American Idol winner and runner-up, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez

American Idol Winner and Runner-Up, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez: So, Now What?


So now what indeed? Do these two talented singers have any chance at all to succeed in the music business?

This season’s version of American Idol had the lowest ratings ever in the history of the show. And the Associated Press issued a statement that a decrease in financial payout was in effect for this season’s runner-up, Jessica Sanchez.

With the ratings dip, this all makes a little bit of sense – well, sort of!

Here’s a thought: stop the massive increases in wage at the judges’ table. It’s obscene! If Idol feels it’s necessary to employ star-studded judges, one will suffice. Obviously, having two at the judges tables – Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez – made absolutely no difference whatsoever.

Save your money for the real star and voice of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest. He is arguably the best host of basically anything on television right now and American Idol should count their blessings on their greatest discovery ever – our boy Ryan.

Jessica Sanchez deserves better. She is one of the most gifted singers to grace the American Idol stage and was given little opportunity to showcase the extent of her artistic and vocal capabilities during the course of the show.

And, despite the lower ratings, Phillip Phillips’ new single, “Home” was arguably the best song ever written for a winner since Season 7’s winner, David Cook’s “Time Of Your Life”. It deserves better and should not be buried under the billboard charts. It should be leading the pack.

I worry for these kids, I really do. They deserve so much more. How do you feel? Am I over-reacting? Has American Idol run its course? What changes can be made to revitalize this vocal tradition?

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

29 Responses to “American Idol Winner and Runner-Up, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez: So, Now What?”

  1. Hey MCL

    Hope things are bit calmed down there Timmons.

    My thought is … and this is just a gut feeling here, but I think Jessica will do probably better than a lot of folks from Idol and heres why ….she’s young and throughout her little career pre-Idol, it appears that her parents have been pretty involved right there, not just supporting her, but pushing her for a long time to be a singer. It reminds me so much of Brittney Spears and Beyonce . Its not just their talent, its having some one with their concern working with them in the business to get them from point A to point B. A lot of these other artist come in with nobody helping them, and then sharks all of a sudden latch on and jump in because they see dollar signs for themselves. Jessica seems to already have somebody who has been working with her the whole time. If she didn’t have that I just see her struggling like most to make it. Joshua is older and like most guys probably prefers making his own decision’s about his career . He just seems like a like a guy that really loves what he does and has very little interest in the business end. His parents seem to be very supportive, I don;t see anyone in that picture hwever giving up their livelihood for him to pursue a billion dollar career in the business and because of that I don’t see him getting as far as he could. They both have the potential to become successful in my opinion

    I did have a question though. I asked this a while back but no on responded. There used to be a writing contest for Idol and whoever wrote the beast song, both Idols had to sing it. Does anyone know when they stopped doing that and why? I heard you say “Home” was written for Phillip. Do they still have that contest and was “Home” submitted by a viewer?

    Well Its memorial day and we got to go out and bar-b-q.


  2. Ooops I meant whoever wrote the “best” song.


  3. Well..Did anyone see the link to the new deal the runner up gets. No guaranteed contract.but a deal for singles. Less money up front. Which may or may not yield more longevity than a one cd and then drop them kind of scenario that has been played out before. I think P2 should take every advantage of the next year and bank his earnings and then take advantage of the opportunities for the next few years that his will give him. There are only a few from Idol who have made it very big..Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Adam is doing pretty well..although his first album did not do well..but he still has many opportunities to perform. Some don’t have huge success but are still making a living in music Kelly Pickler, Kris Allen, Jason Castro, David Cook. Idol appears to offer a platform and recognition for a performer..but does not guarantee them huge success..but certainly an opportunity that others don’t have and may spend years attaining.


