Competitive Talent Shows Succeed In Creating Lasting Stars

SideHeadShot_HiRes_Color_Daughtry_MichaelWaringAs the new season of American Idol is underway, past winners and contestants are enjoying more fame and popularity than ever imagined thanks to the power of popular competitive talent shows, according to our recent E-Score® consumer survey.

The survey ranked past American Idol winners according to whom respondents think is most talented. Kelly Clarkson and Philip Phillips tied for the number one spot, followed closely by Jordin Sparks and Scotty McCreery. Winning it all on American Idol, however, is not a prerequisite for winning the hearts of America. Several American Idol performers who missed the confetti were ranked just as high, if not higher, than the first place winners. Pia Toscano and Chris Daughtry tied for the most talented non-winners, with scores that were higher than all other contestants.

Even more noteworthy is that the majority of American Idol winners and most popular contestants ranked the same or higher than the average score for all music performers, which includes everyone from Nicki Minaj and Rihanna to Michael Buble and Kenny Chesney.

“What these numbers show us is how an unknown performer can catapult themselves into a successful career as a result of appearing on American Idol or one of the other talent shows,” said Gerry Philpott, president of E-Poll Market Research. “Even with a more crowded field of shows, and shifts in ratings performance, these programs have sustained a powerful launch pad for new talent.”

The full list of American Idol winners and top contestants, and the percentage of survey respondents who believe them to be talented:

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Talent shows have even launched international stars and popular singing groups as a result of the competitive format, with the likes of Susan Boyle (65 percent), Fifth Harmony (60 percent) and One Direction (32 percent) coming from U.K. and U.S. versions of The X Factor.

The survey was conducted among 1,100 persons ages 13+ with general representation across income, age, education and geographic demographics to represent a cross-section of the U.S. population.

E-Score is a product of E-Poll Market Research, a full service consumer research company that provides quantitative and qualitative research to media, entertainment and Fortune 1,000 companies. E-Poll was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Los Angeles. More information is available at

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