The 11th American Idol Live! tour begins July 6 in Detroit, Michigan and ends Sept. 11 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The trek stars the 10 finalists from season 11 of the Fox television network’s popular singing competition, American Idol. This year the ten finalists are Colton Dixon, DeAndre Brackensick, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Heejun Han, Hollie Cavanagh, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips, and Skylar Laine. If you have American Idol tickets expect a song, or a medley, from each singer and at least one group number.
Anyone of the aforementioned singers could go on to have big time careers like their fellow A.I. alums: Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, and Chris Daughtry. American Idol is definitely the preeminent talent contest in the world but it’s not the only one. Below, Land of Punt looks at other popular artists that have gotten their start, or participated in, musical competitions other than American Idol.
It’s hard to believe that Andrea Bocelli would ever need to enter a singing competition. Of course, the competition he entered was a bit classier than those judged by Steven Tyler or Howard Stern. In 1994, Bocelli entered the Sanremo Festival’s music competition and won the newcomers section with record high scores. All he’s really done since is sell 75 million albums and become the best-selling artist in the history of classical music.
Girls Aloud was fairly silent in the United States but the all-female quintet put together a nice run in their native Great Britain. Over there, G.A. placed 20 consecutive singles inside the top 20, were nominated for five Brit Awards, and saw all of their albums certified platinum. All this success came after being created on the British television show, Popstars The Rivals in 2002.
Il Volo, the teen version of Il Divo, formed in 2009 after meeting on the set of an Italian music competition television show called “Ti lascio una canzone” (yes, it’s in my Netflix queue). They sang together during the competition and enjoyed it so much that they continued performing as a group after the show ended.
Katrina and the Waves
Long after their successes of the mid-1980s, Katrina and the Waves scored a major victory by winning the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest. Their champion song was “Love Shine a Light.” More than a decade after “Walking on Sunshine” went to number eight on the U.K. charts, “Love Shine a Light” peaked at number three.
Highlights of the American Idols Live! Tour –
July 7 – American Idols Live plays the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois
July 23 – American Idols visit Los Angeles California for a show at the Nokia Theatre Live
July 26 – San Diego, California hosts American Idols Live at the Valley View Casino
Aug. 2 – American Idols Live tickets for Orlando, Florida
Aug. 21 – American Idols Live comes to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the Wells Fargo Center
Sept. 2 – Mohegan Sun Arena welcomes the American Idol finalists to Uncasville, Connecticut
Sept 7 – American Idols Live! in Atlantic City, New Jersey
In 2006, Leona Lewis won the third season (excuse me, they’re called “series” in the U.K.) of the British television show, The X-Factor. She has followed her victory with three Grammy nominations, being named “Top New Artist” by Billboard magazine, and performing with Jimmy Page at the 2008 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.
Scottish singer Lulu broke into the music business long before “Idols,” “Factors,” and “Got Talents” were around. However, she did represent the United Kingdom in the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest. She won the competition singing the dreadful “Boom Bang-a-Bang.” We should probably mention that Lulu was a big star even before entering the contest.
Amazingly, One Direction finished third in the seventh series of the British X-Factor. It’s ”amazing” because their debut album, Up All Night, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. That made 1D the first UK group to have their first album debut at the top of the charts in the United States. It’s a feat that the Beatles didn’t even accomplish.
Paul Potts may not have had the success of the other performers on our list but the tenor does have one really big feather in his cap, he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Potts won the first series of Britain’s Got Talent and his 2007 debut album went to number one in the U.K. and number 23 in the States.
Sons of Sylvia
Sons of Sylvia are a family act featuring the three Clark brothers; Adam, Ashley, and Austin. Originally performing as The Clark Family Experience (what an awful name) they won the hideous Fox show The Next Great American Band in 2007. Since then they’ve played with Carrie Underwood and worked with Ryan Tedder, who just happens to be their cousin.
Thank heavens for television talent shows. If it wasn’t for them the world may have never known Susan Boyle. She was 48 years old when she sang “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent. The juxtaposition of her lovely voice and frumpy appearance made it was one of the most shocking moments in TV history.