place her season, while David became runner-up his season. Still, I’m very grateful my first introduction to David was “Heaven” and not “Waiting on the World to Change.” I’m not sure I would have fallen in love at first sight – especially with that big flub on the lyrics. Yikes! Neither was his vocal paralysis nearly as touchingly portrayed as I’ve read on different occasions.
I must say, though, that just by having this “rewind” moment and seeing where David began, I’m awestruck by the leaps and bounds he has made so early on this “long and winding road.” By next fall season, I hope his “Rewind” reflections will seem like a very distant memory.
David’s appeal is so wide-reaching and so diverse that he defies niche marketing. Think about it. Who else can appeal to both a conservative religious fanbase, with his clean-cut morals, AND melt the hearts of many a gay boy (not that these two groups have to be mutually exclusive)? This is the same David who can get Mormons and Perez Hilton gushing about his sweet and shy ways.
Who else can appeal to a Disneyesque teen/tween crowd AND a Latino/a audience (not that these have to be mutually exclusive either)? Who else can get an urban/R&B audience witnessing to his “soul” credentials as a “hazel” eyed (as opposed to blue-eyed) soul singer AND a suburban/mainstream pop audience appreciating his acoustic, stripped-down singer-songwriting potential? Who else can get critically acclaimed musicians AND little kids testifying to his awesome skills? And need I mention the ladies – ranging in age from 2 to 92 – who have all been slain by his Archusexiness?
David’s got what we haven’t seen for quite some time in the world of music: UNIVERSAL APPEAL. This was so evident during the Hollywood rounds on American Idol, one of the few episodes that is taped well in advance of the show’s season. Whenever I re-watch this episode – when he unleashed “Heaven” upon us and sealed my permanent spot on the Archuleta Express – I’m always struck by how honest the judges seemed in assessing David’s potential: both on AI and in the world at large. This is the same David whom Paula couldn’t wait for the world to discover and whom Simon thought “had everything going” for him. What we all saw then I still see now. This is why a number of us were upset when his label – under the same umbrella as American Idol – mapped out his market and came up with “tween.” Not just because this is an obvious lucrative market for one as young-looking as David but also because the industry has become so niche-oriented.
All pop music is oriented towards youth marketing – it was that way in the past, and not much has changed. But what has been intriguing is the way we have not seen much “universal-appeal” marketing, or multi-marketing. I do believe David, in choosing his different tours and acknowledging the diversity of his fanbase, is making strides towards cultivating that universal aspect. Tweens and teens may be where the money is at, but something tells me David is launching in different directions. Now, what I’d love to see develop is the kind of music production that can bring in those different aspects of the music that appeals to this diverse fanbase. Perhaps the Christmas album is one way to launch into that “universal appeal” sphere. But afterwards, the “pop” album will be the real test in how artistically this can best be represented.
For now, we’ve got the Voice, which already transcends all categories.
Sometimes there are no words (or rather, words aren’t necessary):
Photo credits to KimmieDavid, taken at Hershey Park and shared on Fans of David.
Fifty-one years ago on this date, a legend was born. Here is my tribute video:
This twitter had me almost falling out of my chair!
When I grow up I wanna have a steam room/shower. Steam saves throats’ lives!
Since I think David is already “grown” and he already earned over $1 million this past year (methinks he’s now the biggest breadwinner in his family), I’m tempted to say: “David, sweetie, go get you one if that’s what you want!”