Tell us about your American Idol Songwriter contest entries…

Because I spend much of my time working with performers, it’s really great to see so many songwriters stopping by the site to comment about the American Idol Songwriter entry process.

Here’s a new thread for you to keep the discussion going about your entries, your other songs, and the run up to May’s unveiling of the Top Twenty finalists.

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94 responses

  1. Thank you, Joe–you’re such a gracious host. I hope we’re not breaking your server, having a collective primal scream here.

    To pass the time, we should play a game. How about making a Top Ten List? We could list the top ten reasons the 20 final songs haven’t been announced yet. Like:

    10. Screening process delayed due to the extended candlelight vigil in remembrance of Sanjaya

  2. 9. Simon Cowell is final reviewer and “19 Entertainment” is unable to find 20 songs out of 20,000 that he’ll accept.

  3. Jeffery Cameron Avatar
    Jeffery Cameron

    Our song is called “Until Now”, but at the request of my bandmate, I can not post the mp3 yet. But I am posting our myspace page here and the lyrics below. We have been working on an album called “Uninvolved” and our first completed song, “Love remains” is up on the page currently. Once the voting begins on May 2nd, we will put our song up for everyone to hear.

    Until Now
    By Jeff Cameron & Matt Gurecky
    Copyright 2007

    Until now
    I never thought I’d be the man I am today
    The doubts and fears I held have all but washed away
    And now I see my dreams coming into view
    It’s because of you

    And I thank you for the times you stood beside me
    For all the years I spent afraid and so alone
    My visions nothing more than foolish fantasies
    Until now…

    Before today
    I never placed my faith in a life left to chance
    How was I to know it was my turn to dance?
    Now the time has come to show the world what I can do
    You’ve seen me through

    And I thank you for the times you stood beside me
    For all the years I spent afraid and so alone
    My visions nothing more than childhood memories
    Until now…
    Until now…

    Without you
    I couldn’t see the light of day
    Without you
    I would have never found my way

    (c3 to end)
    And I thank you for the times you stood beside me
    For all the years I spent afraid and so alone
    My visions nothing more than foolish fantasies
    Until now…
    Until now…
    Until now…

  4. I haven’t had much time to interact on this blog, given that my day job has reared its ugly head. But, here on my ramblings in no particular order. My song, “Shining Star”, can be heard at

    On demo quality….

    I’ve entered a few contests with limited success, and the winning tune is always represented with a good quality demo. Its akin to making a work presentation to a large company – if your words and ideas are presented in a professional, creative and fine tuned manner, it tends to go over better with the audience. Same for demos. A good song can get buried and misrepresented by a bad vocal and/or poor quality musical backing. That’s just the way it is. So, with that in mind, I tried to at least (given I only had a day and a half) put forward something of quality, knowing that if I tried to sing it myself, strumming my ol’ 6 six string, I wouldn’t have a snow’s chance in hell.

    On song type…

    Well, I’ve heard that past 3 or 4 songs sung by the winners, so as described in the rules, they are seeking an inspirational, power ballad type ditty that conveys the emotional journey the winner took to finally make it. Any tunes that don’t capture that sentiment probably will be passed over. Also acoustic guitar, bruce springsteen-ish folk numbers won’t be embraced by 19 Entertainment either. I’ve heard a few songs on hear that could make it, given their hook, lyrical strength, and catchy melodies. Good luck – it’d be cool if someone from this blog made the top 20.

    On announcing the final 20…

    No use getting worked up on this one…they won’t let anyone know prior to May 2nd. We’re all in the same boat.

    On writing “Shining Star”…

    I tried to embrace the contest guidelines, and pen something simple, yet powerful, hooky, yet something that allows the vocalist to shine and show their chops. The process was weird for me, as I came up with something close to the hook immediately, then wrote what became the 2nd verse. The chorus/hook was modified by my collorators effectively, and then i struggled to come up with a first verse that would set up my chorus. The bridge came to me 2 days later in the shower. The ending wrote itself, and after 2 word smithing sessions, we layed down the tracks. My pianist over ruled my jazzy ending, which was left on the cutting room floor in favor of a traditonal I, V, IV, I finish.

    Well, back to work…look forward to chatting with you guys.

  5. hi everyone.
    i posted a link to my submission before but haven’t received feedback. i guess everyone things, if I have nothing nice to say….:)
    what i really want to know, though, is if you think they’re really thinking they’re going to listen to all of the songs. I was thinking that perhaps they would narrow down the field just based on the lyrics. So maybe out of the 20K, 50% will be rejected before they’re even heard.
    I think it would be a mistake if they didn’t listen to every song through the chorus but with so many entrants that might be hard unless they can narrow the field somehow.
    That’s my guess anyway.


