Can you believe that American Idol has been around for close to twenty years now? Yeah, that’s two decades in total! Has it hit you how quickly time has flown by?
It almost feels like yesterday when we were celebrating the victory of season 1 winner, Kelly Clarkson, who is now one of the biggest pop idols in the music industry.
The singing competition started small but has evolved into an identity of its own. When it first hit the screens in 2002, Paula Abdul was the only judge on the show with true celebrity status.
However, as the competition soared to greater heights, there was a need to bring in even more popular judges.
Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Ellen DeGeneres, and Keith Urban have all served as judges on the show, but it feels like Katy Perry may just be the most popular of all current and former celebrities who have served in that capacity.
Last year, ABC announced that it would be airing American Idol, a shift from the show’s traditional network, Fox.
In a bid to drum up viewership, the show’s producers went all out in search of the perfect judge, and they settled for Katy Perry.
As you may have very well guessed, acquiring the singer’s services couldn’t have come cheap. In fact, it literally cost them an arm and a leg.
Word on the street was that the songstress could only agree to a deal offering her $25 million annually, a figure that Ben Sherwood (ABC’s CEO) had no problem paying.
According to Sherwood, Katy Perry’s presence in the show would garner interest from younger viewers, a target audience that he was very much after.
Unfortunately, her contract meant that the rest of the individuals on the American Idol team would have to agree to a pay cut. Ryan Seacrest (the show’s host) was not all that amused by this eventuality and even threatened to hang up his boots.
When Fox aired the show, Seacrest made approximately $15 million annually, and he couldn’t stomach the fact that ABC wanted to significantly shred his salary. Luckily for him, he managed to negotiate an almost similar deal and continued to earn his cool $15 million.
$25 Million vs $5 Million
Unfortunately for Katy Perry’s fellow judges, they weren’t that lucky. Or were they just content with their paychecks?
Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan’s contracts offer them a mere $5 million each, which is pale in comparison to the $25 million Katy takes home.
Naturally, we are wary that at some point this disparity in pay may bring some tension among the judges.
Although we agree that bigger stars attract more money, who’s saying that Lionel Richie isn’t a legend in his own right? The man is a hotbed of lyrical genius and then some!
All the same, the judges on the show have worked in perfect harmony thus far, and we can only hope that it goes on this way. There may be a catch though.
Katy Perry hasn’t yet finalized a deal for the show’s eighteenth season, and there have been talks that she may be considering a move away from American Idol. How unfortunate.