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'American Idol' smackdown vs. Grammys: Who cares?

May 19, 2009 | 11:49 am

With more than 9,000 voters piping in, Adam Lambert has a substantial lead over Kris Allen (68% vs 32%) in our poll asking this question: Which "American Idol" contestant will win more showbiz awards during their future careers?
 
"This article is ludicrous!" cried a reader in the comments section of one of our "American Idol"-Grammy pieces. "Mr. O'Neil, if your intent was to rile everyone up, then you succeeded," fumes another reader. 

American Idol Kris Allen Adam Lambert 1156f93ca59970c-800wi

Those outcries are typical of many comments by posters furious — or baffled — by us daring to ask such a question. What's the problem? Isn't "American Idol" everyman's equivalent to the Grammys? The TV singing contest purports to tell us what average folk think of these performers. Why can't we compare them to the winners of the industry's Grammy?

On one hand, the pondering might reveal who'll win "Idol." Carrie Underwood is a fine example of someone who's won both contests. She's claimed four Grammys over all, including one of the top four prizes: best new artist.  Maybe Kelly Clarkson too — she's won two Grammys in the pop categories.

However, success at one music contest doesn't necessarily mean payoff at the other. Among "Idol" losers, Jennifer Hudson has not only won a Grammy but an Oscar too. Chris Daughtry's self-titled band hasn't won a Grammy, but it has scored four nominations.

But that's not what has gotten Gold Derby readers so riled up. It's that we had the audacity to ask: Is it possible for Allen to win "Idol" but Lambert to have the most enduring music career as measured by showbiz awards? Scroll through the comments in response and you'll see such outcries as "This is the stupidest article!"

Our posters also popped their cyber-corks when we had the audacity to wonder: Will Adam Lambert turn out to be a loser after winning 'American Idol'? Scroll through the comments section and you'll see this doozy reply: "This is the most biased and ridiculous article I have read all day." Another poster harrumphs in a grammatically challenged way: "You sure got a lot of hate, didn't you?"

While we compare how America's Grammys have fared opposite the music biz's Grammys, it's relevant to explore how the "American Idol" TV show has fared when judged by the TV industry's highest honor: the Emmy.

Answer: not well. "American Idol" keeps winning TV's Nielsen contest. It's not only TV's top-rated reality show, it's the tube's most-watched show, period, but it's lost the Emmy for best reality competition show six times to "Amazing Race." It's also lost 32 other Emmy contests. Its only victories were in crafts categories and, since one of those (best technical direction, 2007) was for the "Idol Gives Back" TV special, that means that the actual weekly TV series has won only one Emmy (best picture editing, 2008).

If you haven't yet voted in at our poll, pipe in here.

RELATED POSTS

Will Adam Lambert turn out to be a loser after winning 'American Idol'?

Kris Allen to win 'American Idol,' but Adam Lambert has best career?

After 'American Idol': Will Adam Lambert or Kris Allen win the most awards?

Photos: Fox TV, Epic Records

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