No American Idol Songwriter Competition for 2009

Andy Dehnart at Reality Blurred confirmed with both Fox and with American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi that there will be no American Idol songwriting competition this year. In fact, Andy’s report indicates that Kara herself will be taking on the finale songwriting duties, much like Cathy Dennis did in earlier seasons.

36 responses

  1. JellyRoll1981 Avatar

    Several blogs keep using words like confirmed, official and the best one yet….cancelled. Unlike some of you, I went to Idol’s site and with just a little bit of digging I found this….From the “Mod” Dated April 9 2009….and I quote.

    “There has not been an announcement about the Songwriting Contest. Things posted on non-mainstream media blog sites are unconfirmed rumor at best.”

    I’ve been following this site for quite some time and I’m going to ask this one question. IS YOUR STORY TRUE OR RUMOR? And before you answer I should tell you I also have a blog where I’m doing a post on this subject.

    1. I wouldn’t expect an announcement. They’re just not going to have one this year. Andy has follow-up confirmation from an American Idol publicist.

  2. JellyRoll1981 Avatar

    Sorry Joe but I've paid hard earned money for 2 years in a row to enter this contest ($10.00 each) plus the time and money spent on making my entry. In the 2 years of the contest your site has been the MAIN source of info about this contest and now your telling me (and not Idol) that I shouldn't expect an announcement? Do you know that the last thing Idol has said about this contest was “Ladies and Gentlemen singing the winning song of this years competition your American Idol David Cook goodnight.” They never said the winners name, they never posted the winners name on the official site but they did take America's money with no problem and your site helped them. I'm not some nobody who won't complain, but what I am is someone who will hold your site responsible for helping them do it. So either you tell “Andy” that you want the name of this “publicist” and then you post it or you can expect me to be doing a “story” about this.

    Joe I hope you do the right thing.

    1. So what would happen if you took your entry and used it to build an audience for yourself instead of worrying about a contest that had turned, by most accounts, into a lottery?

      I'm sorry you're so bitter about this. Turn this into an opportunity to refocus your energy.

  3. JellyRoll1981 Avatar

    Hey Joe,
    I'm not bitter…it goes much deeper than that. I'm real mad. But for some reason your not. Why aren't you mad?
    You wrote “So what would happen if you took your entry and used it to build an audience for yourself “. The problem with that is I don't know if I even own the rights to my entry. Do you know? Let me go ahead and answer for you…no you don't. (Please don't say you do know cause I've read the Contestant Agreement and it said that Idol can change it at any time)You also wrote “a contest that had turned, by most accounts, into a lottery”. In what way was this ever a lottery? Because IF IT DID turn into a lottery then I'm pretty sure that would be considered fraud. Am I supposed to just forget this ever happened and go on with my life? Joe I have so many songwriting friends who entered this contest because of sites like yours. This site promoted the contest with such vigor I was starting to think it was owned and operated by Idol. Here's a songwriting tip for you….you might want get on the songwriters side instead of trying to bury this story.

    1. If you read back over the boards and comments from that time, I liked
      that the contest was getting folks inspired to create something. For a
      lot of songwriters, that little bit of external motivation was the
      thing they needed to finally finish that song or that demo.

      If you spent $10 on an entry for a song you already had in the can,
      it's about the same as putting that Hamilton on double-zero in
      Atlantic City. If you spent thousands of dollars creating a demo for
      the contest, then you now have some work product that you can use to
      build an audience.

      I am not a lawyer, but I don't believe anyone from Fox or 19 is going
      to come after you if your song gets huge, based on some oddly worded
      contest rules. And if they did, that would indicate that:

      a) Your song is huge.
      b) You will get lots of free publicity from the lawsuit.

      Life's too short to be mad. Take that energy and build a career out of

  4. JellyRoll1981 Avatar

    I'm glad you were able to inspire us but….
    1. I don't gamble.
    2. There's not much demand for a song that could only be used as “Coronation Song”.
    3. Since when did Idol NOT come after someone if it could get them a dollar?

