So, how do you think Steven Tyler is doing on American Idol?
by Iris Harrison,posted Jan 31 2011 5:01PM
Okay, I'll admit to my guilty pleasure this season. I'm watching the good the bad and the ugly on American Idol. Oh, I've watched the show before, but never this part...the early part where people like William Hung and "Pants on the Ground" get their elongated 15 minutes of fame and more money than they deserve. I actually think the "Pants on the Ground" guy from last year said something about getting hosed because he didn't copywrite it. That'll teach ya.
You're probably wondering how I even know about these people if I didn't watch the show. Viral videos. In this ADD world (myself included), pop culture is like popcorn. A big buttery blast of fun, and then it's over. But for the time when things are hot, you can't escape it.
I used to watch the show with a group of friends and it was a great reason to get together on a weeknight and just chat. We'd disagree about most of the acts, and pretty much just visit. Then the weekly event got sort of bigger, and noisier, and more people showed up, and I lost interest. Until this season.
Following along with the train wreck that is part of Aerosmith's legacy, I wondered how it would all play out. Think about what Tyler went through since last year. Falling off the stage, falling off the wagon, band not returning phone calls, Joe Perry talking about auditioning other lead singers...all of it. You can't write their story any more outrageous than how they do indeed live it. So, Tyler gets well, gets sober again, and we hear he's going to be a judge on American Idol. How many of you actually believed it when you first heard about it? I thought it was a silly off- hand remark for days, and then they just kept coming with the reports that he would join J-Lo and Randy "Dawg" Jackson at the judges table. I was instantly interested. Here's why...these people are actually musicians. Simon was an irritating promoter. Not the same thing. True, it does take some kind of talent to understand and sign talent, but Simon's brand of nasty had run it's course for me.
The show's total viewing audience is declining, but I don't think you can put all that on the fact that it's 2 new judges or that Simon isn't there. I think after 10 years, it's not a big surprise anymore. They are still winning the time slot, and with a thousand other entertainment choices, it's still a lot of people.
Today I learned that Aerosmith's catalog was getting a bump in downloads because of the show. The band's only #1 song, 1998's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," jumped up to #19 the iTunes song chart, and 1973's "Dream On" moved to #61. Their 1994 Big Ones album, a collection of their hits while on Geffen records, went to #25 on the iTunes' album chart. By the way, there's edited (shortened) songs on that one. Bugs me. Got burned by playing some cuts on the air when it was released.
So, it looks like they are getting a little boost in sales due to Steven being an American Idol judge. Joe Perry may not be happy that Tyler is stepping out and doing the show, but he's crying all the way to the bank as a new audience finds Aerosmith.
One of the things that I had to really let sink in were the 15 year old kids (the show lowered the age requirement this year) who said they had been watching their whole lives...and if you think about it....they were 5 when this phenomenon all began. That's crazy! Argue all you want about whether it's ruined "the process" of scratching and clawing your way to the top of the charts, but then again....has it always been fair? I mean if Aerosmith's ONLY #1 hit was "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," how great was the old way....really? That was a so-so song from a Bruce Willis movie about an astroid and yes, Tyler's lovely daughter Liv is in it, but THAT was their ONLY #1 hit? Sheesh.
Meanwhile, Aerosmith, the band minus Steven Tyler is in L.A. writing and recording until Steven has time once American Idol gets to Hollywood. I have a feeling it will be a very interesting album. The "Toxic Twins" are best when they are in turmoil.