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Phillip Phillips’ ‘Home’ debuts at No. 2 on digital sales chart

AMERICAN IDOL: Phillip Phillips is the Season 11 winner of AMERICAN IDOL at the Nokia Theatre on Weds. May 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  CR: Michael Becker/FOX

AMERICAN IDOL: Phillip Phillips is the Season 11 winner of AMERICAN IDOL at the Nokia Theatre on Weds. May 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. CR: Michael Becker/FOX

“Idol” winner Phillip Phillips‘ coronation song ‘Home” debuted last week at No. 2 on the Billboard digital songs list with 278,000 in sales.

That’s the best opening week for a winners’ song since Soundscan began tracking downloads in 2003.

But even counting singles sales in CD form, Phillips’ opening week was the third best ever, only behind Ruben Studdard’s “Flying Without Wings” and Clay Aiken’s “This is the Night” from that magical season two.

“Idol Chatter” in USA Today tallied the top 11:

  1. Clay Aiken, This Is the Night (393,000 first-week sales)
  2. Ruben Studdard, Flying Without Wings (286,000)
  3. Phillip Phillips, Home (278,000)
  4. David Cook, Time of My Life (236,000)
  5. Kelly Clarkson, A Moment Like This (236,000)
  6. Taylor Hicks, Do I Make You Proud (228,000)
  7. Scotty McCreery, I Love You This Big (171,000)
  8. Carrie Underwood, Inside Your Heaven (171,000)
  9. Fantasia, I Believe (142,000)
  10. Kris Allen, No Boundaries (134,000)
  11. Lauren Alaina, Like My Mother Does (122,000)

Phillips had nine songs on the digital top 200 compared to 11 for Kris Allen season eight and 17 for David Cook season seven.

- Nigel Lythgoe is my idol. He is honest and logical in his assessment of “Idol,” its competition and how things went this past year, courtesy of Michael Slezak of TV Line.

A sampling:

TVLINE | Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly recently told reporters that Idol‘s Season 11 ratings dipped “more than anticipated” and that in retrospect the show should’ve made more creative tweaks to stay competitive in the crowded reality singing competition space. How did you feel about those remarks, especially considering that in many ways, Season 11 felt like a genuine creative success?

Lythgoe: I’m shocked that he would say we didn’t anticipate that. We always stayed away from [airing] two seasons of American Idol [per calendar year], knowing that ratings would dip, and the public would get tired. It’s just the very nature of offering the audience too much [of a particular thing]. Now, if you’re going to do The X Factor on the same [network] as American Idol, that’s like two American Idols back-to-back. So, yes, I’m shocked that they thought that the ratings wouldn’t dip. Plus, The Voice is in the mix now, too. There’s just a lot more on offer today, and kids don’t always watch the television anymore. The world has changed in the 11 years that we’ve been doing this.

He said this was a rare year where he couldn’t tell who would be the winner. He said the vote leaders would change each week. He is open to looking at voting changes given that a somewhat similar type singer has won the past five years (the white guy with guitar factor). He even jokes about the Filipinos supposedly voting for Jessica.

He felt Ruben Studdard, post “Idol,” was pigeon holed into R&B and not given a chance to cross over. (I agree.) He noted the big production values on “X Factor” and wanted to jazz up “Idol” a bit but not at the expense of the contestants. (I think he more or less succeeded on that front.)

And the killer quote of the interview: “The television producers, of which I include myself, don’t give a damn who wins this show. The only thing we’re interested in is turning out a fabulous show for people to watch. We get no money from the record companies or anything else.”

- There was a point when I thought “Good Girl” by Carrie Underwood was stalling but alas, country radio is pushing her into the top two again. She’s now battling “No Hurry” by Georgia’s Zac Brown Band (another act that has never had a song below the top two) for the top spot, as Georgia Kip Moore’s first no. 1 “Somethin’ About a Truck” is starting to lose steam. This would be Underwood’s 14th consecutive top 2 single on the country chart.

