The fallout following the “surprise elimination” of contestant Pia Toscano seems to go unabated with “American Idol” bloggers having a field day. But, honestly, the young lady will be fine and, from what I know to be true, she has already been offered “two-and-a-half” recording deals.

In fact, she’s already out there and making a bigger name for herself than anyone still IN the show.

She’ll then go on the Idol Tour and as long as she keeps away from being produced into mush by David Foster- the mushmeister himself- and becomes another Katherine McPhee Fi Fo Fum, she will be fine- no superstar- but a recording artist with an Okay singing career.

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What is far more interesting- to me, anyway- is the “show” behind the show and which involves the two Simons- Fuller and Cowell- and with me being firmly with Camp Fuller. It’s like Twilight meets Cain and Abel.

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Once friends, today, Simon Fuller’s “Idol” franchise competes directly with Simon Cowell’s “X Factor” intellectual property for ratings, sponsors and headlines- AND they compete for “names” and “bragging rights”. It’s fascinating stuff and, often, pretty funny.

So, while Cowell carries on trotting out names as possible judges for his show- the “big name” mentioned last week was Fergie- and which was taking up headlines, “American Idol” put an end to any of that with the “drama” surrounding the elimination of the lovely and talented Ms Toscano. Same with Casey Abrams’ “save”.

It’s marketing and competitive PR 101: Head off the enemy at the pass and kill off their stories.

It all comes down to EVERYTHING personal, and Big Business ALL of which is played behind the scenes and would make for much more interesting viewing.

As I keep saying about Steven Tyler, he gets it that, right now, anyone who is part of the Idol Tour is a winner and whoever the OUTRIGHT winner is does not matter.

Think about it: Last season, Lee Dewyze “beat out” Crystal Bowersox and Casey James. And then what? Okay, okay, finally Casey James has some new music out. Great. And then and now what? 

Someone else “beat” Adam Lambert the season before and so what? Apart from Lambert, where ARE these people today- and from a worldwide perspective? From what I know, most keep touring Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia. 

They are not “pawns” in that great big circle of ratings and Big Business life, but they ARE bit players in an almost Shakespearean play.

How all this will end and will “X Factor” trump “American Idol”, who knows? I hope not, but, already, those who never made the “cut” on “Idol” this season have been shown going berserk trying to audition for the Cowell show.

As long as there are contestants, there will be a show and as long as there is enough “drama” to create “good television”, there will be ratings and which will bring in the advertisers.

When one sits back and looks at it, the media landscape in America is made up of that wily coyote that is Rupert Murdoch, the two Simons and the horribly boring Piers Morgan. Each have taken over a huge segment of American television- one Aussie and three Brits- and all not interested in attracting “niche markets”.

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There is no money in being “niche”. They all go for “Mainstream America” and give this audience what they want and need- whatever that may be. And before this, they supply the media with carefully crafted soundbites and ear candy. 

A group of us were talking about this need to appeal to “Mainstream America” over dinner this week and what was clear is how many believe the one contestant who will come out best outta this season’s AI to be “Scotty” McCreery. He’s played “the Country card” said one and “they love him- 16-years-old white kid with a great deep voice and who is clean-cut”. “Clean-cut”: This was the term that kept coming up: “Clean-cut contestants” and with “time on their side”.

So while this aforementioned group of media power brokers stay with programming which appeals to “mainstream America”, let’s not forget Ryan Seacrest and how much of this pie he is taking.

Seacrest is much more than “the host of American Idol”. Remember when the show had TWO hosts? Remember the name of the other guy? Neither do I.

But Ryan Seacrest has hung on and parlayed the host gig by carving a HUGE new business for himself which includes his syndicated radio show- and which was recently offered to Asia- plus his production house and which has under its roster, all the shows featuring the Kardashians and other crassly commercial “reality” shows and which has made beautiful or rich people “television famous” for being famous.

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His company also produced “Complicated” featuring Denise Richards, the Castineau Girls etc and Ryan Seacrest has become the young and new Mark Burnett and, elevator shoes or not, a VERY smart man. 

So while many still write about and interview Pia Toscano and wonder who will win “American Idol” and if Fergie will be a judge on “X Factor”, like Mark Zuckerberg who has used almost the world to fill up his empty “space” called Facebook- for free- with words and pictures and music etc, we continue to “work” to make other people’s big businesses bigger and appear to be far more relevant than they are.

Perhaps it’s time to look at all that is “given”- or all that is manipulated and spun- with fresh eyes and fresh mindsets? And, like those who now only know how to “speak” Google, not to believe everything one reads, nor take most things at face value.                         

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