When a singer wins a talent show like X Factor, American Idol or The Voice, it is undoubtedly one of their biggest moments in music to date. However, very few winners manage to emulate the success of past winners such as Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Although country singers do well after the show, pop acts do not. This has me wondering if singing competitions will produce pop stars again.
It seems as though music competitions are having a love affair with older music styles rather than contemporary music. Winners are unable to compete in the charts with the likes of Rihanna, Bruno Mars and LMFAO. For example, last year’s winner of The X Factor, Melanie Amaro was told she had the potential to be a modern Mariah Carey. When is the last time Mariah Carey was on the charts? Melanie Amaro undoubtedly has a beautiful voice but it makes no sense. Where does American Idol winner, Philip Philips fit into the music that is dominating airplay? It seems as though audiences are hungry for good singers who make music that connects them to their past and they are rooting for the underdogs on these shows, however, once the show is over, people forget them and they barely make a mark on the charts. Unsurprisingly, this leads to underperforming album sales and winners get dropped from their album deals after a single release.
Talent shows seem to be doing more for the careers of the judges. Look how American Idol rejuvenated the career of Jennifer Lopez! Not to forget the massive track “Moves like Jagger” released by The Voice judges Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera! Now with Mariah Carey joining the judging panel on American Idol, it is only a matter of time before we see her career following in the footsteps of Jennifer Lopez.
Ultimately, talent show winners do not have the muscle to influence the music that’s in the charts. Judges seem to be using their position on the panel to re-launch their careers and contestants are dropped in the deep-end once the show is over and expected to swim the muddy waters of the music industry with little success.