- The final ratings for “Idol’ was 21.5 million viewers, the lowest ever. Honestly, given “Duets” and “AGT” now, “The Voice” and “X Factor” in the fall and then “The Voice” again in the spring, music show burnout is inevitable. “Idol” can only see things going down, I fathom. It’s sad, but true.

- Here’s Adam Lambert’s video “Never Close Your Eyes”

- Want to hear Britney Spears insult a contestant during the “X Factor” Austin auditions? Here’s audio, courtesy of some Britney fan site:

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

172 comments Add your comment

fan of idol

May 31st, 2012
6:42 am

I liked Adam’s song on American Idol, live. This video is a little wacky.

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
6:59 am

Morning!

The video may have been wacky earlier but it doesn’t exist now.

Thanks for publishing the gist of Nigel’s interview, Rodney. I thought it was really interesting.

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
7:00 am

Someday I hope Idol releases the vote totals(or at least, percentages) for the top six of every season. That would be very interesting….even though some people would think it was a lie.

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
7:58 am

Ah, Adam video is back!

Alex

May 31st, 2012
8:23 am

“That’s the best opening week for a winners’ song since Soundscan began tracking downloads in 2003.”

Congratulations, Phillip. I’m not surprised though. I mean, I expected big things. After all, Phillip had to beat the “best singer in America” in 7th place finisher Jessica “Mulligan” Sanchez, and the best singer in the past 50 years in Screamin’ J in order to win AI. Not too shabby.

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
8:46 am

I don’t think it hurts that, for the first time in a long time, the coronation song is really good.

Woodpappy

May 31st, 2012
8:47 am

Alex, that is amazing that Phillip is doing so well considering the status of Jessica and Joshua !!

G

May 31st, 2012
9:04 am

Much like 8-10 r&b singers, Ruben’s natural genre was gospel (contemporary to be exact). The crossover for him was going from gospel to r&b.

Believe it or not, I have no idea what that coronation song sounds like. Once pp won, I flipped to the game. No need to watch a performer you don’t respect as an artist or support.

Alex

May 31st, 2012
9:09 am

G
May 31st, 2012
9:04 am

The issue you mentioned with Reuben may be what Joshua faces as well. I kept hearing babbling Randy talk about Joshua and R&B, but his wheelhouse is gospel.

Alex

May 31st, 2012
9:10 am

Deirdre
May 31st, 2012
8:46 am

Very true. Some of the worst “finals” performances have been the coronation songs.

Mercedes S.

May 31st, 2012
9:16 am

Congrats, Phillip – he did better than any of the other WGWGs!
Liked Adam’s video – the song is less screechy than it was on “Idol”.

Mercedes S.

May 31st, 2012
9:17 am

But, G, the song is good! And you’ll hear it a lot this summer!

G

May 31st, 2012
9:21 am

@Alex. So true. If it was the Motown era, Joshua would be a no-brainer crossover from gospel to r&b. He still has a small chance on the retro scene. What I mean by retro scene, is artist such as Amy Winehouse (RIP), Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and Raphael Sadiq to name a few.

I love to hear gospel selections from Joshua. He’s such a spirited singer. However, gospel can be picky too. If you’re anything short of a minister, the audience dumps you in the black hole of gospel commercialism.

In short, Joshua will have an uphill climb trying to fit into todays market. Best best is to offer up a mix on the cd (gospel, retro r&b, and current r&b). Spitball what he does best and see what sticks.

G

May 31st, 2012
9:26 am

@Mercedes. If I had a choice to buy “nails screeching down a chalkboard” on iTunes for $20 in comparison to receiving a free copy of pp’s cd…………………

……that would be an incredibly hard decision to make.

Why buy pp music when DMB is still cranking the real thing? IJS

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
9:29 am

G…if you haven’t heard it you can’t talk about it. just sayin’ It’s a good song. If you don’t like Phil, then listen to the song as sung by its writer

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
9:32 am

Here’s the top selling studio version of Home:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-q1cGvEQoM

Mercedes S.

May 31st, 2012
9:38 am

D., at 9:29, took the words out of my computer!
And thanks for letting me enjoy song again!

