Simon Cowell may insult contestants by saying they belong on Broadway, but Broadway “is laying out the welcome mat” for former contestants, “and with good reason,” the LA Times reports.
Hairspray’s producer Margo Lion says, “‘American Idol’ has certainly brought in audiences — people are dying to see these performers. It brings in a hip factor, just like Disney brought in family audiences.”
American Idol 2‘s Frenchie Davis, American Idol 3‘s Diana DeGarmo, and first season star Tamyra Gray have all had successful Broadway careers. The only flop so far has been Josh Strickland, which may be due to the fact that no one remembers who the hell he is (he apparently was on the second season, although he wasn’t even in the top 24).
In addition, as casting director Bernard Telsey tells the LA Times, the show “has absolutely become a big deal here in terms of finding new talent. Watching this show has become another way to locate incredibly talented people — it’s like a televised open call. I watch it, and certain people on our staff have to watch it. Our inside joke is we root for our favorites to lose so that they can become available to us.”