  6. I have a question…

    What makes everyone think they did’nt start listening to the song entries til After the 17th?

    They started listening and deciding the second they started to receive them. 30K songs is a lot of songs.

    They aboslutely will be notifiying top 20 entries over the next 2 days.

  7. Trish Ireland Avatar
    Trish Ireland

    Two thoughts from little old nobody me:

    1. I’ve noticed that many of the songs run past the 3-4 minute time frame given. I wonder if they’ll use that as a way to dump entries.

    2. I’ve been thinking about the order in which they will display the Top 20 on the voting website. Twenty songs is a lot for the average voter to listen to. Chances of the last song on the list getting heard is a lot less then whoever gets to be first on the list. I think they should make the website so that you are required to listen to all 20 entries before voting. Anything else wouldn’t be fair.

  8. Randal–I agree with you on what they are looking for. I think your tune is a good example. Unfortunately, I have to hope that my tune doesn’t get passed over because of the quality of the recording. This is a first for me and I’m really pleased with the melody and lyrics….unfortunately, I didn’t get a copyright before submitting.

    Ann–I like your idea:

    8. They’re still out spending the entry fee money and will use the ‘eenie-meanie-minie-mo’ system to lock in the top 20 upon their return.

  9. (continuing the Top Ten List)

    8. Repeated use of the phrase, “the road is long” inspired the judges to take an extended road trip.

  10. They most certainly are reviewing and have reviewed entries on a daily basis since this contest has begun.
    I have no fingernails left, wondering if I will get a call or a package that may arrive with some sort of agreement to sign. I do believe AI will be calling or mailing the top 20, as they are currently working on setting up the website for people to vote as well as screening. Can you imagine how many hands are involved in this? Ya know? They really don’t even have to annouce the top 20 to the finalists until 2-3 days before voting begins, if they wanted to. I’m sure the contracts or agreements have already been put into place and all they have to do is put your name on it and have you sign it. And like someone else had said…if you can’t make up your mind in 45 seconds there will be someone else to easily take your place. The ball is totally in AI’s court. Matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they once again, don’t even make announcement this week about the contest, I think they just want to get over this Idol Gives Back first. Just some thoughts to chew on.

  11. You know the funny part? If people WERE contacted already I’ll bet anything they will be in a non-disclosure right off and can’t talk on here about it there’s no way any of us would know ANYWAY!! I guess if May 2 comes and we dont’ get a call it’s back to the drawing board…but it is FUN in the meantime!!!

    love and light and good luck!

    “You’ve Already Won”

  12. 6. Massive Coca-Cola spill shorted out the motherboard, erasing all the entries.

  13. Molly–I really liked your song “Shine”…nice work…wish I had a female voice around to do my vocal.

  14. I think they could talk about it here and maybe even taunt us a little that there song was chosen, but I don’t think it will be one we would be able to listen to until May2nd. I go back to… I don’t think it’s a good idea to post them just yet, ….but I could be wrong and if somebody who has posted their song does get a call all the power to them because they already have a fan base…right? I’m keeping mine low key, just in case. However, I do enjoy listening to everyone’s insight and not so silent prayers. I think the reason why I check this blog so much is because I AM waiting to see if anyone has been selected yet. Cheers to you!

  15. Here is something I thought I would share from the book I’m reading “6 steps to songwriting success”

    “Some of the largest competitions receive 30,000 or more entries. (sound familiar?) Most of these contests have a multitiered screening process to narrow down the contestants, with the finalists being judged by major music industry professionals. Therefore, if your song progresses to the final stages of the competition, it will be listened to by individuals who may be music publishers, A&R reps, record publishers, artists’ managers, or recording artists themselves. An added benefit of entering songwriting contests is that even if your song does’nt win, judges have the opportunity to contact you if they are interested in your song.”

    Jason Blume – Author

    Keywords here are multitiered, so it could very well be there are floor sweepers ….lol listening to our songs and making a pile of what they think is good and then finally someone who is a final decision maker decides if the song moves to the next tier!

    Sounds about right.

    Look at me spending all this time on this messgae board when I should be working on my next song!

  16. Jamie, your right, I mentioned that in an earlier post that the top 20 could know already but have to keep a lid on it. I agree!

    I like the Coca-Cola spill…lol can you imagine…holy crap. At least we would have time to freshen up our material and resubmit huh! 🙂

  17. Top 10 reasons the 20 final songs haven’t been announced yet…

    5. Both of Ann S.’s songs have been selected and they are re-reading their own rules to make sure they can actually do this.