Mercedes S.

May 31st, 2012
9:57 am

Also listened to “Volcano” again. and the original version with Damien Rice, who has a pleasant, if weak voice (plus assistance from a girl). PP deserved his win.

G

May 31st, 2012
10:05 am

@D. I’ve painfully watched pp perform ALL season long. ALL of his songs sound the same, with the Usher and Time of the Season songs being the worst I’ve heard from him.

Besides, he sang the coronation song the night before. So I guess that “technically” I did hear the song, just not the night that he won. For pp’s standards, it was probably his best that I’ve heard. It happened to be one of the few growling fart hickups that he’s done.

This guy is about as fake as autotune. However, if autotune has the ability to sales a lot of units; and groups like LMFAO can go platinum; why shouldn’t pp be successful too?

JTesla

May 31st, 2012
10:09 am

I’m all kinda of happy for WGWG#5, and I really like his coronation song, but he didn’t deserve to win. He won because he’s a WGWG, he consistently did worse, according to multiple professional and non professional reviewers than the rest of the top 7. He won because he is a young white guy from the South who got plenty of pre-live round coverage, and he held a guitar. It was not based on his performances at all.

Rickster

May 31st, 2012
10:16 am

Imagine how much higher on the list Kris Allen (you know, Kris, the guy who actually won?) would have been if he could have released a song other than “No Boundaries.”

G

May 31st, 2012
10:25 am

@JT. I agree on your reasoning behind why pp won and why he wasn’t truly deserving of the win. One reason I would like to add is that he simply didn’t try to improve. He had been cruising for weeks through the top 10 not giving a crap about his performance. If anyone else was doing the same, the criticism would be cruel, vain, and 10 times worse than what pp has gotten.

The kidney ailment IS NOT an excuse. He simply didn’t care. He was happy just making the top 10, and couldn’t give a rats rectum if he was voted off earlier. I saw him for who he is, but his supporters bought in 4good. smdh

Sam-A

May 31st, 2012
10:37 am

Deirdre, thanks for the link – the song sounds great. I’ve added it to my Grooveshark playlist.

Jealous guys abound.

JTesla

May 31st, 2012
10:48 am

Jealous? Who is jealous?

Woodpappy

May 31st, 2012
10:51 am

G the kidney ailment had ALOT to do with his performances. One could tell he was suffering. If you’ve never been there I don’t see how you can say a kidney problem had no bearing. You try performing onstage with someone twisting your guts out the whole time. And..pain meds…they do tend to make you not give a sh%&. When he gets well then you come back and tell us how bad he is. Just my thoughts…

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
11:07 am

Phil himself has said repeatedly that he is not a good singer and if American Idol was really a singing contest, then he would have lost but it isn’t and he didn’t. The only REAL singing contest on tv is The Sing-off and unfortunately, that has been canceled.

The Voice is not a singing contest….yes, there are singers but The Voice is a judges’ contest with singers as the race track.

X-Factor is not a singing contest either. X-F is a judges’ contest with singers displayed with a light-shows and 20 back-up singers(even for GROUPS! lol!)

American Idol has always been a show about what singer is the most popular and, fortunately, many times(certainly not every year) the best singer has been the most popular.

DanJ

May 31st, 2012
11:09 am

As far as winner songs go “Home” is very good! While I grew to like Philip (he was not my favorite) I do wish him well. He did go through hell with the kidney stones and does deserve respect for making through the long grind. Honestly the song is a perfect fit for him and the type songs he should record.

Music is subjective and while I like Bruce Springsteen they are some that thinks he sings like he’s constipated. He kinda does! But he sings songs that serve the times we live in. Philip should do the same IMO.

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
11:12 am

As soon as we get over the fact that there are not any actual “singing contests” on TV and the winner on American Idol, The Voice, X-Factor and now Duets is never about who has the best voice, we’ll all be a lot happier.

