Have you tuned into American Idol this season? If so then you have witnessed the brilliant marketing of an up-and-coming star. More importantly you have witnessed American Idol sit in the wings watching as this 18-year-old dominants the competition, blows away the judges and personally builds her brands.
I am talking about Angie Miller.
Disclaimer: I haven’t watch “Idol” in a few seasons so there could very well be another who has done something similar. This is the first time I have witnessed this and it is brilliant!
Idol is now in its 12th season, spewing out many stars in its reign on reality TV. You don’t even have to win the season to make it big (Jennifer Hudson); you just have to have the look, talent and connections to make it to the top 10. If it is meant to be, it will be. However, besides these top 3 qualities a star needs, there is one more. That is their unique selling proposition (USP). We often hear about USPs in marketing – the selling feature that sets your product or service apart from the rest.
As American Idol has become more popular and attracts a larger audience of singers, an artist needs to find that balance between, having the look, skills, personality and ability to “pop” (USP) out from the competition.
The top 10 were announced this past week and there is some serious talent on the stage. My prediction for top 5 is Amber Holcome, Angie Miller, Candice Glover, Devin Velez and Lazaro Arbos. The reason I choose these 5 is because they each have a USP(s) that makes them stand out from the other contestants. These are qualities that the audience and judges can identify with.
- Amber Holcome could be the next Whitney Housten; she even sings Whitney’s songs flawlessly.
- Candice Glover is similar to Mary J Blige with an outstanding vocal range.
- Devin is very personable, has the diversity factor and a strong voice.
- Lazaro has the underdog component. He suffers from a stuttering problem so intense that he cannot speak in complete sentences. However when he sings it’s like someone has taken over his body.
You may have noticed I skipped over Angie and there is a reason. She is the only one with the most unique selling proposition and that is she the complete package. She writes her own music, plays the piano and doesn’t have an issue deconstructing others’ songs and puts her own spin on them.
In her audition round, Angie sang Jessie J’s “Mama Knows Best” with a soulful twist. As she has progressed through the competition Angie has taken her soulful style, sit-down-at-the-piano-approach and applies it to modern songs that her audience (judges and viewers) will know.
During Hollywood week Angie had a trick up her sleeve. She made a ballsy move during the knockout rounds. Right after Angie was picked from the group auditions, Angie sat down at the piano for her solo performance and sang an original song that she had written and composed.
This resulted in a standing ovation from the judges and fellow contestants. Now, aspiring artists are covering her song and it hasn’t even been recorded yet. A Google search for “Angie Miller You Set Me Free” comes back with 2,730,000 results, just weeks after it aired on television.
Keith Urban said it this past week, Angie has the complete package; she just needs the contract to put her on her way. This past week, she sang “Never Gone,” a song written and performed by American Idol Alum, Colton Dixon. What is ironic about this song is that Dixon performed his original song live on the American Idol tour, something that has been undone up to this point. (Billboard.com) Looks like Angie is taking a page out of Colton’s book. By choosing Colton’s song, she pays homage to an Alum who has laid the path to be successful. An intelligent move on her part by choosing a song and artist that helps her audience visualize her success.
There are many reasons why Angie is so successful and is going to take this competition. Here are my top 5.
- She is making big moves early and blowing the competition away.
- She has her own style; she looks like a pop star, acts like a pop star and her voice is uniquely different from the rest.
- She is confident and isn’t afraid to take a risk.
- She knows her audience. Angie consistently presents something different to the judges and the viewing audience. On numerous occasions the four judges said they would go out and buy that song right now if it were available.
- She is a combination of the top 5 I listed above; she doesn’t need to imitate a pop star because she has established her own USP and already is one. She isn’t as diverse as the other contestants, however she would bring diversity to the last slew of winner to come through – the last female to win Idol was Jordin Sparks in season 6 and the last white female was Carrie Underwood in season 4. Finally, she could rally Lazaro’s speech impediment with her own hearing loss; she has 40% hearing loss in her left year and 20% in her right ear. (Wikipedia.org, YouTube.com)
There is no doubt Angie will have a music career after this season, winner or not. She has done a magnificent job laying the groundwork to becoming a star. Tune into American Idol to watch Angie soar!
File Under: “A star is born”