  18. I’ve been lurking on a couple of blogs related to the contest for the past week or so and I just had to post somewhere that Taterix and Tamar’s songs are great. No matter what happens with AI, I hope you guys get them cut by someone.

    Good luck to everyone,

  19. Hi everyone! I have been listening to everyone’s song and have been a bit afraid to post mine and my partners. But, since you all have been so generous to share I feel that it’s time for us to do the same.

    Please feel free to be honest with what you think.

    We went the simple route (piano and vocal) since as my partner put it: “they have people to apply the make-up, lets give them something raw so that they can see exactly what they are working with.

    at any rate, enjoy … or, apply us to the montage 🙂

  20. I wanted to add that my partner’s name is Elizabeth and she stepped in the final hour to not only sing for me, but to also co-write the second title. I feel like we have entered the mega powerball lottery and I’m not a gambler! But hey, this is so exciting I don’t know what I’m going to do after the top 20 is announced if I’m/we’re not there.

  21. Kate-thank you so so much! i really appreciate that. you really made my day!!!!

  22. Thanks for all the great comments — we’re testing a new comment notification tool, so let us know if it works for you!

  23. We heard about the contest and decided to enter.

    We spent one night fleshing out the chord structure and melody. Another day tracking drums, writing lyrics, and roughing in the production.

    My writing partner tracked the enitre song by himself Tuesday afternoon and we uploaded that night.

    Rock on,
    “Without You”

  24. Thanks Kate – You rock!

  25. OK, I’ve been searching for the one song that I think has what it takes to make at least the top 20 since all of us have posted songs. Here is my pick and I hop Ericka doesn’t mind me posting her link here but I found it on another site like this so I’m guessing it’s ok.

    The song is “Someones Yesterday”

    Sounds like a hit to me!

  26. I have been following this blog for the past few days thinking how great it is to “hear” the anticipation of so many songwriters, feeling the excitement of entering a contest with such enormous exposure. I’m pretty sure that I’m an older dude relative to most that have posted on this board, a baby boomer who loves making music. I share your enthusiasm and optimism, as songwriters we all are part of a relatively small group in an enormous world. Of a thousand people that you have met in your lifetime, how many would you guess have been blessed with the ability and perserverence to create music and lyrics, to the extent that they would consider submitting their creation to compete for such a national spotlight as American Idol?

    I’ve been writing and singing as a hobby since I was in college, a long, long time ago. To me it is a sanctuary, a place where I can go and immerse myself away from all of the troubles and challenges that life occasionally dishes out. All of you should be proud for what you have accomplished, and what you have yet to accomplish, music is the perfect media to bridge across all the various personalities, generations, nationalities and idealisms in the world.

    Thanks to each of you for helping me pass the time awaiting the results of this fun opportunity, it’s cool to know how many others out there share this same excitement, hoping and wishing and praying for their shot at success in something they truly love to do!

    Best of luck to each of you!

    I sent in four entries, two of which are in the following link, older songs of mine which seem to fit the theme, “Paint This World” & “I’m A Winner”.

  27. Michael Avatar

    Well, after hearing so many rave reviews I too checked out Tatrix and Tamar (you both are getting loads of listens on your play count now) and I agree with others that there is quite a good chance you should get your songs noticed by an AR rep. I’ll check out some more songs by others in coming days but you sure can bet I’m too self-conscious to stick mine up there just yet!!!!

  28. How would they contact us by mail? I don’t ever remember giving an address…just a phone number and e-mail address. Did any of you give an address?

  29. Hmmm. They haven’t told us the top 20 yet because:

    They outsourced to A and R reps in India who, understandably, are still mourning the loss of Sanjaya. Those in their camp stated that they applied for an extension. 19 Entertainment denied this extension, and rerouted the outsourcing to another country, yet to be disclosed.

    I will continue to update you as the information becomes available.

  30. thanks so much for the positive comments! ultimately when you write, you want people to respond and to listen and that is really what has been soooo damn rewarding! there are many great songs as well…we’ll see what they go for. the songs they choose will be such a great lesson to those of us who are trying to do this for a living. it will really be a telltale clue as to what stood out to an A&R person within one minute of listening.
    contests are fun but this is probably the biggest one I’ve ever entered!

  31. Abigail Avatar

    I’d like some input on HUMBLE ME.. you can hear it at:

    I do bookings for Wes when he’s in California. Don’t know if it’s really American Idol stuff or not –but I do think his songs are amazing! Primarily a bass player I am amazed at his songwriting. What do you all think?

