Pia Toscano album could receive early release, 'Idol' producer says
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/21/2011
Pia Toscano's debut album could end up coming out before that of American Idol's eventual tenth-season winner, according to executive producer Ken Warwick.
"It wouldn't surprise me. That's the nature of the business... and if we've got a rising star that pleases record companies and [Idol's] CKX [parent company] then came on and said, 'They're very marketable now,' then they will try to get records out and try to do what the whole process is -- make a star of that person -- irrespective of when they go out," Warwick told reporters during a Wednesday conference call.
"So, I don't know exactly what the plans for Pia are now, but I know if I was in the record company's seat, I would be looking to get her out [sooner]."
Warwick expressed little concern that the media's continued focus on Toscano -- who was widely considered American Idol's tenth-season frontrunner but was shockingly eliminated from the show earlier this month -- and a potential early release of her debut album could distract the public and jeopardize the success of the show's tenth-season winner.
"We used to [worry about that] in the old days, to be honest. In the old days, it was a concern of ours, but the truth of the matter is, is that as time's gone on, we realize that, really so often, the big star [from an Idol season] doesn't come from the winner. It comes from either the Top 5 or the Top 10, or whatever," Warwick explained.
"It's really kind of unfair to hold someone back just so that we can promote someone else. The kids are so diverse this year that it's very likely the music direction that the winner goes in will very likely be different than the big power ballads that Pia sings. So... we think that they're probably going to be slightly different markets... it doesn't worry us."
However, Warwick also noted that Interscope Records, which took over as Idol's new recording partner this season, and 19 Recordings, the recording arm of the show's 19 Entertainment production company, may also decide to release the tenth-season winner's debut album earlier than previous seasons in order to better capitalize on the show's buzz.
"It might. It depends on who wins and what kind of a backlog of songs there are ready for them to sing, to be honest. It's one of those things I can't really comment on until we get to the end of it, you know?" Warwick said.
Toscano is scheduled to perform on Dancing with the Stars results show next Tuesday -- becoming the first current-season Idol finalist to do so -- but while the shows have dueled for TV ratings supremacy and even aired against each other on Tuesdays until this year, Warwick said the deal was reached quickly and without tension.
"The truth of the matter is, why really shouldn't she? You know? It doesn't affect her, she's out of the competition, it's not unfair in any way, they asked her if she could go, and we had a little conversation, and we said, 'Yes. I think we can do that,' the Idol executive producer added.
"Most of production [staff on Dancing with the Stars] are Brits too, and we've been working long before we came to America. Conrad Green -- who is the executive producer of Dancing with the Stars -- worked with me on World Idol, which we filmed in London years ago. So, we know each other on a personal level. I know that there are, especially in Hollywood, there are these studio barriers that go up and everything, but it's a lot of nonsense. We just have a good ongoing relationship with them."