Our blogging friends at USA Today have some interesting stats about the American Idol tours following each of the first five seasons.
The first tour, in late 2002, featuring Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini and others after the show became a massive hit, scored five sellouts out of the 30 dates listed, but had 10 others in the 90 percent-plus zone. Thanks in part to the novelty factor, it did generally very well. There were only a couple of glaring lows, seen in Nashville and East Rutherford, N.J. -- a bit surprising from the New York City market.
The second tour, coming in July-August 2003, starring Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken (pictured), Kimberley Locke & Co., scoredmore sellouts (17 out of 39 dates), but had only a couple more shows hit the 90 percent-and-above range. A bunch fell between 40-80 percent capacity, including a pretty bad run in which the tour attracted 55 percent capacity in Dallas, 52 percent in Houston and 48 percent in Oklahoma City.
That's nowhere near the lows that the '04 tour hit (a 27 percent capacity show in Indianapolis should tell the story), but overall, it looks as if the '03 tour didn't do quite as well on average as the first tour, or at least had a lot more lows.
Which was a little bit surprising, since it had Clay, one of the most popular Idols in the show's five seasons.The 2005 tour did far better, with 11 sellouts out of 29 dates, and eight more in the 90s, but there were still a few stragglers, including a 62.2 percent turnout in San Antonio. Clearly, the 2006 tour is the biggest box-office hit among the three.
Yes, this year's American Idols Live! tour is in superb health -- even with starlet runner-up Katharine McPhee battling myriad injuries. Billboard confirms that of the first 23 concerts, 17 were sellouts. Stronger than ever! Five others were in the high 90s (95 percent and up).
As for current sales of singles from this year's American Idol cast, not much to add this week. Taylor Hicks still has the No. 1 single in the nation, but watched sales slip to 6,300 copies, down from 8,500 last week. "Do I Make You Proud" has sold 423,000 units to date. Katharine came in second again this week with 4,700 sales, down from 6,300, and rose total of 122,000.
On the digital front, Taylor added 2,000 more for "Do I Make You Proud" and 600 more for "Takin' It to the Streets," bringing them up to 116,000 and 70,000 respectively, or a combined total of 186,000 downloads. Adding that figure to his single sales gives him 609,000 unit sales to date.
Katharine notched up 1,800 more downloads for "Rainbow" and another 1,000 for "My Destiny," which are now at 69,000 and 48,000, respectively, for a digital total of 117,000. All-McPhee total? 239,000. Not shabby for the 22-year-old California cutie, although she still has a ways to go to match Clay in terms of sales from runners-up.
For more sales figures from American Idol contestants, past and present, check out this column by one of AIW's contributor.