Lee DeWyze had the distinction of being the worst selling American Idol victor – that is not an escapable fact, period. To sour things even more, season nine was arguably the worst season of the show. Sure Season 12 was pretty bad, but they at least managed to triumph with a solid victor in Candice Glover. As for Mr. DeWyze, he was/is talented, but personally, nothing screamed ‘star’ to me. Yes, I was a Crystal Bowersox fan, but most people could see either artist faced an uphill battle. I took issue with both. I’ll refrain from my sermon though…
How bad were DeWyze’s numbers? Pretty effin’ bad – the ‘he breaks records’ sorta bad. 2010’s Live It Up debuted at no. 19 (a first strike) with a tepid 39,000 copies sold. The no. 19 bow is the lowest for a winner on American Idol. Yes, Kris Allen missed the top ten as well with Kris Allen in 2009 (he bowed at no. 11), but he sold double the amount of albums that DeWyze moved (80,000 copies). To make things even worse, runner-up Crystal Bowersox’s Farmer’s Daughter debuted at a worse peak position (no. 28), but sold more albums than DeWyze @ 58,000 copies (“Crystal Bowersox’s ‘Farmer’s Daughter’ tops Lee DeWyze’s first-week album sales – From Inside the Box – Zap2it”). Basically, DeWyze’s career seemed screwed before it could even truly begin. That’s tough, regardless how you feel about an artist.
Things are better for Idol’s forgotten ‘stepchild’ – at least for now. He is now signed to Vanguard records, and he has a shot to achieve the glory he expected to the first time. The question now is, can he? Talented he was, but DeWyze wasn’t particularly ‘fresh’ or new, nor did he appear to be his own, distinct artist. Bowersox may have lost the battle and struggled with her own career issues, but viewers knew where she stood. For DeWyze, he had the ‘look’ and even a voice, and he sung U2 (“Beautiful Day“), but otherwise, there were missing pieces and plenty of question marks. On new single “Silver Lining“, while there is an ‘identity’, I couldn’t help but thinking this is a variation on say Phillip Phillips‘ “Home“. Sure it’s interesting enough and suits likely where DeWyze sees himself as an artist, but how does/can DeWyze successfully get people to buy into himself?
Can Lee DeWyze become a star? Anything is possible, but the likely answer is NO. Some of the tried-and-true ‘stars’ of today are struggling to sell albums. What is going to make folks support DeWyze at this point, particular since any sheen from his Idol victory has worn completely off. No matter whether “Silver Lining” is good enough or not, the promotion of DeWyze’s new album is going to have to be near-perfect to propel the singer/songwriter to new unseen heights. No disrespect intended, but that seems unlikely.
- Opinion: A Mediocre American Idol Season ‘Got It Right’ – Unbelievable! (brentmusicreviews.com)
- Lee DeWyze Returns to American Idol, Finds “Silver Lining” (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Lee DeWyze Returns to American Idol, Performs “Silver Lining” (VIDEO) (gossipcop.com)
- American Idol Lee DeWyze Marries Jonna Walsh, Video by Stereo Waltz Films (stylemepretty.com)