    So that's it then? Your not even going to pretend to make a half hearted attempt to get to the bottom of this?
    Ok…fine. But I'm very disappointed in your lack of interest for all the people who took your advice.

    1. Did you read my advice?

      Nothing to get to the bottom of. They simply don't want to run a
      contest this year.

  5. JellyRoll1981 Avatar

    Well joe I followed your link and read your advice and the most obvious thing I can say about it is “talk about a little too late”. Every one of the post (4) on advice about songwriting contest were posted either the same day as the voting started for the 2007 Idol Song contest….or the day before the voting ended.

    From you…
    May 2 2007 Songwriting Contest Secrets: Myths and Realities
    May 2 2007 Songwriting Contest Secrets: Entry Fee as Red Flag?
    May 3 2007 Songwriting Contest Secrets: Check Out Your Sponsors
    May 7 2007 Songwriting Contest Secrets: Who’s Really Judging? (part 1)
    May 7 2007 Songwriting Contest Secrets: Who’s Really Judging? (Part 2)

    From Idol…..
    April 17 2007…..Submission phase ends
    May 2 2007……..Online voting commences
    May 8 2007……..Online voting closes
    May 22 2007……The songwriting winner announced on American Idol finale

    Joe I gotta ask….who's side are you on?

    1. I'm on the side of anyone who wants to make a living making music.
      There are plenty of other contests out there, but contests aren't the
      only way you can grow an audience.

      Yes, the American Idol contest was flawed. The promotions for the
      event set a different expectation than the contest delivered. But it
      inspired a lot of folks, and it was way less dodgy than most contests
      out there. It cost less than a movie ticket to enter. Hearing stories
      about folks that have spent thousands of dollars on contest entries
      makes me concerned that they want a short cut to getting famous
      instead of doing the legwork necessary to build a lasting audience.

      There's no contest this year. They may never do another one. Heck, in
      five years, America may be sick and tired of American Idol altogether.
      That doesn't change the equation:

      The only way you're going to make a living making music is by making
      fans — one at a time. Winning a contest can give you a bit of a leg
      up, but you still have to work it.

  6. Hey guys I’m a songwriter also and i stumbled upon this blog trying to find out if there was going to be a songwriting competetion this year. I think American Idol has gotten beyond shady,so I’m not surprised that there wont be one. Y ou know how many great struggling songwriters there are out there. They are beyond tired. One word of advice for you guys. Read the book ‘What Would Google Do” by Jeff Jarvis. Trust me, it will change your life. Take back the power.

  7. And if you want to know what *I* got out of the contest, here's a bulletin board full of folks who shared their entries with each other for critiques and for fellowship. Many of these songwriters developed stronger professional relationships with each other than they would have if they had just waited for something to happen:

  8. JellyRoll1981 Avatar

    Joe this wasn't just “any” contest, this was promoted on national tv on the biggest show. So please stop downplaying it like was nothing special. This was the first time in songwriting history that the winner wins a PLATINUM CD not just some b.s. prize. The only thing that I want now is an explanation.

  9. JellyRoll1981 Avatar

    Well Joe I tried but the link is broken.

    1. Seems to be working fine from here. You can also get to it from the
      “boards” link in the navbar.

  10. UnknownTruthMusic Avatar

    Hi my name is tania I am a songwriter I too entered last year.. they should make an announcement to what is going on ..

  11. BonJoeV Avatar

    Folks – I wouldn't expect an announcement. I entered songs for the past 2 years and ya know what? I got to know a lot of knew people (many from the spinme site), I re-ignited my songwriting which I let go for 15 years AND I learned about an company that publishes independent artists (Tunecore) which led to me releasing my album digitally on Amazon and iTunes.

    NONE of that would have happened had I not submitted songs for the contest for the '07 and '08 American Idol Seasons. Best $20 I ever spent . . . .