Sam-A

May 31st, 2012
11:27 am

Thought he was adorable and personable, but didn’t like Px2 at first, then about 4 weeks in, liked what he did and started paying more attention. Grew to really enjoy most of his performances. My early fave was Erica, who left too soon. Then pulled for Hollie, and when she left, Px2 became my #1. Like a number of people have said, I think Jessica has a really good voice, and when she’s a little older and more seasoned, should be very good – just not great now. No words of Joshua! So, Phil was suddenly my fave to win. Glad he did. ‘Home” is a really good song done really well by him.

Woodpappy: Way to go! I’ve had only one kidney stone, and many years ago – but remember that pain and the horrible ache in my back for days and days vividly even now.

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
11:28 am

I would even go so far as to guess that the American Idol winner is frequently a person who is both charismatic and safe.

JTesla

May 31st, 2012
11:29 am

I’ve always argued that American Idol has NEVER been purely a singing competition. When you have that view it erodes the ability to argue that anyone deserves to win. It’s a popularity contest, and in popularity contests one person is not more deserving than the next.

I still don’t understand who displayed any “jealousy” in this thread. I’ve always thought that argument was preposterous when it was applied to women who are not fans of female judges or contestants, it’s just as silly when it is applied here.

Pitchy

May 31st, 2012
11:31 am

Good morning.

Nice post Woodpappy!

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
11:45 am

I wouldn’t think jealousy has anything to do with it. Either you like a performer or you don’t…sometimes there’s no logic to it, only a feeling.

Music is evocative. Either we embrace a certain style, genre, voice, melody or we don’t. Again, trying to find logic in someone liking or disliking a singer is like trying to fish for marlin in your bathtub.

I like Phil. Not every song he sang necessarily(Time of the Season was a nightmare). I like the way I feel when I listen to him. Telling me he’s a cheap imitation of someone else doesn’t change that. Telling me he has no range doesn’t change that.

I like the way I feel when I listen to him.

G

May 31st, 2012
11:47 am

Well, at least Sam A didn’t use the phrase “hater”. LOL!!!

Woodpappy, all I’m saying about the kidney thing is that it has nothing to do with singing out of tune and having limited tone/range. If he was in that much discomfort to affect his performance, maybe he shouldn’t have been in the competition to start with. Maybe he stuck it out to help win sympathy votes.

D, the winner doesn’t have to be the best singer. However, being able to carry a note or two doesn’t hurt in adding respectibility to the craft and the artist.

Oh yeah D, you hit a soft spot by reminding me the Sing Off has been cancelled. Guess the masses aren’t interested in true talent anymore. That may free up a quality judge for Idol…..Sean from Boyz II Men. However, Sean’s expertise may not be appreciated by the Idol mainstream. Too bad.

Rickster

May 31st, 2012
12:06 pm

All this talk about singing shows v. talent shows and show overload and who’s a good singer v. who isn’t just proves that we’re all a bunch of losers who need to get a life.

Hey.. I just figured I’d try and beat the trolls to it. :-)

Pitchy

May 31st, 2012
12:25 pm

G, do you really believe if you had kidney trouble it would not affect your tone or you singing out of tone?? Real pain alters just about everything from speech, the way you walk, the way you stand, the way you hold your head (so to speak). A true “artist” finds a way to forge ahead despite the pain. I remember on one of his performances, it was clear he was in pain. I know you’ll probably say his facial grimaces look like all the others, but TO ME, it was clear he was in pain and his screeches were a tad different.

Deirdre

May 31st, 2012
12:25 pm

The company that owns American Idol is talking now about a major “retooling” of the show. Here’s a link to mj’s write-up about it:

http://www.mjsbigblog.com/american-idol-to-undergo-retooling.htm

bknsty14

May 31st, 2012
12:40 pm

For me, Beggin’ was PP’s best song of the year. I wanted to watch that again. Upbeat, great music, and it fit his voice and style. Liked it live better than the studio. He’ll end up being abetter live performer.

JTesla

May 31st, 2012
12:52 pm

It will be interesting to see how far they go in “retooling”. Yet, I’m also fearful that they will throw the pre-teen out with the bathwater.

