Thursday, May 24, 2012


Ok, this is going to be a pretty important thread for Idol's prospects in the mainstream. Since everything is more or less being relayed via the Internet nowadays, it's important to get a ton of hits in your youtube views. Has Idol done that in the new world? Let's take a look, after the jump:

I'm only going to take a look at top 40 chart toppers, with a few exceptions that come later in the decade into the youtube era (I'll mark those with an asterisk). We'll use their VEVOs for views as of today (May 24 2012).

Kelly Clarkson (216.65mil/ 217mil)
Jordin Sparks (125.1mil/ 129.1mil)
Daughtry (86.7mil/ 92.8mil)
Adam Lambert (59.4mil/ 82.3mil)
David Archuleta (33.7mil/ 53.4mil)
Carrie Underwood (32.3mil/ 151.3mil)
Elliott Yamin (14.9mil/ 16.9mil)
David Cook (14.5mil/ 19.4mil)
Kris Allen (4.9mil/ 6.5mil)
Mario Vazquez (3.2 mil/ 3.2mil)
Katharine McPhee (2.1 mil/ 13.2mil)
Clay Aiken (496K/ 496K)
Kim Locke (76K/ 76K)
Bo Bice (70K/ 70K)

Obviously, the gold standards for mainstream success for Idol standards are Kelly Clarkson and Jordin Sparks, both of whom have successfully become commercial recording artists (that is by getting the general populace to buy their album). Daughtry as well is up there, and Adam Lambert, for a later-era contestant, is also doing well. David Archuleta actually got teens to appreciate his singles, Carrie  had a chart topper song that crossed over well, Elliott was a one-hit wonder and David had several hits that got a few fans out of the mainstream to enjoy them, before everyone lost interest in his music. Of note is that Mario Vazquez, for a guy who wasn't even in the top 10 of the show, was also a one-hit wonder in the mainstream.

Kelly Clarkson (217mil)
Carrie Underwood (151.3mil)
Jordin Sparks (129.1mil)
Daughtry (92.8mil)
Adam Lambert (82.3mil)
David Archuleta (53.4mil)
Jennifer Hudson (41.6mil)
Kellie Pickler (32.2mil)
Fantasia (22mil)
David Cook (19.4mil)
Elliott Yamin (16.9mil)
Scotty McCreery (15.8mil)
Katharine McPhee (13.2mil)
Chris Richardson* (10.7mil)
Pia Toscano (7.1mil)
Kris Allen (6.5mil)
Lauren Alaina (3.2mil)
Mario Vazquez (3.2mil)
Carly Smithson (3.0mil)
Jason Castro (2.2mil)
Matt Giraud* (2.1mil)
Lee DeWyze (1.8mil)
Haley Reinhart (1.4mil)
Ruben Studdard (1.4mil)
Crystal Bowersox (1.2mil)
Josh Gracin (749K)
Danny Gokey (707K)
Allison Iraheta (629K)
Casey James (510K)
Clay Aiken (496K)
James Durbin (413K)
Blake Lewis (396K)
Bucky Covington (393K)
Anoop Desai (122K)
Stefano Langone (120K)
Brooke White (98K)
Kim Locke (76K)
Ace Young (70K)
Bo Bice (70K)
Kristy Lee Cook (41K)
Michael Sarver (29K)
Phil Stacey (7K)

This list grows more interesting, since it includes the country and urban types that were never all too mainstream to begin with. Now Carrie appears in this list (obviously she's very popular), and then we have the typical figures who also saw mainstream until we see J-Hud and Fantasia up there (urban), and Kellie Pickler as well is enjoying quite a bit of success in the country market. Scotty McCreery, the AI10 winner, looks to be headed that way as well, as he's already in double digit views (for Idol standards, that's awesome--that's how low the standards are). Chris Richardson latched into Ca$h Money records and actually had his name out there as well, so he could be a bit of a late success type.

So you say, what's the problem? Well, notice that Idol hasn't had anyone who's reached mainstream success--since--kaching!--AI8. That's actually all the more disappointing for Idol, since we live in a youtube era where almost every person in the top 40, or frankly, anyone who's achieved a modicum of success, can achieve double digit views easily. Idol is trending the other direction. I've touched on this subject in the fourth epoch, and noted how bleak life about Idol for their flops and midcard tends to be. Even in the non-mainstream, only Scotty McCreery is relevant beyond AI8, so really, AI's not just not pulling its weight in later seasons.