    BTW – I love this group, I have learned something every time I’ve come here. I have enjoyed listening to your music. Abby

  32. I think I just entered a phone number and e-mail addy. I hope you folks are mistaken about the 45-seconds-to-decide thing, ’cause I gave them my home phone number rather than work or my cell.

    Reason #4: Judges still arguing over whether the terms “bad,” “dog,” and “bomb” mean Randy Jackson likes a song or hates it.

  33. #3……..Waiting for Paula’s cocktail of Zannex/Lithium/Oxycontin to wear off so she can sit still long enough to offer up a lucid and coherent critique. (break out your favorite Tolstoy novel, we’re going to be here a while)

  34. If May 2nd is the day the songs appear on the website for voting, I think it’s safe to assume AI folks will need to notify the top twenty by Tues or Weds of this week. They made it clear we’d need to supply the original source material (giving them the chance to equalize levels and clarity for all songs in the top twenty for voting. So, it would seem that they’d need a couple days to make sure they got in touch with the twenty in addition to a day or two for folks to overnight mail their source tape into IDOL.

    So, it would seem unlikely that the top twenty would be notified any later than, say Wednesday, given the fact that you’d think the IDOL staff would want to have all the source tapes in hand by the weekend, so they can get them arranged on the website for voting starting next Tuesday. What do you all think of this logic? lol

    At least we can maintain hope for two more days…

  35. To Drew C above,

    I echo your fond sentiments about this web site, but I will not post my song on line because I believe the show’s producers would prefer a song that came out of nowhere to one that has been around a while. And. My vocal could be better for the first verse and a half.

    I wrote the song with my wife specifically for A.I. and purposely extended its range beyond my comfort zone. If I raised the key for the beginning, the ending sounded strident so we had to choose between alienating them right from the start or disappointing them at the end. Obviously you need to wow them from the start before they skip to the next song, but I as I am sure is said in many a song submission “I had to stay true to myself”. We left it in the lower key.

    All in all we actually had a lot of fun writing the damn song, and fun IS the one thing that money can’t buy.

    My guess is the top 20 will be chosen on Friday.

    Thanks to all for their insights and humor.

  36. Re:ralph,

    I’m glad you like the tune and I’ve enjoyed your honest appraisals.

    I think, looking on past American Idol songs that you might be right – we might be slightly off message though I still think the message is uplifting.

    But I’m looking at two factors that give me hope:

    A Today Show interview with Randy Jackson where he stated a possible theme being “I wouldn’t be here *without you*” – Maybe we’re not a direct hit but my fingers are still crossed we’re close enough.

    Secondly, they are letting average joes submit songs. Some speculate they are looking for more radio play- it’s certtain they are entertaining change. So maybe it’s not a bad thing we’re not putting a bull’s eye on past songs. I feel our entry is radio friendly which I count in the plus column.

    I disagree with you on the genre of the song. The production style is geared more toward rock but I can hear more soaring pop or even country versions of “Without You”.

    It’s rare that a chord structure or melody would restrict genre choice. Lyrics might – e.g. Snoop Dog lyrics ala Polka – but even that would only sound a little odd, not impossible. Most any tune can and often does lend itself to crossing over to other genres.

    Thanks for your insightful commentary, it’s appreciated!

    “Without You”

  37. Taterix:

    I also saw that Today Show interview a while back with Randy Jackson. Was it the one where he was sitting with Meredith Viera in a 50’s hamburger joint and he told Meredith that she and Matt should submit a song? In that interview, Randy said songs written for the contest should contain the words/themes “proud”, “love”, “blessed”, “I coudn’t have done it without you”, etc.

    Guys! He was being sarcastic! Just days before that, Simon Cowell’s comments appeared in an online interview where he was lamenting what Americans would submit. He said you could be sure the songs would contain the same old drool as previous Idol songs, things like “I’m blessed to be proud”, “I’m proud to be blessed”, etc. Randy was chiming in on that and playing with ya!

    They are looking for something different this year. The message is still going to have to somehow tie-in to the “journey” (I hate that word) experience, but not in the usual way.

  38. Hi everyone! I hope this is ok, but I found the following link on another post and I felt that it really needs to be heard here. In my opinion and remember, this only my opinion, this is the song to compare your material to. In all honesty, I have only been able to listen to 2 songs (outside of my own) all the way through and this one here, I listen to frequently! It’s by a very talented Leslie Bowe here’s his “myspace” link and again, mine to follow … no one commented on my tracks 🙂 Leslie’s piece is titled: HERE I AM. It is a great recording and performance and as one of the people from my office said about my piece: “it sounds like real music” again, I hope that Leslie doesn’t mine me sharing his material, but it’s already on other sites and is just incredible … here’s the mark!

