Where Has All the Talent Gone?

I engaged in a brief e-mail chat with a friend this morning about Pia Toscano (AI diva that was voted out in ninth place this year) and her new Interscope Records deal.  I’m still a bit “meh” on her.  She has a pretty voice, but – dare I say from the performances I watched – no depth of performance soul.  Someone who can hit the ballad notes so she leans back her head with no effort and does it.  Boring.

I think her success will depend on how catchy the beats are for her diva songs.  As you know these days, it is all about the studio magic and hit name producers.  She might get lucky if she has a solid production like Mariah’s “Emancipation of Mimi,” which was actually pretty good thanks to a great producer (Jermaine Dupri) hitting with modern music that fit the times and her voice.  Pia’s team will need to keep the sound modern, fresh and young.  If they layer in some Celine Dion-ish drab stuff, it will be too scattered and forgettable.

I also figure Pia has a better chance than top two finalists Lauren and Scotty because at least she had positive buzz coming out of the show.  We are a few months out from the AI finale and I haven’t heard a peep from either finalist.  Does anyone know if either has a single out yet? 

This points out the argument that while Idol is still a big show in terms of viewership and voting (thanks to the unlimited system), it is dead in terms of people valuing the participants and winners.  This is now especially true with people from other shows like America’s Got Talent doing so well (last year’s Jackie Evancho).  Post The Voice and in anticipation of The X Factor, I think AI’s relevance will be even more challenged.

So I ask, where has all the talent gone?  I’m talking about people you can count on for putting out a solid disc and/or giving a great live performance.   Do you think the talent is still there, but woefully undiscovered due to the mass marketing of record industry darlings? 

Flickr image by Daehyun Park

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