The American Idols Live Tour, currently winding its way around the country and dropping its spaceship of Earthly karaoke delights tonight upon Worcester, MA, offers fans of Fox’s reality behemoth the opportunity to get within screaming distance of the previous season’s top 12 contestants. But as Sanjaya stands alone under a pink-gelled spotlight, pitchily singing to half-empty arenas about the “Man in the Mirror,” organizers are wondering what happened to the throngs of teenyboppers who dependably lined their wallets in past years. From USA Today:
· No sellouts were reported for the first 30 shows, and only one topped the 93% of capacity mark. (That was the show in Glendale, Ariz., Idol winner Jordin Sparks’ home turf.) Of the 2006 tour’s first 30 shows, 17 were sellouts and another 10 exceeded 93% of capacity.
· Nearly half (14) of the shows were below 60% of capacity. (Lowest was 38.9% in Birmingham, Ala., hometown of 2006 winner Taylor Hicks and 2003 champ Ruben Studdard.) In 2006, the lowest-capacity figure in the first 30 shows was 89.3%.
I witnessed the AI spectacle in person in 2006 and I can attest that the 19E people in charge could not have been less accommodating to the press and other media. There were no “comps” for the media and unless media folks had tickets, they were forced into a tiny room to wait until the encore where they were allowed to shoot the first and third songs only.Of the encore. All pictures had to be approved before publishing. We did it once but vowed not to return again, hence no more AI coverage. That’s karma for you.