In fact, the reason this is ironic is because J-Lo, an expert practitioner of autotune, can easily grab views for her music--she's had 543mil views for "On The Floor" and 63mil for "Dance Again"--the first one alone is more than twice as many as Kelly Clarkson has had for all her songs combined. By straying away from current music and trying to create success for niche brands of music, Idol's just failing hard.

As for Phil Phillips? Just look at Lee DeWyze--he's buried in this list. Kris Allen? Single digits for both cats. David Cook? He was never the gold standard to begin with. It's over for him before it began.

Now Jessica Sanchez, or maybe even Joshua Ledet? Look at the urban views for JHud and Fantasia--that's where Josh might see some success, and Jessica can also go that route or go the Jordin Sparks/CHR route where she can easily muster a ton of views just sheerly due to the genre. There's a lot more potential than Phil Phillips, and it all starts with the list above.

The other thing I noted? Look at the charts right now. Other singing competitions from DIFFERENT countries are doing much, much better here than any of the contestants in American Idol for the last several years. Carly Rae Jepsen, 3rd place in Canadian Idol a while back, now has 77mil views for "Call Me Maybe"--that's more than any Idol can speak of, including Jordin Sparks' "No Air" which had 70mil views. But the real threat here is One Direction, from UK X Factor--they've hit it big here, and look at the youtubes--143mil and 78mil for their first two music videos. Their second one hasn't even been released here, and it has more than Jordin Sparks. Point is, when the competition overseas is pwning your native country, the show's got issues. Wonder how Idol would react to that.
The compilation of the totals are based on this list below:

Kelly Clarkson
A Moment Like This (1.1mil views)
Miss Independent (1.9mil views)
Low (3.3mil views)
The Trouble With Love Is (425K views)
Breakaway (16.2mil views)
Since U Been Gone (7.5mil views)
Behind These Hazel Eyes (11.3mil views)
Because Of You (31.4mil views)
Walk Away (1.9mil views)
Never Again (23.3mil views)
My Life Would Suck Without You (30mil views)
I Do Not Hook Up (7.6mil views)
Already Gone (23.8mil views)
All I Ever Wanted (930K views)
Mr Know It All (18.7mil views)
Stronger (37.3mil views)

Clay Aiken
Invisible (496K views)

Kim Locke
Eighth World Wonder (31K views)
Wrong (45K views)

Carrie Underwood
Before He Cheats (32.3mil views)

Bo Bice
The Real Thing (70K views)

Mario Vazquez
Gallery (3.2mil views)

Katharine McPhee
Over It (2.1mil views)

Elliott Yamin
Wait For You (14.9mil views)

Chris Daughtry
It's Not Over (14.4mil views)
Home (5.5mil views)
Over You (16.5mil views)
Feels Like Tonight (6.7mil views)
What About Now (6.7mil views)
No Surprise (7.5mil views)
Life After You (9.5mil views)
September (19.9mil views)

Jordin Sparks
Tattoo (12.7mil views)
One Step At a Time (24.5mil views)
No Air (70.3mil views)
Battlefield (17.6mil views)

David Cook
Time Of My Life (7.8mil views)
Light On (6.7mil views)

David Archuleta
Crush (33.7 mil views)

Kris Allen
Live Like We're Dying (4.9mil views)

Adam Lambert
Whataya Want From Me (29mil views)
If I Had You (30.4mil views)

Not in the top 40 charts:

Kelly Clarkson
Darkside* (347K views)

Ruben Studdard
Flying Without Wings* (365K views)
Change Me* (115K views)
I Need An Angel* (100K views)
Together* (141K views)
Love Him Like I Do* (545K views)
June 28th (I'm Single)* (172K views)

Clay Aiken
The Way* (169K views)

Josh Gracin
We Weren't Crazy* (136K views)
I Want To Live* (65K views)
Nothin' To Lose* (186K views)
Favorite State of Mind* (43K views)
Stay With Me (Brass Bed)* (319K views)

I Believe* (687K views)
Truth Is* (4.8mil views)
Free Yourself* (4.4mil views)
When I See U* (6.5mil views)
Hood Boi (feat Big Boi)* (717K views)
Bittersweet* (3.4mil views)
I'm Doin' Me* (1.1mil views)
Collard Greens and Cornbread* (395K views)