  39. #28 Tony,

    Really good song & sound by Erika Harvey…has a good story line. Pray all her dreams come true.

    #31 Sue,

    BTW – I believe when you gave your credit card information you had to give them your address, so I think they do have it, at least I think I remember giving them my address.

    We can critique until the cows come home, but really the only person we have to convince is ourselves. We don’t need to justify or answer to anybody, nor do we need to validate our gift if someone doesn’t agree it doesn’t fit…”Believe in yourself” because when you decide or choose or sometimes even discover that you are a “songwriter” it is a burden of the heart that you can’t escape from…run with that…so whatever happens along the way is just another avenue to reinvent the wheel and share your heart with whoever will listen. Basically, don’t give up if this dream doesn’t come true and like Diana Ross told the top 12…Don’t change yourself for no one!

  40. P.S. If HERE I AM doesn’t make the top 20 … something is wrong! 🙂

  41. Carolyn Avatar

    re: Contacting the Top 20

    I bookmarked the Registration page – The Daytime Phone number we all provided will be used “to get in touch if you make the American Idol Songwriter top 20.”

    So everybody keep their phone lines clear and good luck.

  42. James,
    I find “Here I am” to be boring and narcissistic.It fits the formula, yes, but a totally forgettable melody. God help us if it is in the top 20. I much prefer Taterix’s song to that one. Just my opinion.

  43. I think “Here I am” is a good song and definitely fits the formula, but if they go with that song than they aren’t really achieving anything with this contest because it sounds like that the past idol songs. But at the same time, they would be saving a lot of money this year by going with an “unknown”. who the hell knows what’s going to happen…????
    “Comes Down To Me”
    “On My Own”

  44. Mark L. Avatar

    Group therapy…!!

    Just remember….a million years from now….none of this will matter….ha. Heck….even a hundred years…

    Try not to drink too much or stress out this week….and remember to breathe.

  45. #38 – Joe B

    I pretty much think all of our songs are coming out of nowhere for this, regardless of whether or not they have been around for a while or whether they were written specifically for this competition. I pulled two out of “my attic” because I felt they were suitable, not necessarily my favorites. They probably were my favorites back when I wrote them, I believe that’s fairly typical when you finish something new…..
    “I’m A Winner” “Paint This World”

  46. 2. The judges are still waiting for Sanjaya to return the Immunity Idol.

  47. I found How to Fly to be a great song. It could have had a better performance by someone else singing and better musical production. But, the lyrics and melody have potential to be a song that would showcase a Melinda voice.

    Check it out

  48. Hey everyone,
    Here’s one of my entries in AI: ” You Made Me Feel Again” I wrote this song as a tribute to all of the people who have been inspirational, nurturing and supportive in my life. I regret that I didn’t have the time to write a song specifically for the contest–I am hoping that this one is not too far off from their target. There is actually a reference to singing in the first verse.

  49. Mark L. Avatar


    Hopefully you’ve posted a fantastic #1 reason by now….so we can all recommend you as a writer for the Letterman Show….let alone the AI Top20.

  50. I was thinking why would they want 20 songs that all sound the same. It seems like they would want a variety of songs that deal with their subjece. Then they can use the leftovers for other Idol finalists. So, if we believe this theory then we all have a chance at it. Because even though songs like “Here I Am” are really good and probably what they might want for Melinda or Jordin they will get maybe 15 other songs that are great songs but with a different style.
    Also I agree with whoever said that they will probaly move today and tomorrow towards clearing the top 20 songs with the writers. Well there’s still time to hope for…..

  51. Ralph:

    I was basically judging by what I thought would make the top 20 by what was said on the idol website. I think Tamar is right … who the heck knows what they want. I “feel” they want more of the same. Correction, I think they want more of the same but to have it come from an amateur “american songwriter” voted on by the “american public.” I think that 20 songs is too many for the public to vote for. I think at that stage, just like with the singing idols it comes to popularity and who can muster the most votes?

    Sometimes I feel that it’s a possibility to make the top 20 and other times I feel like it’s a total crap shoot and there is no chance in hell. If I were to be diagnosed by a therapist … they’d prescribe some heavy duty medicine for the severe mood swing 🙂 We need to get this over with already so that I can focus on something else for little.

