Coca-Cola is teaming up with Jason Derulo for the second installment of Perfect Harmony, a crowd-sourced songwriting project that lets fans participate in the creation of an original song. The partnership will be announced on tonight's episode of "Idol" and will culminate with Derulo's performance of the original song "Undefated" May 22 during the first night of "Idol"'s two-part finale May 22. Derulo's "Idol" appearance will mark the singer's first TV appearance since he fractured his neck and canceled a UK tour in January.
"I have been in great spirits since the accident. Everything happens for a reason," Derulo tells Billboard. "But I'm actually in the last weeks of the whole process, so I'm excited but also really anxious to get this thing off my neck. It's kind of like someone's choking me for 24 hours a day."
The 2011 initiative featured Taio Cruz, who performed the original song "Positive" on the first night of "American Idol"'s two-part finale. The program featured 23,888 fan-submitted lyrics, and eventually led to 13,885 downloads of the finished song on iTunes (10,000 of which came within 20 minutes after Cruz's performance aired on "Idol.") Stuart Kronauge, senior VP of Coca-Cola Brands, has even higher hopes for 2012. To encourage more fan participation, Derulo will record the top three most popular versions of fan-submitted lyrics each week for four weeks at AmericanIdol.com/PerfectHarmony, with the highest vote making the cut for the finished song.
"We just want to make sure we reach as many people as possible, and have some new things in the market," Kronauge says, noting that Coke will sponsor rich-media banners online to increase awareness and adding a mobile component to voting. "Of course, 'American Idol' is the perfect stage for this type of event - we wouldn't have picked another spot to do it."
Derulo has already written half of the first verse and a chorus for "Undefeated" (produced by longtime collaborator DJ Frank E.), which will double as a personal anthem for the recuperating singer. "It's basically my story of what happened. But also it's about how through any adversity, anything negative that happens to you, you can still come out undefeated if you think positively and continue to drive forward towards your goals."
And with his mobility still a day-by-day recovery process, Derulo has no plans to reschedule his canceled tour but is instead focused on his next album, a follow up to last September's Future History, which debuted and peaked at No. 29 on The Billboard 200. He cites producers The Underdogs, RedOne and David Foster as potential collaborators for the upcoming effort, as well as girlfriend Jordin Sparks. Still, he looks forward to his next tour, whenever that may be.
"It's really been a long time since I've been on stage," he said. "I literally haven't danced in months. I can't remember the last time I've had to stand this long of not being that active. It is nerve-racking, in a couple of days I'll be able to really start going and prepare. I'm gonna see my doctor in a few days to give me the OK."