One of the slogans for the twelfth season of "American Idol" is that it "delivers," an insinuation that other American singing competition reality shows do not. And for the most part, the slogan holds true (with exceptions like Jackie Evancho, Miranda Lambert, and Chris Young). But "Idol" producers weren't simply going to sit on their laurels with just a statement in a promo and be done with it. No, they put it out there in the first five minutes of the audition show on Wednesday evening, Jan. 16, the season premiere. And they started the show's self-promotion with Phillip Phillips singing "Home," the Season 11 winner's coronation song that has nearly topped 3.6 million in sales.
The last "American Idol" winner saw his first album, The World from the Side of the Moon, top the 600,000 in sales mark this last sales week leading into the Season 12 premiere. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on Jan. 9.
"Home" has yet to receive its triple platinum certification but as fast as the song is selling (another 112,000 in the past week, according to Nielsen Soundscan), they might want to wait until it passes the 4x platinum threshold. The song will soon surpass Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats," which currently has a sales total of 3.68 million copies sold to date (and still selling well, truth be told). It has to make a few more sales to match Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," which is the "Idol" alum leader (bestselling single) with 4.02 million copies sold to date (and also still selling well).
According to totals compiled by Brian Mansfield at "Idol Chatter," Season 1 winner Clarkson had the second-best-selling "Idol" alum album going into premiere week. Her Greatest Hits: Chapter One pulled in enough sales to place it at No. 23 on the Billboard 200. Phillips' The World from the Side of the Moon placed at No. 14.
Clarkson's Stronger also made the Billboard 200, slipping in at No. 198. The album went platinum in October and its sales matched its certification a couple weeks ago.
Another "American Idol" season winner, Carrie Underwood (Season 4), posted the nation's No. 40 album with Blown Away, which was awarded platinum status two weeks ahead of Stronger. That hit album crossed the million sales mark at the end of November.
But "Idol" didn't just show its viewers that it delivers winners that become successful. There was also the nods to Season 5's Chris Daughtry, who formed the band Daughtry after getting the boot from the show in fourth place and currently stands as the third-best selling artist (in the US) of all "Idol" alums. There was also a nod to Season 3 seventh-place finisher, Jennifer Hudson, who went on to win an Academy Award for her role in the big screen adaptation of the musical "Dreamgirls."
And the list does not stop there. Adam Lambert, Clay Aiken, Kellie Pickler, Josh Gracin, Casey James, David Archuleta, Mandisa, Constantine Maroulis all have walked upon the "Idol" stage and found success after not winning the grand prize. But then there is Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Jordin Sparks, Scotty McCreery, and David Cook who have won and found platinum success stories to highlight their music careers.
From Clarkson and Underwood's Grammy wins to the most recent trophy capture, Season 10's Lauren Alaina (who won New Artist of the Year at the 2012 American Country Awards), the graduates have been acknowledged by the industry as well.
According to the build-up on the Season 12 premiere, "Idol" finalists and contestants have amassed 371 No. 1 hits across the Billboard charts. They are also responsible for over 200 million record sales.
Not bad for a bunch of unknowns...
"Idol" has reason to stand and proclaim it stands above the "next big thing" singing competition show: It delivers. And unlike those other singing and talent competitions that continue to promise forthcoming superstars, "Idol" has them, has had them since the beginning of the show, and, as Phillip Phillips' charting success indicates, continues to produce them.
"American Idol" launched its twelfth season on Jan. 16 and 17 with New York and Chicago auditions. It airs on Wednesday and Thursdays weekly at 8 p.m. (EST) on Fox Television.