The Farr Side: Billboard Top 24 list reveals ‘Idol’ impact
We’re getting down to the nitty gritty on “American Idol.” My fingers are still crossed that Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox will stand together at the end.
I’ve enjoyed Season 9 for the most part, although I believe they cut a good share of the talent off long before the Top 24 were named. Once the Top 24 competed, better contestants were eliminated than some who made the Top 12.
I never doubted DeWyze and Bowersox. They’re in a category all their own.
Several of this year’s finalists have the potential to make it big. I think Michael Lynche, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Siohban Magnus and even Andrew Garcia have a chance to do so. DeWyze and Bowersox almost certainly will.
Billboard magazine recently compiled its top 24 “American Idol” finalists of all time. Rankings are based on album sales, individual song sales (Internet) and radio play counts according to Nielson Sound Scan.
It seems premature to do such a ranking, but I was interested. I’ve always thought of Billboard as being the most accurate.
Here’s a brief look at numbers 24-6 (season number in parentheses).
24. Alison Iraheta (8)
23. Diana DeGarmo (3, runner-up)
22. Danny Gokey (8)
21. William Hung (4)
20. Kimberly Locke (2)
19. Taylor Hicks (5, winner)
18. Blake Lewis (7, runner-up)
17. Bo Bice (4, runner-up)
16. Katharine McPhee (5, runner-up)
15. Elliott Yamin (5)
14. Josh Gracin (2)
13. Jennifer Hudson (3)
12. Adam Lambert (8, runner-up)
11. Kris Allen (8, winner)
10. Ruben Studdard (2, winner)
9. Fantasia Barino (3, winner)
8. David Archuleta (7, runner-up)
7. Kellie Pickler (5)
6. Clay Aiken (2, runner-up)
As you can see, you don’t have to win to do well. Jennifer Hudson is an excellent example. She placed seventh in Season 3, but went on to win an Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG, and a Grammy Award.
Adam Lambert, Kris Allen and David Gokey will likely rise much higher the next time such a ranking comes out. Their albums have been out only since November.
The Top, 5 have proven exactly how powerful the “American Idol” machine really is. Take a look at these numbers:
David Cook (Season 7 winner): 1.3 million albums sold, 3.9 million digital tracks, and 536,000 radio airplays.
Jordin Sparks (Season 6 winner): 1.3 million, 9 million, 1.1 million.
Chris Daughtry (Season 5): 5.7 million, 9.5 million, 2.4 million.
Carrie Underwood (Season 4 winner): 11.5 million, 13.9 million, 2.4 million.
Kelly Clarkson: (Season 1 winner): 10.6 million, 15.9 million, 4.2 million.
Underwood is the top album seller so far, but overall Clarkson remains the most successful “Idol” alum.
I’m happy to see Clarkson at No. 1. She’s an amazing talent. She proved that “AI” changed the music world as we knew it.
I think DeWyze and Bowersox could easily infiltrate a list like this very soon. Both seem to possess some of the same characteristics of top “Idol” performers.
David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.