Home Celebrity X Factor, American Idol, Madonna, Super Bowl: What It All Means

So you’ve read: Simon Cowell has fired everyone at “X Factor” except LA Reid, who’s also the head of Epic Records. Paula Abdul, Nicole Pussy Cat, and Steve Jones (who was not from the Sex Pistols) are all gone. The show had poor ratings and no buzz. It’s time to start over. Even though Reid got a lot of criticism, he has to stay: Epic/Sony is where “X Factor” winners will go to record albums.

Meanwhile, “American Idol” starts featuring Madonna this week. Unless you are totally clueless, you know that “American Idol” is wedded to Jimmy Iovine of Interscope Records. That’s where their winners–like Scotty McCreery–get contracts. Iovine has also signed Madonna for her “MDNA” album. So of course, “AI” will feature teasers for the new album, all sorts of promotions, a Madonna night, you name it.

Everything here is branded. There are no coincidences. Madonna’s album could be her greatest ever or just more post-90s junk. “American Idol” will be pushing it down the throats of their viewers non stop.

Meanwhile, dear Madonna: now, after botching her charity, and never explaining where the money went, she’s announced that she’s building a bunch of schools in Malawi. Listen: there is no available tax filing for Raising Malawi, her Kabbalah-backed charity that reneged on building a “leadership academy” in Malawi already. No one knows what happened to $3.7 million raised at a 2006 celebrity fundraiser in New York. Don’t believe a word of any press released. Kabbalah is still involved.

Meantime, I implore you: Jimmy Iovine is a smart guy. He’s a great record man. But do you know that annually he wrestles control over  who performs at the Super Bowl? Some years he wins, some he loses. Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney were not his choices.  Let’s review, shall we? Last year it was the Black Eyed Peas and Usher. This year it’s Madonna. According to Wikipedia, her set list is “Vogue,” “Ray of Light,” “Music,” and her new single, “Gimme Your Luvin’.” What did you think she was going to sing? “Like a Virgin”? “Masterpiece”?

The Madonna marketing plan is in motion, boys and girls. Let’s hope the music is good. Really. PS I loved Elton John’s bitchy comments about Madonna lip-synching. He is dead on right. What she does, as do many modern performers who must also perform Jack LaLanne calisthenics on stage, is occasionally add live vocals to pre-recorded tracks during shows. All the tracks are pre-recorded before the TV shows. Who doesn’t do this? Performers who simply perform their music– Elton, Billy Joel, Sting, McCartney, Springsteen, Steve Tyler. But all the top 40 krapola stars do it.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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