  4. BrotherKarl, The song “Home” was co-written by Greg Holden who performed this song in Germany to a live audience but never released it as a single. Greg Holden, of course, has a different voice (more range) but the arrangement was essentially the same. This was the only song that Phillip was given. He had no choice of what coronation song to sing. Jessica, however, was handed a list and was left to choose on her own which song she was going to do. I don’t know how many songs were on that list but this was just another way, IMO, of putting her at a tactical disadvantage to make sure that Phillip would be the winner. Little things like this were done to different ones throughout the season. There were last minute song switcheroos, also the comments made by Jimmy Iovine just before people would go on stage in order to shake their confidence, the put downs by the judges and in Erika Van Pelt’s case they talked and talked about the break that she was supposed have in the one song and then the band kept playing and did not incorporate the break and it threw her behind in her timing.

    Who knows the ultimate reason that all of this was done. Maybe this song, “Home”, was what they were trying to promote all along. I don’t know. But what I do know is that when people get frustrated by witnessing all of this and being powerless to do anything about it they do the only thing they can do. Stop watching. If the ratings go down it hits them in their pocket book and that is the only thing that gets their attention.

    Unless they are completely out of touch with their viewers, they knew full well what all the standing ovations for Josh would do. It would turn people against him. Especially if they felt it was undeserved. And then just as evidence that Jimmy Iovine already knows the results before he makes his comments, he tried to make it sound like Josh did a bad job on his performance of “No More Drama” because he knew he was gonna be voted off and wanted to give an explainable reason.

    I don’t remember when the finalists on American Idol sang the same song as a coronation song. I know they did that on “The X Factor UK” a couple of years ago though. I think that is how it should be done myself.

    Now all that said, I have heard everyone say, “Well, Jessica can sing better but Phil is more of an artist and makes everything his own.” Then before everyone found out that “Home” was not an original performance they said the same thing.

    Well the fact that he performed essentially the same arrangement as Holden means that Jessica is truly the only one that had to come up with an actual original arrangement. That to me means that she and not Phillip is the true artist and also has the better voice. The one who should have won is Jessica IMO. Not that I dislike Phillip or want to take anything away from him. But I think everything I have stated here reinforces my argument.

    There is a Migrant’s rights organization that has demanded full disclosure on American Idol’s behalf of the total votes and the breakdown of those votes for the finale. They have cited certain laws and the plain fact that it would be in the best interest of the show for public confidence in their legitimacy. People and organizations are working right now to put the producer’s back against the wall in an effort to make sure everything is done fair and honestly on American Idol. I hope they achieve that goal. They can start by revamping the entire judging panel as MCL has suggested. These kids are going through all of this and it’s really getting to the point where it just isn’t worth it in the long run.


  5. Ok, one more thing, LOL. The music industry’s lucrative value has been dropping for quite a few years. The introduction of the MP3 file has played a big role in this. We now listen to music on our ipod and we download our songs off the internet. That means we can pick and choose our songs one by one. We don’t have to pay 14.99 for a CD with 18 songs just to get one good song. Therefore, they are going with the pay out for the singles instead of offering a contract for recording full albums. In order to sell a full album the artists would have to have 18 number one singles on that album or people are just not going to buy it given their other options.

    The record labels cannot make their money back selling the songs one at a time for .99 cents a piece. Before they would even get close to making a profit something else would come along and top that particular song on the charts.

    It’s almost impossible to keep paying that kind of money to the artists and not ever see a return on their investment. Technology has made it more difficult across the board for companies to make money. Everything is just moving at such a fast pace it’s almost impossible to keep up. You see this in the cell phone industry, music industry, television, computers, automobiles, etc. When you have to keep retooling to keep up with the fast paced technological advancements it costs a lot of money and the profits go down. That’s why they can’t really pay as much to the runner up or the rest of the top 10. Unless one of those performers has a breakout song that just goes gangbusters on the charts and around the world they are not going to have a place in the music industry as their main source of income. That’s just a sad fact but it’s just the way it is in today’s world.


  6. Rosanne, Please do a blog featuring Jessica’s rendition of our National Anthem at our capitol’s Memorial Day celebration.

    She did a great job and this is why she should have been our American Idol this year IMO.

