Alicia Keys Clone Hunt

The "search for something" is a marketing ploy that companies use when they're, well, looking for customers. Way back in the 1970's, Canadian Club hid cases of their booze in exotic locations, and they're currently the #4 alcohol product in the world, so I guess that search worked.

Now, Grammy-winning singer Alicia Keys, who probably has even more customers than CC, is on a search for, of all things, her own voice! Alicia is searching for a blogger to represent what she, presumably, might think or blog about on her new website (I Am A Super Woman), thus elevating ghost writing to a new level: clone writing.

The big talent hunt, sponsored in part by, has already attracted 8,500 women who want to be Alicia's clone. According to numerous press releases surrounding this search, Alicia will be "displaying my 'voice' in a different way and we need just the right person to help me express a point of view that doesn't exist in the blog world." Presumably that would be her own point of view -- because just about everyone else's is already out there.



And what is Alicia's newfound voice is going to talk about? According to yet more press releases, social issues top the list, along with all the things the "modern Superwoman cares about: eating, buying and wearing." Clearly, the path to inspiring the next world-changing generation of women goes by way of Spago, Neiman Marcus and Prada.

Of the 8500 potential clones who applied for the Superwoman job, four made the final cut, with the Super Clone scheduled to be picked by Alicia herself in late June. And what will this eagerly anticipated and potential role model voice sound like? Here's a recent tweet that may have been written by Alicia herself, or at least an appointed ghost-clone Twitterer: "I had fun w/ya'll tonight! Glad we cld connect! I like this 2 leave u with 'Picture in your mind a sense of personal destiny and go GET IT!'" Whew -- heady stuff!

Some recent blog posts from two of the finalists indicate that they may already be channeling Alicia: Amanda Greene: "I need a time out." Alexis Tirado: "What to wear."

And what of the committee charged with the important task of finding Alicia's clone? Besides PR people, there's famously self-promotional marketing writer Guy Kawasaki, wannabe-famous prince of narcissism Dan Schwabel (Me 2.0 -- because who else counts, right?) and Alicia's mother (just to make sure the blogging clone gets it right).

The only thing missing from this group are the people who might actually reflect Alicia's mandate, you know, that big social issues thingy. Those people might include real journalists, activists, and social scientists who are into all that serious, unfun, messy-to-think-about stuff. To Alicia's credit, however, she has the all-important public relations and mirror gazing categories super well covered.

Alicia Keys may have gone looking for her inner Bono but came up with Carrie Bradshaw instead. If her Superwoman concept is defined by vapidity, self aggrandizement and materialism, then it shouldn't be hard to pick a winner. As a matter of fact, a blindfolded pig set loose in the Mall of the Americas could sniff out likely candidates; they'd be waiting in line outside Victoria's Secret during a thong sale.

Given a choice of potential role model types, Lady Gaga's army of the alienated and underappreciated is looking better already. But seriously -- what would Bono's ghost blogger say about all this?

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