Why Does American Idol Want A Girl to Win for Season 9?
Album Sales of American Idol Champions May Be the Reason
Diehard American Idol fans largely feel that American Idol wants a girl to win for this current ninth season of Idol. Judge Randy Jackson has stated that the girls are better, but there could be reasons for that. Idol producers are not above stacking the deck to get what they want. For example, what girl had a chance to win last season? The producers stacked the deck with guys as favorites and promoted them as favorites.
Although Kris Allen won, it was clear from the beginning that Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert were cast as favorites. They both finished in the Top 3, so the producers still got what they wanted. With great guy singers like Benjamin "Ben" Honeycutt and Bryce Larsen being cut (according to unofficial spoilers at this time), it would appear that Idol is stacking the deck with better girls.
One of the main reasons could lie in the album sales of past Idol champions. Carrie Underwood leads the pack among past champions, and Kelly Clarkson is close behind in total album sales (although Kelly has had more albums). Right behind them is Chris Daughtry, who did not win Idol but is still third on the all-time list among all Idol contestants.
This seems to make some believe that the girl champions are doing better. However, the numbers even out after these three. Indeed, one could argue that only Carrie, Kelly, and Chris have had phenomenal success in record sales. Only Clay Aiken has put out an album that sold more than two million copies (besides those three above). Refer to Wikipedia for these and other American Idol album sales numbers.
Therefore, it seems odd to suggest that Idol really thinks that girls do better than guys. It is no surprise that Carrie and Kelly have produced the biggest albums. Carrie has crossover appeal, which can help sales. And Kelly has arguably some of the best albums of all Idol alums. This is likely not what Idol is thinking.
Idol producers more than likely just want to mix it up after having a guy champion the past two seasons. It is no surprise that David Cook and Kris Allen have not produced better album sales. Even Adam Lambert is just now about to reach Gold Record status and may have problems reaching platinum. Simply put, they don't have the best albums. It has little to nothing to do with gender, and Idol knows that.
But what Idol does know is that some fans may get bored if a guy wins every year. If the aforementioned Ben Honeycutt or Bryce Larsen (or maybe Luke Edgemon) had been put through to the voting rounds, they could all be threats to win. Idol is eliminating threats that could actually win and promoting relatively standard singers like Ashley Mikailah Rodriguez as favorites. Fans can only hope that some of the spoiled contestants are better than expected. There don't seem to be any standout singers, but there may be standout personalities. Only time will tell, but it's disappointing when Idol can't just let the fans decide for themselves.
Kris Allen was picked by the fans even though he was not a favorite of the judges. His album sales have been a disaster. This time, the producers and judges are running the risk of doing the same thing the fans did - pick only contestants that might appeal to fans but don't have any special vocal skills to back it up. With so many good male contestants getting cut, Idol may just get the female version of Kris Allen this season with its risky strategy. And the mistake will be on their hands for cutting so much good talent.