I am a huge ‘American Idol’ fan. I have watched every single episode of every single season. There was just something insanely captivating about watching everyday stiffs gradually turn into stars. Over the years, I’ve rooted on George Huff, remained indifferent to Chris Richardson, and shouted epithets at Kellie Pickler, but you know what. I can’t take it anymore. I am sick of this mass produced contest, and I’m not sure if I will even watch next season.
The first season of the Coke-sponsored Juggernaut was insanely interesting. None of the contestants had any idea what the hell they had gotten themselves into, and they behaved accordingly. The producers weren’t even sure if America would care. ‘Big Brother’ had just fallen on its face, and audiences were weary of British exports. The dynamic between the judges was fresh, and you could almost feel Simon’s dislike for Paula screaming its way through the television screen. Tens of thousands auditioned, and Uncle Sam eventually chose Kelly Clarkson as the first, and arguably only deserving, Idol. Then something changed.
By the third season, contestants began to realize exactly how many people were watching them. This caused a large percentage of performers to begin playing to the audience at home. These were no longer everyday people. In fact, most of them were just douche bags hell bent on getting famous. Why would I want to vote for any of these fame-grubbing Madonna wannabes?
It’s like ‘The Real World.’ The first season had genuine people of all shapes and sizes dealing with actual problems. Now the seven people they collect for each season are just a brain dead concoction of bulimics and future Betty Ford patients. Many of these train wrecks even attempt to use the show as a launching pad for fledgling careers. It’s ridiculous.
Sadly, ‘American Idol’s’ biggest problem isn’t even these questionable contestants. The last two seasons, in particular, producers and executives have turned the show into a joke. Between horrid faux Ford commercials, the ‘Golden Idol’ awards, and early editing focusing squarely on the worst singers, ‘American Idol’ is pretty much lampooning itself. No one even claims it’s a real singing competition anymore. It’s the bloated, over broadcasted, laughing stock of TV.
Before you rush to judge me, take a step back and realize that apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way. This season’s live televised finale was watched by 20% less Americans than last year. It may still be the highest rated show on television, but the once untouchable beast is starting to show its wounds.
Let’s take Taylor Hicks for example. Last year tens of millions of people voted for him, but not even a million bothered to buy his record. Gone are the days where finishing in the top two would guarantee at least one widely purchased, money-making record. Honestly, the vast majority of ‘A.I.’ alums can only be described as complete failures at this point.
Now, let’s take Sanjaya. I realize that a certain percentage of the deaf American public fell in love with this asshole, but let’s take a step back and look at him for exactly what he is: a pathetic, word-forgetting, marginally talented, effeminate suckfest. I wouldn’t give this idiot a glee club solo, and American viewers decided that he was one of the ten best singers. Give me a break. Every time this prick stayed, while a legitimate singer got guillotined, just furthered the perception that this show no longer matters.
Right now there are millions of disenchanted ‘Idol’ fans just like me who are unsure if next year will be worth watching. I, honestly, hope producers begin recognizing this disillusioned fanbase, because one more year of declining interest and ratings may end up vaulting the singing competition off the apex of the cultural landscape and into a spiraling downfall.