‘American Idol’ airplay notes: Phillip Phillips, Adam Lambert, and more

What’s going on?

Want to know what’s going on when it comes to songs from former “American Idol” stars? In this special edition of our notes, we are going to take a look at what seems to be a rather frustrating trend right now in songs not picking up the sort of radio airplay that you would expect.

If you take a look at the Mediabase Hot AC chart, there are six former contestants who were in the top 40 of the list. One of them in Kelly Clarkson who has been proven to be an airplay superstar, and it’s thus no surprise to see that her new single “Darkside” is doing incredibly well; meanwhile, Phillip Phillips’ “Home” is rising fast thanks to him still being on viewers’ minds, in addition to having what may be the best coronation song in the show’s history.

Unfortunately, things aren’t going so well for the other four. Despite having the best pop album ever by an “American Idol” alum, songs from Adam Lambert‘s “Trespassing” just aren’t finding a place on the radio.  Both “Better Than I Know Myself” and now “Never Close Our Eyes” failed to make a big splash, and this is even with his devoted fanbase calling in and making requests. What’s happening? It may be partially a symptom of most of the “Trespassing” songs working best as an album rather than individual singles, or that there’s just so much saturation when it comes to adult pop music at the moment. We hate to say it, but Adam also constantly faces an uphill battle with every single thanks to some more conservative radio stations who may be less inclined to pick up his music for some rather unfortunate reasons. (We first saw this happen with “If I Had You” a couple of years ago.) The good news for Adam is that his music fares better internationally than just about any other “American Idol” star out there, and his star power is not so frighteningly tied to just getting spins on American radio.

As for Adam’s fellow season 8 alum in Kris Allen and season 10’s Haley Reinhart, the problem seems to be promotion. If the label is not getting you on every major talk show in the country, you’re not going to make an imprint unless your song turns out to be so ridiculously catchy that is spreads like earworms around the country. “The Vision of Love” and “Free” are both great songs, but they don’t have the instant hook of a “Canadian Idol” alum in Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” or an established fanbase outside of people who watched them on the show. How tough a road is it for non-Kelly Clarkson singers on this mainstream chart? Even Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl” is on the decline, and she’s had trouble getting that much-desired crossover hit ever since “Before He Cheats” took off. (Granted, all of her awards and airplay on country radio probably don’t keep her up too late at night.)

Why do you think that former “American Idol” stars are struggling at the moment to deliver huge radio smashes, especially when you think that the music is good enough to merit it? Make sure to sound off in the comment box below and have your opinion heard.

Looking for more “American Idol” updates?  Be sure to check out some of our other featured stories on your favorite singers HERE.

Photo: Fox

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