'AMERICAN IDOL' GETS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

What Everyone Is Talking About Today

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Whether or not Fox’s “American Idol 5” tonight tops its 35.5 million debut, there’s one place Fox has managed to get up close and personal with fans: online. This year, the “American Idol” Web site has been retooled to include an area where users can create profiles and become members of the Idol family through MyIdol.
American Idol draws them in online too.

John Trimble, senior VP of Fox Interactive Media Sales, reports that within 20 minutes of the site going live on Jan. 5, more than 6,000 people had signed up for the MyIdol community. During the show’s premiere Jan. 17, more than 100,000 community users were online while watching the show.

Part of the reason for the multitasking may be the addition of hundreds of behind-the-scene photos from the auditions in the various cities around the country. Almost none of those pictures are of people who were actually singing in front of judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul. With hundreds of thousands of wannabes camping out to take a chance at becoming this year’s Kelly Clarkson, the site lets them direct their friends to the pictures of them waiting for a chance to audition, even if they never even got their chance, thus giving them their 15 seconds of fame, too.

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