    I just hate that were all so in the dark! As I often say, being a musician (especially a composer, songwriter or singer) you are so exposed and just there for the pickings. We wear our hearts on our sleeves (you know, in the songs) and we are all looking for a big break to let people hear/know that you can do this. Like I said the other day … dealing with record companies in this “popular” music business is tough. This is the reason I stuck mostly to classical and choral … there is almost a definite listen each time and it’s so much easier to place material. all my pop stuff end up in a drawer with no where to send it.

    as for trying to decide on a tune … it’s hard not to pay attention to the performance and also pay attention to what your personal preference is. Good luck to those A&R guys. I don’t envy them one bit! Not only do they have to listen to all this material, but they can’t submit anything because they work for 19 entertainment. 🙂

  52. Okay my song is posted as well. This board has helped me feel comfortable to come out as a songwriter. Check out: “Stars Don’t Fall”

  53. Carolyn Avatar

    The sad thing is that Season 6 of AI will be remembered for Sanjaya more than they will be whoever wins.

  54. I’m going to be in trouble if I don’t get my work done….I mean the work I get paid for doing! I seem to be obsessing on reading this blog…and listening to these songs. It’s fun. I’m just wondering what will happen to everyone when it’s over. The big let down. With all this anticipation..there’s bound to be a let down. Ugghh.
    No one has heard my song except a 6 year old piano student who showed up for his lesson and wanted to know what I was doing. He liked it!!

  55. Not to upset many of you, but i really think that AI is looking for the next “undiscovered” songwriting talent. as they put it. most of you with a my space link, or any previously released songs or albums out there might not fit that description. Not that they dont want anyone that is currently in the music business, but they did say, “it could be a 50 year old grandmother from tennessee”
    I almost think they want the winner to have very limited music experience. I hope not because that would not be good for most of us!!!!

  56. And the #1 reason that the 20 final songs haven’t been announced yet….

    1. The AI people and AR reps are enjoying reading this discussion and watching us sweat before they finally announce the songs of their 20 best friends and relatives as the top 20, and throw a big party with the quarter mil they collected from us!!

  57. I am rather suspicious of this whole contest. The rules weren’t very detailed. The way they would use the songs wasn’t clear. It sounds like a cash grab when they are instructing people on how to record using windows.

  58. I am just saying that AI is ALWAYS about the “story”. and what is a better story, to introduce to the world on the finale (they did say the winner would be introduced on the finale) a “grandmother” who wrote the lyrics on her “front porch”, as they said, and has never even thought of the music business, or a vocalist/songwriter thats already in an existing band, that has put out albums and gigged regularly over the past few years. think about it…

  59. But I would also think that they would want someone who has been a songwriter and has never been given that break…just like Kelly Clarkson who was trying forever to break into the biz before AI. Personally, I think that’s more important to them. I don’t think they want a grampa who has never written before this contest…it doesn’t make sense. They will want someone who they can possibly work with in the future, maybe someone who has more songs available. That would make sense to me because then that becomes another story of how AI helped a struggling songwriter. If someone that has never written a song before wins this it will be cool, but the story will end there, you know?
    just my little opinion….what do you think?
    “Comes Down To Me”
    “On My Own”

  60. Michael Avatar

    okay seriously, I am dyin here. If anyone gets a call you MUST post it. My attorney in LA says his people have heard to be ready for the weekend. This is a rumor, but they feel there will be a flurry of flights out. For whatever it’s worth, i hope someone here gets in.

  61. you mean this weekend???

  62. Not to pick on you, Meghan, but this is the kind of attitude that I worry about: “It could have had a better performance by someone else singing and better musical production. ”

    This is a songwriting contest, not a song performing contest, and if the people who are posting in this blog can’t even remember that, how can we expect the average American voter to remember that? Let’s face it–those of us with less-than-polished entries are hosed. 🙁

    Ed–exactly. You’ve come up with the perfect #1 to our Top Ten List.

    Next game?

  63. Joe Vee Avatar

    #63 Michael

    Hmm – I may be a good songwriter – or not. But I do have extensive business and marketing experience. And Murphys Law rules. Anyone at AI who waits until this weekend to get moving on finalists – should be fired. I can’t believe that AI would not contact the Top20 by COB today.

    Perhaps I am mistaken in my speculation and you have better intel. What did you mean – by a flurry of flights out?

  64. Phillip Avatar

    For what it’s worth, my thought is that AI may seek to put a little of everything in the Top 20 – experienced writers, yes, and polished demos, yes, but also total amateurs and I do think that a more “amateur” sounding production could even win some votes as it will make people feeling they are cheering for the underdog.