    1. Hello, Brandon & BonJoeV

      I agree with both of you, for me the extreme disappointment is that after submitting songs for two years and discovering the same inconsistencies that Brandon did, I started from scratch and wrote a song specifically for and about American Idol. Worked on it day and night and like Brandon invested in a whole lot of equipment that I had to teach myself how to use in order to make broadcast quality Demo's. This is a plus and has taken me somewhere I don't think would be right now otherwise. But I feel it was very inconsiderate for Idol producers to not even announce that there was not going to be a contest this year, to all the contestants they started this venture with, who also happen to be loyal American Idol fans as well. (Huge Oversight I think Idol has become so large that they are starting loose touch with certain aspects of fan base considerations. I wish nothing bad but, remember Star Search? They never saw the beginning of there end. BonJoeV, your story is inspiriting.

  12. My name is Roxanne Redd. I am very disappointed if they are not doing the song writing contest. I finished writing and recording a song a month ago for the contest. It's really a shame to not give us songwriters a chance. Kara is already established and famous…give someone else a chance. Makes me want to stop watching the show. I've been waiting for this for months, and am really let down.

    It's true there are other contests, but this is a very high profile contest….a chance for someone to really be heard. Very disheartening.

  13. Anna Marie Avatar
    Anna Marie

    Wow someone is bitter.
    Hi Joe and thanks for letting us know. I read the article about Kara and think I read that she entered the contest and got a consolation prize of being on an idols album? :O Must be nice, don't recall anyone else getting a consolation prize.
    As for the contest….I'm disappointed that they aren't having it this year, BUT I've made some great friends here and some great connections and I'm glad I found this board.

    Jelly, might I suggest if you want someone to blame you take it to the American Idol Boards. Joe was simply kind enough to let us chat on his forums. He isn't responsible for anything to do with Idol. No reason to blow up at him. Joe barely participated in those discussions. He was only there to take care of unruly chatters and help us out if we had any problems.

    Try their board for complaints

    1. Brandon Avatar

      Hey guys. Hi, Joe. Thanks for everything you do. Here's what bothers me about the songwriting contest's alleged cancellation: two years ago, they advertised it as an opportunity for anyone to make a name for themselves as a songwriter. They even alluded to a middle-aged woman penning the next Billboard hit while sitting on her front porch. This implied that recording quality was of minimal consequence. Idol even said explicitly that this contest is about the song, not the recording. So I toiled away and wrote what I thought was a great song, i recorded it with just vocals and piano on my computer, and then I came to learn that all of the top 20 were of broadcast quality. The same thing happened the following year. This year, I finally took the hint that I needed a broadcast quality song, so I went out and dropped a lot of money on making my song of that top quality and now I'm learning that the contest probably won't even happen this year? I think we were mislead by 19 and Fox, and that's what upsets me.

      1. Brandon,

        I'm totally with you about the gap between what the marketing
        department promised and what the contest actually delivered. I could
        imagine some conversations at Idol asking whether it was really worth
        the hassle or the brand damage to do it again.

        The good news is, you've got a broadcast quality demo. What might you
        be able to do with it to grow your audience?

  14. I want to hear JellyRoll1981 song that was entered. It must be one Hell of a song. Post a link!

    1. JellyRoll1981 Avatar

      Hello grifey,
      No I won't be posting a link. It really doesn't matter if it was “The Greatest Song Ever Written” it never got heard by anyone at Idol. All you have to do it search for….. American Idol songwriting contest ….. And just read.

      I want my money back.

      And to you other songwriters…I'm happy you made some friends, but as far I'm concerned I'm not picking on Joe….It's his name on this post. It's his headline. So I want a name if Joe's going to post a headline like this one, seems fair to me.

      1. Anna Marie Avatar
        Anna Marie

        I guess you didn't read the fine print of the rules when you submitted your song. Good luck getting your money back. Why don't you take your anger and write a song and submit it to another song competition.

