I just got a press release in the mail that made me shake my head a little. Now, I've never watched an episode of American Idol, because seeing young performers do versions of old pop hits does nothing for me. But apparently, the winner of the most recent season was some guitar-strummin' singer-songwriter guy named Lee DeWyze, who has two independent CDs out, recorded in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Now that he's won, of course, he's signed a deal with 19 Entertainment, the production company behind American Idol, and that's who'll be releasing his next album (through RCA Records) this fall.
From what I've read, the AI contestants' deals are horrifyingly exploitive, but that's not the point of this post. The point is, check out the linguistic tap-dancing in this press release put out by DeWyze's own indie label the day after he won American Idol:
LEE DEWYZE VOTED CHAMPION AS AMERICA'S TOP SINGING SENSATION!...ORIGINAL RECORDINGS AVAILABLE NOW ON WULI RECORDS
Chicago, IL's LEE DeWYZE has won the competition! Last night, Lee was announced the winner at the season finale, competing against one other finalist. Only adding to his success, Lee's Wuli Records release, Slumberland, has reached #17 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart! Lee DeWyze is the first singer in the competition to have a record charting on Billboard during the show. In addition to this great chart position, So I'm Told is at #24 on the iTunes Top 100 Pop USA Album chart (as of May 27th)!
"The competition"..."the season finale"..."the show"...Did they expressly forbid him from using the words "American Idol" to promote albums that 19 Entertainment isn't getting a piece of? If so, I'm not surprised, but I'm a little disturbed. That seems heavy-handed, even for Simon Fuller.
I will now return to not watching or caring about American Idol.