Producers said American Idol‘s songwriting contest was “on the back burner” as recently as two weeks ago, but after a lot of feet-dragging, it has finally been announced. The winner’s song will be performed by the two finalists and released as their first single.
Submissions are due April 17; entries will be narrowed to 20 by “a team headed by Idol creator Simon Fuller,” and then voting will take place online staring on May 2 for one week. After the winner’s song is chosen by viewers, “a record producer will arrange and produce the song for the Idol finalists, possibly consulting with the songwriter, who will get a one-song, standard deal with 19″ Entertainment, USA TODAY reports.
Individuals or groups who are “18 and up with no exclusive publishing deals” can submit entries. 19′s Iain Pirie tells the paper, “It could be anyone. It could be someone sitting on their porch in Tennessee, or they could be playing in a bar band in Seattle. You can literally imagine a 50-year-old mom sitting in her living room with a portable keyboard, coming up with a great song.”
As of this morning, the contest’s web site only has a trailer and a box to collect e.mail addresses. The paper says that “one online vote per fan” will be allowed.