        Joe gave you a name where he got the information if you bothered to read it. Obviously you haven't read the article.
        Joe never has nor ever claimed to be associated with American Idol. As I suggested before, take your complaints to American Idol.

        They do have their own boards ! Demand your money back there!

  15. Ah I am bummed that there wont be a contest this year. I had written another song and was hoping to submit it. When I found out that there would not be on competition this year I decided to take the song and put it to a slide show of who i am hoping wins this year Danny Gokey. Please check it out and tell me what you think. Who knows maybe it can be polished and placed somewhere else.

    Anthony Mendizza

  16. Anna Marie Avatar
    Anna Marie

    To quote Joe Taylor's post since Jelly can't read

    “Andy Dehnart at Reality Blurred confirmed with both Fox and with American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi that there will be no American Idol songwriting competition this year. In fact, Andy’s report indicates that Kara herself will be taking on the finale songwriting duties, much like Cathy Dennis did in earlier seasons.”

    He gave you a name. READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE!

    Sorry if that is Angry Joe, she is annoying me by blasting you.

  17. How selfish of Kara. She has more media exposure and the largest bully pulpit of any woman in the industry right now, tied only with Paula. American Idol is, at it's core, about undiscovered talent, and why shouldn't that include songwriting talent.

  18. This is very interesting – I never thought about all the people who took the competition seriously and have never been heard of – I am one of them too. I paid $500 to get a professional singer to sing my song , OK so now I have a polished demo MP3 , but what next ?? We were hoping that Idol would give us access to the next level. Maybe one of their contestants going on the road show would be able to choose from those song's from the 2008 or previous years competition that Idol has a vague copyright on .
    Failing that, how about an Idol spin off ” American Songwriting Idol”

  19. Bruce Avatar

    I have always loved the idea of the contest….but it is true, the quality of the recording is the most important part regardless of the quality of the song. I know that all the songwriters probably think they have written the best song, but I was truly disappointed when my song didn't get into the top twenty. My first song was more or less a ballad…I was going to re enter it this year with a professional recording, and I've also written an upbeat tune which I like, and thought it would different but very applicable to the contest.
    C'est La Vie!
    Wouldn't it be great if all the songwriters who entered get together, and play our songs for each other.
    Possibility? Yes, but probably it won't happen…there certainly is a comradery among composers.

  20. Clement Avatar

    Did you guys HEAR the song (collection of cliche's) that Kara co-wrote with two other “pros”? It has to be one of the most mediocre songs ever written. Both Adam and Chris had difficulty singing it let alone SELLING it. I was thinking “OK, they had to wait to see who the two finalists would be and then they'd write a killer song that would be a perfect vehicle for both.” Though disappointed by the lack of a contest this year, I was actually a bit excitied to hear this “perfect” song written by pros but when I heard it I was like (to quote Randy Jackson) WHAT!!!! Simon commented on the trite content of the song's lyrics and Kara herself was apologetic after Chris' attempt. What was Idol thinking? Oh well, I think its a given that they'll have the contest next season and we'll all be extra prepared!!

  21. Last night was a joke. That song was so lame. A 15 year old in his bedroom could write better lyrics than that. It was a Miley Cyrus ripoff. I'm a songwriter and was looking forward to this as well. I'd probably never try out for Idol, but I would sell a song as a career move, and for the doors it would open from a publishing deal aspect. Oh well. Maybe now with Kara gone next year it will be open again. I heard part of her contract included writing the final song, ouch.

  22. Anna Marie Avatar
    Anna Marie

    WOW that song was horrible. I was told not to write about climbing mountains and wings and such because its all been done before. And that is exactly what that song was. Yuck!
    It would be nice if they did open the contest up again. I made a few good friends here and had fun working with a few people from this board. I did notice that they also did not do Idol Gives Back this year. Just a brief mention of it on the show. Whats up with everything being cut out? Were they trying to spare everyone because of the economy this year?