  65. OK….If there are people out there who PRAY…please pray for me. I just went to the bathroom…….got back to my office and I had a call on my cell phone from the 213 area. That’s Los Angeles. That’s the area code they would be calling from. When I try to dial it back….I get fast beeps.
    I’m dying right now.

  66. Ok Ok I admit, I am the grandma sitting on her front porch. I have never written a song before other than one for my daughter’s pre-school class play. I have always written poetry and I have to tell you that I was so inspired to write my song in the hopes that God had a bigger picture painted for my life rather than 50 notebooks of heartwrenching poetry. So…forgive me if I get chosen. Sorry, I just had to get that out… as for days I have been reading this blog feeling guilty if I did win, because I don’t even play an instrument for goodness sake…and comparing myself to all those that have spent many a years fine-tuning their skills for this big break. Alright, now that I’ve come out of the closet, I feel better now. Thanks for the group therapy.
    I wish I knew how to post my song for some feedback. I, like many others, don’t want to open a myspace account because I won’t allow my daughter. Anyhow, this whole thing is so consuming, I almost can’t wait for life to go back to the same old same old and keeping my dreams, just that, my dreams.

  67. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    I’ve been reading your emails with interest the last few days since i discovered this site! I entered two songs; they aren’t posted anywhere-
    if there are truly 25,000 entries then the chances of anyone who is on this site being chosen, is pretty slim also! So we may never actually know when people are notified. I agree they could have been more “up front’ about when winners would be notified, even “during the week of” and also about submitting more than one entry, it wasn’t till we pushed “send” on the first one and saw “send another song.” I went back and re read everything and did find again under some of the “instructions.” In my haste and excitement, i skipped some sections! Like you, I assumed that the twenty songs would be arranged professionally for judging, since that’s what they said! I think like most screenings, they’ll play a verse and a chorus; if they like it, they’ll hear the whole thing and if not…………DELETE! The final songs will then probably go through a committee screening before the final 20 are whittled. In 1997 i won a songwriting contest out of 12,500 entries so i’m here to tell you it can be done! I sure hope the person who said “they don’t want experienced songwriters” is wrong! Most people who enter this are people with some musical or writing background, probably 90%. I think because of what’s at stake, they want a great song that’s going to sell records. But the fact that all of you submittied, we all have a reason to watch, wait and hope! So i’m glad i took the chance and entered. Best of luck, Rosanna Beech

  68. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    NANCY WAS IT FROM L.A??? Yu have my heart doing fast beeps!!!

  69. Mark L. Avatar

    Hello Everyone-

    AI has more than enough money and success….that our combined $250k is peanuts.

    If they find 2 or 3 real rough diamonds….it pays for their time 100x.

    There is no benefit for AI to “burn” or “take advantage” of anyone. Quite the contrary.

    Spend your extra time chillin and listening to The Beatles. If any of you think that Sir Paul would like your song….you are sure to be a Top20.

    All the Best…!!

  70. Joe Vee Avatar

    213 is LA, or Smell-A, depending on your point of view. Good Luck Nancy – it sounds like you got THE call.

  71. Michael Avatar

    Michael, I totally agree. I am in the industry and chances are many of the called finalists will be undoable for a variety of reasons. So, they really are looking for 30 or more. I know most of my contacts expect the calls tomorrow or thursday with finalized decisions by friday. The rumor is that people might be flown out to pitch basically. “What else have you got?” sort of meetings. This does not have to do with finalists per se but more so for prospects. Meaning: “We could sign this writer for one song, but let’s see if we can find those with deep catalogs.”
    The reasoning here is simple 35 million votes. With those kind of numbers, the “songwriting finalists” with albums or singles ready to download, etc. stand to make a killing from the cross promotion. So, there will be a risk/reward assessment. They also really do need songwriters. The whole industry does.

    once again rumors

  72. Yes…it was really from L.A.
    It’s a number that won’t allow you to call back….
    If it WAS them… you think they would try again? Or just move on to the next person….?
    I want to find out who has that number….so at least I would KNOW.

  73. Mark L. Avatar

    Nancy….a great song is a great song. Don’t worry. If it was them…I think they will call you back and email you….a few times.

    Relax…even though it’s hard….ha…..!!

    This is all way too much fun….!!

  74. sorry to ruffle so many feathers. I really hope that someone who has worked hard in the business and paid there dues makes it into the top 20. I was just saying that knowing how AI is, they will probably include a few newbies in the mix, just for the “story” sake. No news yet here on the east coast. good luck everyone.