    I guess Phillip should have those kidney stones bronzed and place them on display right beside his trophy. After all they have gotten him everywhere he wanted to go in life so far. Not to mention a much lighter work load than any other contestant. Let’s see, no Ford Music Video shoots, spoon fed his coronation song, and now no media tour after the finale. Wow, he’s got it made!!! Plus he gets a much better contractual opportunity.

    Sorry, but that’s just the way I feel about. Being a former sufferer of kidney stones myself, I don’t think it was ever as bad as they made it out to be. I still wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. For some people it’s probably worse though. IDK.

    Still wishing him the best. He seems to be a fine young man.


  7. Taymaro – you raised so many valid points that it’s hard to know where to start.

    However, the show started to smell bad and fishy when they started the sabotage on DeAndre. It was, in my humble opinion, despicable and, in the end, stupid.

    Can American Idol not figure out how to market and mentor and groom artists beyond the country -fried and popsicle genre? Has the music industry sunk so low – and from your comments I guess they have – that they have lost all sense of creativity and excitement when confronted with innovative talent?

    They have to start taking risks – risks are exciting and bring back viewers. Part of me wishes they would do away with instruments altogether -or at least until, say the Top 6. This way, the singing is front and center and the viewers are less likely to fall into the WGWG syndrome when voting.

    Also, it would force the singers to move and connect more fully with their audience. Engage them in a stronger fashion.

    Then, from Top 6 on – bring out the instruments or have one show with instruments. Whatever. Just, it in the early stages.

    Will check Jessica’s video. Sounds wonderful.


  8. Susan – Idol is indeed a platform but it is presently an uneven platform. These singers should have equal opportunity to showcase their innate artistry and this is certainly not the case. Songs are changed at the last minute, some receive more coaching than others, comments from the judges and Jimmy are totally biased and subjective. The list is endless.


  9. BrotherKarl, If you click on the link at the top, “Masterclass Ladies Articles”, you get a pretty good history of which songs have been performed by the final two. Some years they each sang the same “winners/Idol single” song. Some years they did not. Other than the years that Kara was involved with writing the winners song, they seem to change it up season to season.


  10. BrotherKarl – I don’t know why this songwriting contest was discontinued. Maybe it was too much to process but it would be nice to re-instate it.

    I hope that Jessica’s team will continue to move her further into the arms of the music industry. I see so much potential for her – movies, music, theatre. One can only hope, right?

    All is well, now, in T-town. There is still much work to do on the emergency end, but most people have been allowed to return home. Thank you for your concern.


  11. Sliffrower and MCL

    Thank you SO much for that information. I thought I remembered something like that because once I wrote a song but I never sent it in.

    Getting ready to turn on my set for the wacky AGT!!

    Have a great evening all!!


  12. Tomorrow Phil Phillips will be undergoing his long delayed surgery. Seems he already had 8 surgeries while on the show. Poor guy he must have been incredible pain throughout the entire show. All day I have been sending Phil white healing light and prayers for a quic recovery.


  13. Be well Philip!


  14. Susan, Adam’s second album “Trespassing” is kicking butt. I think he has found himself on this one & I think he will just keep getting better & better. What Adam has going for him is a pretty fanatical fan base (predominantly older straight women – who would have guessed??), many of whom have the ability to travel. Some of his fan base see him as the reincarnation of Elvis. He also appeals to people who are fans of Queen. I love him because of his phenomenal voice and also because he is a born performer.

    I am also disturbed at the tactics employed by TPTB at Idol. They attempted to destroy Siobhan Magnus 3 years ago (she survived & has put out what I think is a very fine first CD). Last year they pushed James Durbin at first and then left him twisting in the wind. They nearly undid Scotty McCreery with the whole last-minute drama of Lauren & her vocal cords. Then this year the pulling of the rug out from under Jessica at the 11th hour. But I guess I will keep watching. I am glad to see Jennifer “I’m just trying to tell you, baby” Lopez go. Tired of seeing her ridiculous wardrobe choices & her boy toy. Good riddance.


