Daily Archives: September 8, 2011

Emerging from the Idol Shadow

It’s interesting to me how David’s fan community spends so much time wringing our hands over David’s music career (or lack of one as some like to believe) when I’m just grateful that I’m able to wait for a new DVD/CD featuring the Voice.

Regardless of whether David appears on TV or is heard on the radio or has a single on Billboard’s Hot 100, I’m glad there is still music to possess and a Voice that can fill up my world.

Then again, what’s most striking to me, as we bellyache over David’s low radar at present, is how there are few Idol alumni who are currently “current.”  Where’s Kelly Clarkson, David Cook (who released a new album this year), Jordin Sparks, Adam Lambert, or even the current Idol winner Scotty McCreery? (Granted, I don’t listen to country music, but even so, when Carrie Underwood won, she was everywhere beyond the Nashville scene.)

I hadn’t even thought to question the whereabouts of former and current Idols until I saw this latest commercial featuring Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox and blues legend B. B. King (see above).  I don’t know how Crystal’s debut album is doing, and I know she’s still signed with Jive, but I do know that, regardless of how prominent she is at the moment, she’s having a blast doing a commercial that

1. allows her to play alongside B. B. King

and

2. allows her to shine a spotlight on diabetes

Sometimes, we forget that American Idol can only promise you a recording contract, if you win (and perhaps if you’re a popular enough runner-up), and what happens after that is left up to chance.

Nothing really changes the fact that, after Idol, David got a chance to be on a major label, got to appear on major TV shows, got to ride on his own float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, got to perform alongside other pop music stars in the Jingle Balls, and debuted with a hit single and album.  Not bad for someone who just started from Go!

So now that all’s quiet on the homefront, we’re in a panic.  But why?  David’s still making music, still making vlogs, and still tweeting his latest plans.  If he’s not showing up at MTV’s VMA awards show, is that a real problem?

These things happen.  Every now and then a new trend, a new star emerges.  When David was on the scene, the Jonas Brothers were all the rage.  As were Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift.  They’re still around, right? But they’re not topping music charts.

Even the Bieber isn’t as visible as he used to be. These things come in cycles.

Seeing Crystal doing a simple commercial and gaining some visibility is a sign that she’s taking the exposure she earned from Idol and parlaying that into her own music career.  It would be great to see David in a similar commercial (did he ever get any endorsement offers?), but knowing that he’s been able to do other things (like having a bestselling memoir and a guest performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, soon to be televised during the holiday season) means he’ll regain prominence.

For us fans, this is a test: how long are we prepared to take this journey with David? How many of us still have faith that he’s going on to bigger and better things?  How many of us believe his talent will take him there?

American Idol never promised superstardom…oh, they used to in its earliest seasons.  They actually believed their own hype, back when the show still had influence.  But even now, I doubt producers are guaranteeing the successes they used to brag about.

It seems that David had his head on right, when the rest of us got swept up in the hype.  This is not just about making adjustments to a new “normal” of musical stardom.  This is about taking things in stride and realizing that, in many ways, David like so many of his fellow Idol alumni have finally emerged from Idol’s shadow to carve their own independent paths.

If David can still make music and perform, I’m sure he’s happy.  So, let’s be happy for him and with him.