Pitchy

May 31st, 2012
12:54 pm

If they’re going to “retool” the show, they need to put a disclaimer that no one needs to appear in busted pants!!!

JTesla

May 31st, 2012
12:58 pm

Pitchy: except for Fantasia, because she is awesome like that.

Pitchy

May 31st, 2012
1:00 pm

Fantasia looked like a bloated sausage in that hideous outfit.

G

May 31st, 2012
1:11 pm

If I had an ailment so bad that it affected my performance, I wouldn’t perform. That means I’m not giving my best, you’re not getting your money’s worth, and I’m further endangering my health. It’s a no win scenario.

All of the growling and unpleasant tones from pp had more to do with his lack of vocal skill. Plus, he admitted to it. I’m willing to bet after surgery, he will sound the same and keeps making those dumb az expressions to squeez out notes.

If he has real fans, he would’ve sold at least 270,000 on his first single even if he didn’t win.

Retool, huh? Why is a retool needed, if America has spoken?

Pitchy

May 31st, 2012
1:43 pm

G, there are many performers who perform through their ailments. Hell, we go to work sick and still give our 100.

Johnny Cash, MJ, Donnie and Marie Osmond (just cuz I remember an interview where they spoke of the pain), Missy Elliot, just to name a few.

Seth T

May 31st, 2012
1:50 pm

While they have at least put the voting system on the table for discussion, (per some of the articles)
they will obviously need to overhaul the Judges panel – to keep the show from sliding even further next year.

Of the people I watch the show with, and others that discuss it, they really grew tired of, and irritated by the Judges handling of the show and contestants — much more this year than anytime in the past. It already appears that J.Lo will be gone, and that could help a little, if they get a good new replacement.

The Idol system tries to push the contestants into a “mold” that is outdated; just observe the songbooks used, Judges advice, pushing, scolding, etc.

That’s one of the reasons why PP survived and then won, because he couldn’t be pushed into the mold, and a lot of people responded to that. Another reason was a fresh, new song – not Randy’s beloved 80’s music. The production of that number in the finale, was also fresh and totally different, including the drummers marching, the stage setting, and delivery.

I agree with —- Deirdre /May 31st, 2012 /11:45 am
”. Either you like a performer or you don’t…sometimes there’s no logic to it, only a feeling.

Music is evocative. Either we embrace a certain style, genre, voice, melody or we don’t. Again, trying to find logic in someone liking or disliking a singer is like trying to fish for marlin in your bathtub. “”

If the whole thing was just about technical singing ability, an opera singer would win every year, singing the same song, with the same stage setting, the same instruments used in back-up — the only thing new would be the 2 singers in the finale who were singing it each year for strict comparison of each note. If any single note was swooped or slightly missed – the verdict would be; he/she can’t sing!

Sam-A

May 31st, 2012
3:12 pm

Touchy today.

Just teasing, at least for JT.

G: Actually, in Px2’s case, performing while sick seems to have turned out to be pretty much in the “win-win” column, at least that’s how I interpreted last Wednesday’s show. And no matter how ill, if you can muster the strength and courage to do it, “the show must go on” – and who’d give up the “only time in your life” opportunity if you could drag yourself to the mike?!

Woodpappy

May 31st, 2012
3:19 pm

Exactly Sam-A !

Jubie

May 31st, 2012
3:28 pm

Great News re Phillip Phillips. I love his style.

DanJ

May 31st, 2012
3:34 pm

I’m not sure if it was JTesla or Deirdre who said it but it’s true. It’s not a singing competition. I WISH IT WAS! Singing shows remind me of a beauty contest. A beauty contest has beautiful women in gowns, bathing suits and a so called talent aspect. But in honesty the contestants all pretty equal. Who wins fall on the judges. In Idol’s case the judges are those who vote. Which are mostly young ladies who power vote.

At least The Voice can somewhat control the balance with the use of judges and the purchase of downloads. In a couple of years we will know who the stars were by their record sales.

Rickster

May 31st, 2012
3:52 pm

If AI needs to “re-tool” – my question is… who is the current “tool?”

:-)