Debut singles from 'Idol' finalists Fantasia Barrino and Diana DeGarmo pushed back a week
By Wade Paulsen, 06/04/2004
Looks like the American Idol 3 recording sessions are taking longer than RCA Music Group chairman and CEO Clive Davis expected.
Late last night, J Records changed the date of Idol 3 winner Fantasia Barrino's debut single from June 15 to June 22. The single will feature Fantasia's recording of 'I Believe,' the song (co-written by Idol 1 finalist Tamyra Gray) promised to the Idol winner, along with Fantasia's covers of the George Gershwin classic 'Summertime' from the folk opera Porgy & Bess (which she performed twice on Idol 3) and 'Chain of Fools' (from the Idol 3 finalist CD Greatest Soul Classics).
At the same time, the "upcoming releases" list on the RCA Records website was changed to move the release date of runner-up DIana DeGarmo's single, still unidentified, from June 22 to June 29, preserving the one-week gap between the singles' releases.
Since we do not believe that a delay in Diana's recording sessions would necessitate a delay in Fantasia's single as well, we can only conclude that Fantasia's sessions are behind schedule. However, since all of 'I Believe' -- including lead vocals by both Fantasia and Diana -- was recorded PRIOR to the finale, it's unclear what could have caused such a delay.
Therefore, given the absence of a public explanation as to the the reason for the delays, all we can do right now is speculate. For example: has Clive decided to junk the original recording of 'I Believe,' a song already characterized by the New York Times as "hokey" ... or to work up yet another new arrangement of 'Summertime,' which is actually a lullaby in Porgy & Bess but has already been recorded by artists ranging from soul legend Ray Charles to British roots rockers Dave Edmunds & Love Sculpture?
Meanwhile, AT&T announced that it received 13.5 million text message votes during the run of Idol 3, including an undisclosed record number of text message votes during the finale (surpassing the 2.5 million text votes cast during the Idol 2 finale). All we can say is that this just confirms our suspicions about the reasons for the chaos on the toll-free voting lines.
We also wonder, considering that the number of text votes cast was much greater than Fantasia's 1.3 million vote margin of victory, whether the distribution of the text votes and the distribution of the voice votes were similar. But we doubt we'll learn the answer from the producers of Idol anytime soon.