  75. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    Nancy, if you do not know anyone else in L.A., have no other songs out there or any other “suspect” thing, YES it could be, i imagine they’d have a number you can’t call back! But i think they’d leave a message at least on your cell. If you’re “chosen” i can’t imagine they would move on. I’m sure they make several attempts before they’d give up. keep your cell phone GLUED on!

  76. Nancy, all my hopes. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you.

  77. Joe Vee Avatar

    Be cool Nancy- If you got a call, from American Idol, even if it was them and they never called you back: you have a hit. And if they don’t call you back (which won’t happen – they will), you’ll make more money with the next record exec who hears it.

    So – be cool and great luck to you.

  78. Google reverse phone number lookup. That might help. I just got a call from an unknown number by I guy I didn’t know who knew my name. Imagine my disappointment when it was a recruiter..:( All this talk is making me crazy.

  79. In response to comment 115 by Tamar Berk, I totally agree that the songs that have religious references are unlikely to be among the top 20. There may be perhaps one if the melody and hook are extraordinary. I find many inspirational songs both religious and nonreligious to be boring. I think that Ai will be looking for something unique and many of the inspirational numbers are not unique in my opinion.

  80. Hi, everyone. I’ve really enjoyed listening to all of the songs posted here. I wanted to post ours as well, and to hear your reactions. It’s called “everybody’s got a song to sing,” and it’s upbeat. I know they’ve always had ballads, but we thought it’d be nice to hear something different. We wrote it especially for the contest, and we recorded it at our house. I don’t usually sing this type of material — I’d LOVE to hear a great singer do it — American Idol style! (Wouldn’t we all!) Best of luck to everyone — everyone really DOES have a song to sing!

  81. Nancy,

    Praying for you girl! Please let us know. How cool would that be!!!

  82. “I totally agree that the songs that have religious references are unlikely to be among the top 20. ”

    Ha, yeah, that’s why “Jesus take the wheel” and “Inside your heaven” were a total flops.

  83. Mark L. Avatar

    Nancy….call AT&T….who bought SBC….who took over PacBell….and have that number traced…!!

    I live in SoCal….so I know that AT&T “owns” that area. Perhaps you can track that number and call them back….b4 they call you….which they surely will….if they are AI. They may just be on a late lunch. It’s only 1:37pm here.

  84. Diamond on April 23 posted a song called Diamonds in my Knapsack. It is very original sounding with a nice violin. Only problem is I had trouble hearing the words in the lyric clearly. Was this song professionally demoed ? Who played the violin part? Was this song written specifically for AI? How many other songs have you written. I like the originality.

  85. david v Avatar

    I haven’t posted in in several days but I thought I’d chime in on a few points.
    If the voting is online that means the public will be voting on songs they hear through their computer’s speakers. That further favors songs with good production values.
    Most of us, myself included, experience songwriting as a very personal emotional experience and a contest like this can easily begin to feel like a referendum on our worthiness as songwriters and people. Don’t fall into that trap! I guarantee that most of the best songs of the last 30 years wouldn’t make the top 20 because AI is looking for a very narrow, specific kind of song and lyric. Your ability as a songwriter is not determined by this contest.
    One last thought: For those who don’t make the top 20, it would be nice to know if you were #21 as opposed to #24,421. But you will never know…..

  86. man, this blog is heating up. this is getting furious!!
    Nancy’s close call made me call my wife at home screaming “did you get any calls from (213)?!!”
    Of course she wasnt home!
    If this keeps up, tomorrow is going to be crazy.
    Everyone stay calm, including me!!!

  87. Ironmanbob Avatar

    Anticipation, The best $10.00 I ever spent.

  88. OK guys…lol..we need to settle down. As I said above, it does seem like today or tomorrow would have to be the notification day, but sheesh…If they liked ur song..they’ll call all your numbers and give you a bit of time to respond.

    I’m thinking that this year they might like a song that isn’t so cheezy in terms of lyrics that speak directly to the AI journey, but rather lyrics that could encompass a journey to success like AI and, at the same time, be a song that would be meaningful in general as a radio hit. No one really wants to hear a song specifically about the American Idol contest beyond the finale night. What do you think?

  89. ok guys and gals, its after 5 here in NY, time to head home from work and continue this from my home computer. I guess no news is not good news, or whatever they say. but its still early in LA.
    here’s to someone from this site getting a call soon!

  90. […] In the previous discussion thread, at least one of our readers received a mysterious call from a number in the 213 area code. Whether that’s a real call from the American Idol songwriting contest team or just an errant telemarketing ping, it’s got us all on pins and needles. […]