BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 2 September, 2002, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
America to vote for its Idol
American Idol
The finalists are Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini

The American version of Pop Idol reaches its climax on Tuesday at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, home to the Oscars ceremony.

The final showdown will be between 20-year old Kelly Clarkson, a soulful Texan, and Justin Guarini, 23, a mop-haired crooner from Pennsylvania.

It was Justin's performance, in an early round, that prompted Cowell to acknowledge that the "American talent is probably better than the English talent".

Tamyra Gray was a casualty in the final stages of the competition. The 23-year old, often described as being in the same league as Whitney Houston, was considered by many to be the favourite to win.
Simon Cowell
The show has made Simon Cowell famous in the US

But, as the UK show demonstrated, it is not necessary to take the Idol crown to be catapulted to stardom.

After viewers voted off Tamyra, Cowell said they had made a mistake and, with a wink, he told the former Miss Atlanta to "watch this space".

It has since emerged that Tamyra has been offered a management contract by the company that produces the American Idol show. She has plans to release an album, titled Haunted, sometime next year.

The ultimate winner is guaranteed a similar deal as part of a $1m recording contract.

We're just waiting, we want to get started with our careers

Kelly Clarkson, finalist

The American Idol's debut single will be released by RCA on 17 September with a full album scheduled to be in stores by the end of November.

There will also be an Idol compilation album and the 10 finalists are going on tour together in the US.

At this stage, the only advantage in winning appears to be a head start on the road to fame and fortune.

Under the terms of the show's contract, the performer named American Idol gets to release their CD ahead of the rest.

"The competition part's kind of getting old," admitted weary finalist Kelly Clarkson, on last week's live show. "We're just waiting, we want to get started with our careers," she said.

According to Cowell, the show will have failed if it does not produce "one of the fastest-selling singles of all time".

The winner will not be announced until Wednesday evening when a second live show will be broadcast from the Kodak theatre.
Will and Gareth
The winner could be as big a star as Will and Gareth

American Idol has become must-watch television for millions of people in the States.

The show has developed a phenomenal following, albeit hugely hyped, as the summer's so-called water-cooler hit. There are plans for another series next year.

The contest has also made a star out of Cowell.

Commonly known as the Mr Nasty of the judging panel, the music industry mogul is now the most prominent British celebrity on American TV.

He inherited that dubious honour from acerbic game show presenter, Anne Robinson. Her star-power faded rapidly in the US when audiences deserted The Weakest Link in droves.

The months ahead will reveal whether the American Idol or Simon Cowell has the most staying power in the fickle worlds of US TV and pop music.

See also:

16 Jun 02 | Entertainment
29 Apr 02 | Entertainment
10 May 02 | Entertainment
11 Jun 02 | Entertainment
14 Jun 02 | Entertainment
28 Jul 02 | Entertainment
25 Jun 02 | Entertainment
12 Jun 02 | Entertainment
12 Jul 02 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes