The comparisons between “American Idol” and every other singing competition on TV are numerous, but the “Idol” team — judges, host and producers alike — would like to remind you that “Idol” is the first and the best in the game.
Judge Randy Jackson says that although he is friends with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul and he wishes them the best of luck with “The X Factor,” nothing else can compete with “Idol.” “I think that ‘Idol’ is still the best TV show of its kind, anywhere. We’re the original,” he says. “We kind of invented this whole game that everybody’s now copying.”
Executive producer Ken Warwick goes further, saying that “Idol” is the only reality competition you can count on for real talent. “This is the show that produces the stars,” he says. “There is no other series over the years that has produced anywhere near the number of stars that we have. To be honest, Leona Lewis was kind of a one-and-a-half hit star for a minute, but there’s no Kelly Clarksons, Carrie Underwoods, Jennifer Hudsons. Coming up on [NBC] now is Kat McPhee — they are real stars. They really are. And none of these other shows are producing stars like that.”
The most recent “Idol” winner, Jackson would like to point out, is one of 2011’s biggest music stars. “Scotty McCreery is now a platinum artist, which today is like selling 10 million records,” he says. “I think the only three artists that are bigger are probably Adele, Rihanna and Gaga, if my numbers serve me correct.”
As for Clarkson, arguably “Idol’s” biggest star, heading to “The Voice” as a mentor this season, FOX alternative entertainment president Mike Darnell says it’s only a good thing. “I think it’s a compliment to ‘Idol’ that the show has created superstars and that other shows want to use those superstars on their shows. We’re not hiring a lot of people from ‘The Voice’ on our show.”
Oh, and for the record, host Ryan Seacrest says that regardless of whether he signs on to the “Today” show, his heart lies with “Idol.” “I love this television show and I’ve been a part of it for so many years. I can’t imagine life without ‘American Idol.’ I have a deal with NBC Universal that we’re in negotiations discussing in terms of what I’ll do at NBC.”
Darnell, for his part, wants to keep Seacrest around. “We love Ryan. I can’t imagine the show without him. He’s an enormous part of this television show. My expectation is he’s going to be with the show for as long as we can get him to be [here].”