‘American Idol’ Backlot Talk

Jan 18, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Hello again everybody. We’re here for season six of “American Idol.” We’ll be talking every week to one of the top executive producers. And to talk about the first evening of “American Idol,” we have Ken Warwick, who’s not only executive producer but he also directed the episode last night.
Chuck Ross: As Ryan [Seacrest] said last night, you were in the of land Prince in Minneapolis … and we didn’t find too many princes or princesses or music last night.
Mr. Warwick: Well if you think it was bad there, you wait until you see tonight in Seattle. I think to be honest, there’s not a lot of talent in Seattle and it’s a very funny episode tonight. For me, I have to say tonight’s episode is one of the funniest of the series.
Mr. Ross: That must have come as a surprise because … certainly Seattle is a music hub of some sort.
Mr. Warwick: That’s why we went there. But you know, we’ve been called out before and I guess we’re called out again. But the thing that thrills us obviously is the actual numbers last night, which were absolutely astronomical. So we’re thrilled about that.
Mr. Ross: Well you should be, Ken. I think the reason people continue to come back is you guys do such an incredible job. Last night we started with a woman, Jessica, that did makeovers at the Mall of America … she really thought she could sing well.
Mr. Warwick: Obviously, you only see a small percentage of the amount of kids that come to audition, but there is a huge percentage that genuinely does believe that they’re great; and unfortunately, they’re not.
Mr. Ross: Yeah, she did her thing, of course she cried, and then she was OK. But I did love the boy who said he was the urban Amish. I thought that was a pretty funny line.
Mr. Warwick: Yeah, he was off the wall, wasn’t he? It just goes to prove just when you think you’ve seen the funniest, the weirdest and the most fantastic, and you think you can’t better it, the door will open and then in comes somebody that makes everybody else insignificant.
Mr. Ross: Then after him, we had that very bizarre gentleman, Charles Moody, dressed as Apollo Creed.
Mr. Warwick: I know! And it’s an opera!
Mr. Ross: Exactly. I don’t know what he was thinking.
Mr. Warwick: I’ll be honest with you. How many times do I, do we all, after the auditions say, “What on earth is going on inside their head?”
Mr. Ross: Exactly. And I have to tell you, as a viewer, I was sort of despairing at the beginning of hearing anybody with a decent voice, and then Denise Jackson came on and had a genuine story of being a crack baby and just really knocked it out of the park. It was a beautiful rendition of the Jennifer Holiday song from “Dream Girls.”
Mr. Warwick: She did. And good luck for us. Anyone that’s singing “Dream Girls” for the moment is good luck for us it appears.
Mr. Ross: I’ve been reading on various fan things and I think in other publications that you guys might do a competition for the last song. Do you think that’s actually going to happen?
Mr. Warwick: We’re looking into it at the moment. It will happen, I think. The thing is that we sit around at the end, two or three weeks before the finale, and we listen to the songs that the record company sends us, and invariably go, “Yeah, it’s alright. But it’ll be a No. 1. Of course it will. But it’s not the best song we’ve ever heard.”
So this year we’re actually throwing the competition open to the public to sit down, compose a song, write it, send us in a demo. I think a panel from the record company will actually sit down and listen to the mass that come in and they’ll give us a handful of the best songs, and when we get down to near the end of the series, we’ll probably do a show where … we’ll probably get some of the old Idols to sing them and then America will judge and pick the song from there. So in the end, not only do they pick the singer and the Idol, they pick the song too.
Mr. Ross: I think that’s a marvelous idea, so kudos to you for doing that. I think that’s going to be an added spark this season that everybody’s going to like. Any previews you can give us about what’s going to happen tonight in Seattle?
Mr. Warwick: Just hold on to your seat. It is hysterically funny, I think, and probably one of the best cities we’ve ever visited. For me, it’s a better show than last night.
Mr. Ross: Very good. Well, everybody’s going to be watching and we certainly enjoy it. And we’ll do this again next week with either you or Nigel and we certainly appreciate you give us a talking to and we’ll be following the show very closely again. Thanks so much, Ken. Bye bye.
Mr. Warwick: Bye bye.

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