  15. No one should feel sorry for the record labels in all of this. It’s the artists who are getting taken to the cleaners. I’ll provide a link for an article about RIAA and how singers like Lyle Lovett,who sold over 4.6M albums never made a dime. It’s called an advance when you sign a contract,and you owe it forever. I feel for any artist who’s
    ever signed a label contract. No wonder Donna Summer was asked what advice to
    give David Cook when he won,and said “Save your money,and get a good lawyer!”


  16. Just out of curiousity,who paid for Phillip Phillips surgeries while he was on AI? The judges are way overpaid and who listens to them anyway! The voters have shown that time and again. Is the voice range so important? Adele does not seem to have that wide a range of a voice but look at how many records she sells. The contest does provide a platform for the artistes to launch their careers and that is a good thing. It also provides an avenue for armchair critics like me to have some fun as long an we not think about the obscene amount that the judges are earning.


  17. Darlene, I am always surprised that MCL does not discuss Adam here. He without question IMO has one of the most incredible voices to come off Idol. Trespassing debuted at #1 in the US and #5 World Wide. That is quite impressive. He had the biggest opening attendance in the History of 6 Flags New England this Sat estimated at 5,000.

    Anyone here who has not picked up Trespassing should. The first half will have you dancing your butt off and the 2nd half is a vocal materclass of some of the most moving songs I have ever heard.

    Adam wrote 11 of the tracks and also was the Exectutive Producer.

    LOL at the Adam fans support. Without question they are the most adept with social media outlets (twitter, facebook, blogs etc) and support. Anyone who dares dis Adam is besieged. But they are not all 40+. He has a decent teen and male following which I believe will grow with this new CD. Just look at the 6 flags photo’s. I went to see Adam at the Casino 2 years ago and it was a very mixed age demographic.


  18. Aubry – I am surprised that I don’t cover Adam nearly enough here. Haha. But I plan to do so very soon. His album has been so successful and I want to jump on this ride as well.

    I was back logged here with the state of emergency in our hometown but that ban has been lifted. The fires are well under control.

    So stay tuned for some Adam love here. He is one of my favorite artists from American Idol.


  19. MCL hope your hometown is fairing well with those horrific fires.

    Glad to read you plan to cover Adam more! I find Adam facinating. His voice is as
    near perfect as any voice I have ever heard.

    I am interested to learn your take on Adam’s voice.


  20. I have nothing against white guys or guys with guitars, but if another won wins yet again, next year, i just think it’s really, really bad for the show. because so many people get discouraged and don’t even bother voting anymore.


  21. Lots of great comments here! I was so happy for Jessica and her appearance at the White House Memorial Tribute. Her singing of the NA was very subtle and controlled. Too bad the concert was termonated because of the storm.

    I think there are multiple causes for lower ratings. Many are discouraged with the manipulations that take place. The voting system is unfair and the best singer often doesn’t win. The panel of judges is inferior to other shows like, “The Sing-Off.” They don’t deserve the money they make, plus they get to promote their career!

    I am also disturbed at the tactics employed by TPTB at Idol. They attempted to destroy Siobhan Magnus 3 years ago (she survived & has put out what I think is a very fine first CD.

    Darlene, we were posting about that at the time. My dislike for Simon Cowell hit an all-time high after the cruel comments he made to Siobhan. The current panel would have loved her and she would have gotten farther into the competition, IMO. I wish I could go to Branson, MO and see her perform!

    LJ, I am not sure what Idol will do with the WGWG situation. I think they will be looking for some African American females. This is the first season that will not have one on tour. Nigel and Ken are well aware of the “problem”!

    MCL, I agree DeAndre was not treated fairly. I thought the large amount of standing “O’s” did hurt Joshua. I have not been happy with most of the “work” the judges have done. I agree, don’t pay the judges so much and let that money go towards the contestants. I hate to see Jessica get cheated out of the money other runner-ups received. This young lady is so talented!

