The cost of being on 'American Idol'
Turning idolatry into a sustainable career
With each season, it becomes increasingly difficult to sustain an "Idol" launch for the simple reason that there are more Idols in the marketplace. The challenge has become even greater with "The X Factor" and "The Voice" having joined the mix of singing contestants.
How do you keep the idolatry alive? Take notes from Phil Stacey, a country singer from the sixth season who had his ducks in a row long before the confetti fell.
"He came off the tour and he started playing shows in a circuit based in Nashville and really built a following," says Rushfield. "He began to sell albums out of there and record companies signed him based on that."
The takeaway: Build your base from home rather than chase the Hollywood dream.
"It becomes a real regional thing," says Rushfield. "If they're just focused on Hollywood, they're coming into a world where there are now 100 former Idols and a lot of competition. But out where they came from, there are a lot of people who want to see music and the 'Idol' name means something. If they harness that, they can get a lot going."