Actually it was in season eight (2009) when the show began taking a turn for the worst. Kara DioGuardi was added as a fourth judge, which I never understood. She didn’t add anything at all to the show. Paula Abdul left and was replaced by Ellen Degeneres (a Comedian, not a singer) who only stayed for one season and then Simon Cowell left to do the X-factor.
By Season 9 (2010) Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler joined the judging table and while I was skeptical, both of them did a pretty decent job judging and America stopped complaining that Paula and Simon were gone. Jennifer and Steven only stayed for two seasons.
THE NEW AMERICAN IDOL JUDGES
Randy Jackson (The Veteran), Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj & Keith Urban.
What’s wrong with the “Reality Show” culture in America?
What does it say about our culture when the only way to get television ratings is to manufacture feuds? This is a singing competition, not an extension of Basketball Wives or The Real Housewives of Atlanta or Beverly Hills. Let me add, I don’t watch any of those shows.
I use to enjoy watching the American Idol auditions. The good, the bad and the hilarious. Remember “She Bangs” by William Hung in Season 3? What about General Larry Platt’s song, “Pants on the Ground” in Season 9? Those were really good times. I recall watching the auditions and the work water cooler the next day was filled with stories about the hilarious auditions. What happened American Idol?
I noted last night that in a two hour premiere we only got to actually see about 7 auditions. The rest of the time was spent telling contestant sob stories and listening to a very annoying Nicki Minaj egg on Mariah Carey. You do know that all of this is manufactured by the Network producers right? Unfortunately for FOX, this will backfire to the tune of ratings. I logged on the Idol Facebook page and read comment after comment of people’s disgust for last night’s premiere episode.
Let me preface this by saying that no one is more empathetic than I am when it comes to someone’s hardship. No one is immune from the trials and tribulations of life. No one! But my goodness, this is a singing competition not a charity event. I’ve pulled away from a lot of the singing competitions because of this fact. All of the shows do this, X-Factor, The Voice and America’s Got Talent. By now everyone knows the story of Stacy Francis from the first season of the X-Factor. Remember stuttering soldier, Timothy Poe, from America’s Got Talent? My point is that it should be about the talent – and not the sad story. I tune in to see the talent.
Sadly, my prediction is that this will be the final season of Idol. The Voice has soared to the number one spot since its debut and with CeeLo and Christina taking hiatus to promote their own projects I’m not sure how long their ratings will last. When I have a conversation with someone about Idol I always ask: “Can you name the last 5 seasons winners?” It seems people can’t remember past Carrie Underwood who won Season 4 in 2005. Just in case you can’t remember, let me list them here for you.
- Kelly Clarkson, 2002
- Ruben Studdard 2003 (Clay Aiken soared and Ruben was cut from his label)
- Fantasia Barrino 2004 (Also produced success for LaToya London – Jennifer Hudson)
- Carrie Underwood 2005 (Also produced success for Chris Daughtry)
- Taylor Hicks 2006 (Also produced success for Katherine McPhee (Smash) & Kellie Pickler
- Jordin Sparks 2007
- David Cook, 2008
- Kris Allen, 2009 (Adam Lambert had small successes)
- Lee DeWyze, 2010
- Scotty McCreery, 2011
- Phillip Phillips, 2012
Last night’s show taunted the success of past winners but in reality of all the winners – who has really gone on to break the bank besides Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood? Before Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson was hailed as the most successful but Carrie Underwood is a mega-star now. In just seven years she has won 116 Awards out of 174 nominations. Of those there are 7 American Music Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards and 5 Grammys. The rest are all Country Music Awards. Kelly Clarkson has a total of 75 awards and 135 nominations. Kelly has only won two Grammys.
The only other successful person from the Idol stage has to be Jennifer Hudson who has a Grammy, an Oscar, a SAG and a Golden Globe. She received 30 different Awards for her breakout role in Dreamgirls. She’s also Weight Watchers most successful weight loss spokesperson.
Fantasia Barrino was doing well until controversy struck with her affair and subsequent child by a married man. She’s trying to overcome and make a comeback but when America is done, they’re usually done! She has two Billboard Awards, one Grammy and a Theatre World Award in 2006 from her time with the play, The Color Purple. I’m rooting for her. I like Fantasia.
So will American Idol Season 12 produce another Carrie Underwood? Don’t count on it. I said I would tune in again tonight to see if they can redeem themselves but I already know I’ll be removing Idol from the DVR record list. So what did you think?