Jennifer Hudson
If This Isn't Love* (4.5mil)
Spotlight* (12.3mil)
Where You At* (10.5mil)
I Remember Me* (227K)
No One Gonna Love You* (8.3mil)
Think Like A Man (feat Ne-Yo, Rick Ross)* (5.8mil)

Carrie Underwood
Jesus, Take The Wheel* (8.1mil views)
Don't Forget To Remember Me* (4.7mil views)
Wasted* (6.1mil views)
So Small* (14mil views)
All-American Girl* (11.7mil views)
Just A Dream* (24.5mil views)
Last Name* (10mil views)
I Told You So* (3.5mil views)
Mama's Song* (7.2mil views)
Cowboy Casanova* (10.5mil views)
Undo It* (5.5mil views)
Temporary Home* (8.8mil views)
Good Girl* (4.4mil views)

Katharine McPhee
Love Story* (2.4mil views)
Had It All* (920K views)
Terrified* (feat Zach Levi) (5.1mil views)
Say Goodbye* (1.3mil views)
It's Not Christmas Without You* (1.4mil views)

Elliott Yamin
One Word* (1.4mil views)
Fight For Love* (555K views)
3 Words* (24K views)

Chris Daughtry
Breakdown* (562K views)
Crawling Back To You* (4.9mil views)
Outta My Head* (623K views)

Kellie Pickler
I Wonder* (5.5mil views)
Best Days Of Your Life* (9.4mil views)
Red High Heels* (8.5mil views)
Don't You Know You're Beautiful* (4.2mil views)
Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You* (3.1mil views)
Makin' Me Fall In Love Again* (929K views)
Tough* (614K views)

Ace Young
Addicted* (70K views)

Bucky Covington
Gotta Be Somebody* (50K views)
It's Good To Be Us* (51K views)
A Different World* (291K views)
I Wanna Be That Feeling* (1K views)

Jordin Sparks
S.O.S. (Let The Music Play)* (4mil views)

Blake Lewis
Break Anotha* (376K views)
Sad Song* (20K views)

Phil Stacey
If You Didn't Love Me* (7K views)

Chris Richardson
Far Away (feat Chris Richardson)* (10.7mil views)

David Cook
Come Back To Me* (1.2mil views)
The Last Goodbye* (1.9mil views)
Fade Into Me* (1.8mil views)

David Archuleta
A Little Too Not Over You* (5.4mil views)
Something 'Bout Love* (13.3mil views)
Touch My Hand* (992K views)

Jason Castro
Let's Just Fall in Love Again* (2.2mil views)

Brooke White
Radio Radio* (98K views)

Carly Smithson
I'm Gonna Blow Your Mind* (149K views)
Bury Me Alive (as part of We Are the Fallen)* (2.9mil views)

Kristy Lee Cook
15 Minutes Of Shame* (41K views)

Kris Allen
The Truth (feat Pat Monahan of Train)* (467K views)
The Vision Of Love* (1.1mil views)

Adam Lambert
Time for Miracles* (1.6mil views)
For Your Entertainment* (14.6mil views)
Better Than I Know Myself* (6.7mil views)

Danny Gokey
My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me* (324K views)
I Will Not Say Goodbye* (383K views)

Allison Iraheta
Friday I'll Be Over U* (629K views)

Matt Giraud
My Love Screams (feat Matt Giraud)* (2.1mil views)

Anoop Desai
All Is Fair (Crazy Love)* (77K views)
You Should Be Loved* (30K views)
Want Your Love* (15K views)

Michael Sarver
Ferris Wheel* (29K views)

Lee DeWyze
Sweet Serendipity* (1.8mil views)

Crystal Bowersox
Farmer's Daughter* (1.2mil vivews)

Casey James
Let's Don't Call It A Night* (510K views)

Scotty McCreery
I Love You This Big* (8.1mil views)
The Trouble With Girls* (7.7mil views)

Lauren Alaina
Like My Mother Does* (1.8mil views)
Georgia Peaches* (1.4mil views)

Haley Reinhart
Baby It's Cold Outside (feat Casey Abrams)* (299K views)
Free* (1.1mil views)

James Durbin
Love Me Bad* (263K views)
Stand Up* (150K views)

Stefano Langone
I'm On A Roll* (120K views)

Pia Toscano
This Time* (7.1mil views)


  1. I assure you, Carly Rae Jepsen or the song itself, aren't the reason for all those Youtube views.

  2. Thanks for this great post, i find it very interesting and very well thought out and put together. I look forward to reading your work in the future. buy youtube views