'American Idol' + 'Real World' = New Web series 'If I Can Dream'
YouTube is littered with videos of people seeking stardom, so why not make a web series about them? That’s just what American Idol creator Simon Fuller has done with If I Can Dream, a reality Web series launching today that follows a quintet of aspiring artists live 24/7 on ificandream.com and in a weekly recap on Hulu.
The five hopefuls will live together in a spacious Los Angeles home outfitted with 60 cameras following their every move. Viewers will be able to engage with the artists in real time via Twitter, MySpace and blogs, and can select which camera feed they’d like to view. The contestants can even log on to their own computers and spy on their roommates down the hall.
Despite all of the cameras pointed at them — on a recent visit, PopWatch counted at least five in the living room alone and an average of 3 per bedroom — the Dream team say they aren’t nervous about living their day-to-day lives under the spotlight.
“There’s been times today where I’m like, ‘Oh, man, I’m on camera.’ I really have forgotten already,” said Amanda Phillips, a former NFL cheerleader from New York who hopes to become an actress/model.
“This is the worst place ever to play hide and seek,” joked Kara Killmer, an aspiring actress from Texas.
The group’s Ford Fiesta car is wired with cameras, as well, allowing viewers to follow the cast as they go on auditions and dates and generally sit in traffic, as most Angelenos are accustomed to doing; some will be dealing with the experience of navigating LA streets for the first time.
“I can’t wait to see them driving around, getting lost,” said producer Michael Herwick. “It’ll be hilarious.”
As part of the series, celebrity mentors will come in to help the hopefuls in their quest for the Hollywood dream. Singer/songwriter (and Miley Cyrus ex) Justin Gaston and actor Ben Elliott would freak if James Taylor walked through the door, while Phillips wants to meet Will Ferrell. Once they land a job and exit the house, a new aspiring artist will be chosen by viewers via MySpace auditions. But will the original hopefuls want to leave the plush digs?
“This isn’t reality TV. There’s no judges or voting off. There’s not a pot of money sitting at the end,” said Killmer. “The goal is to get a job that will allow us to get out of the house and to move on to a bigger career. This is just the first step.”