Sure, “Taylor Hicks’ first single, “Do I Make You Proud?” went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. But it sucked. Even the producers of American Idol agree that his Ford commercial was better, so this time around they’re opening up the contest to songwriters everywhere.
Details are being worked out for an Internet competition that would allow anyone– signed, professional or not– to submit a tune to an Idol website for consideration as the winner’s guaranteed hit single.
That– along with a possible appearance by Paul McCartney a potential massacre of Beatles songs by contestants– are among the Season Six details Entertainment Weekly has complied for its latest cover story.
The magazine does not address that promised mideason giant event that will “blow America away,” but it does list its own reasons the new season may be worth watching:1) There’s no obvious front-runner: ”Occasionally someone like Carrie Underwood or Fantasia walks in ‘and you just absolutely know (they) could win. This year, I think it’s going to be more like Season 1, not as obvious,” says Simon Cowell.
2) Auditions hit all-time lows: “Season 6 has the most delusional people I’ve ever seen. If people love that part of the show, they’ll love this season,” says Paula Adbul. (Producer Nigel Lythgoe adds that Seattle ”stands out as possibly the worst city I’ve ever seen for crazies. Maybe they’re drinking too much coffee.”)
3) The songwriting competition: Producers are divided whether the three judges should have any choice in the selection.
4) The finalists just might meet a Beatle: All the oldsters– from Rod Stewart to Stevie Wonder– who showed up on Season Five, sold a lot more albums. More big names are promised for Season 6, and they’re continuing their long negotiations to get McCartney and a chance to lay waste to the Beatles catalogue. Mariah Carey’s name is also being tossed about.
5) The Simon Factor: Cowell is said to be extra-testy this season, because he’s working overtime, executive producing The X Factor in the UK, developing Season 2 of NBC’s America’s Got Talent and overseeing music acts like the crapulous Il Divo.
One more tidbit: Paula Abdul says “I’ve never been drunk in my life.”
(And in more Believe It or Not news, there’s word out of Nashville that Season 5′s Bucky Covington actually signed a recording contract!)
Season 6 kicks off over two nights and four hours: Tuesday & Wednesday, January 16th & 17th, starting at 8.