    Adam is the most interesting and entertaining singer to appear on the Idol stage. I hope he will get to sing with Queen when they appear on the closing ceremony of the London Olympics! He’s a wonderful singer!

    Excellent posts, Taymaro!

    (Rosanne, I am happy to hear things are getting better in your town!)


  22. AI needs to change IMO. It needs to become more current, get rid of themes. Or if themes are a must, broaden them like your favorite song, your favorite musical influence. These tired old themes do nothing to help the contestants show the artist they will be or want to be. I believe it is the themes that give the WGWG the edge because of their musicianship they can alter the song to suit them while the pure singer has to sing them as is. Fire the high paid judges and invest that money in a newer song catelog. Stop the insanity of unlimited voting. This gives the edge to the cute guy who amasses a huge voting block off the jump. If you are going to allow text messages allow them from all carriers. It is unfair to only accept AT&T. AT&T was Bell South and a higher % of people in the south have AT&T than anywhere else. Thus southern contestants have the edge.

    As for judges how fun would it be to have one judge being a well know Idol loonie fan. One that those on-line would know. Then how about Roseanne, Jimmy Cantenello, Slezak etc.

    I believe Nigel needs to go. He is the sneakiest or the behind the scene manipulators. I think all finalist MUST have the same face time and footage heading into the voting rounds.

    HAHA heck just hire me!! Due to my love of AI and all my ideas I could get the show back on track or die trying. LOL


  23. Aubry – that information about AT&T is very revealing. I had no idea that it was heavily based in the South. Interesting. And suspicious! Haha

    About the judges – I would honestly rather work behind the scenes, grooming and coaching the singers. That is my forte. Not sit on the judges’ panel – I’ll leave that to you. Lol

    And, truth be told, I have no problems with the present judges per se. They simply needed to be guided in the right direction and not treated as puppets by Nigel and his team. Plus, a wage decrease would be great but won’t happen in a million years.

    Standing “O”s should be reserved for the finest performances. A rarity! A treat! No singer in the universe gets a standing O after each performance. If they did, it would become meaningless, which it did with Joshua.


  24. Joshua received a standing O from the audience on the Live with Kelly show yesterday.


  25. aubry, the “8 surgeries” that phillip had before the show is NOT TRUE according to her gf, hannah blackwell. she tweeted it. it’s just so bad, they used that “health issues” to gain sympathy votes. if he was really sick, they should not have let him join AI in the first place.


  26. Mirabelle, Philip did not need sympathy votes. He probably won the show pillar to post by the looks of the weekly itunes sales charts. No one is close. My fav DeAndre did not even have 1 song chart :(.

    IMO just by looking at Phil you could tell he was ill. I think if he wanted to he could have made more of a big deal about it and milked it and he didn’t.


  27. hi aubry, i wasn’t saying that he wasn’t ill during the whole show. i meant if the gravity of his illness would prevent him from appearing to other engagements like ford commercials, photoshoots etc, then he should have been cut early on. just to make it fair to other contestants…. they really need to make a major revamp next season.


  28. Regarding Phil … You’d be surprised at how many people didn’t know that he was in that bad of condition. They didn’t make a huge deal about it on the show. If it was all just a ploy they could have just went there. All during the show there were people all over the internet asking why Phil was not in some of the shoots and commercials. If everybody knew how ill he was they would have already known. All these statements over the net about him getting “sympathy votes” didn’t start until almost four weeks before the competition was over and to me thats all “sour grapes”. Every time somebody is voted off who somebody likes, everybody starts crying “scam”. Thats just “sour grapes”. As long as their person is there its always “oh they’re finally getting it right” . It gets old. Let it go. Phil definitely wasn’t my favorite, but he won and all I have from him is “congrats”


  29. Exactly, brotherkarl, Philip was not my favorite either. DeAndre was. IMO Phil could have made his severe illness much more known had he wanted to. Instead it was kept
    pretty much hush hush and not many knew.

    I hope Phil has a speedy recovery and that all of this years contestants are presented opportunities to make music.


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