Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

From Wikipedia.orgOK, I admit it.

I've got a love/hate relationship with "American Idol" – how can anyone be anything less than ambivalent to a show that has given us both Kelly Clarkson and Sanjaya?

The seventh season is starting in a little over two weeks and has already started the blogs a-buzzing., the best source on all of the internets for weekly Idolatry, found that one contestant, a young woman in her mid-20s named Carly Hennessy, who is said to be a favorite of one of the show's producers to win it all this year.

Great, except that this is Hennessy's second time on the show (she was reportedly bounced from season 5 after not being able to get a visa, join the club).

We're all for second chances and all that, true – especially when the first chance is effed up by pencil-pushers in George Bush's government, but that isn't what makes this story interesting.

What makes this story interesting is that Hennessy was profiled in the Wall Street Journal almost 6 years ago because she has already been a project of a major label and was a colossal flop. MCA records spent over $2 million on her debut album, Ultimate High, and in its first three months of release sold 378 copies. Right now there are 137 used copies for sale on Amazon, starting at $.01.

So, the recording industry is trying to recover some of its losses for an expensive blunder by putting someone it failed to develop on national television every week. It is also hoping that not one of the millions of people who watches the show figures out how to use Google. I don't have any illusions that "American Idol" is the great talent search for people lacking show biz connections, but this is pretty damn blatant.

The again – how does that saying go? – no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the audience that made Clay Aiken a star. Or something like that.

Hat tip, as usual, goes to Idolator.