Every year, for one season, people huddle around their television sets to watch the Fox program American Idol where wannabe singers compete for the chance at a record deal and almost instantaneous fame.
It is this show where people either cheer or jeer for Simon Cowell’s scathing critiques of sub par singing. It is this show where people watch as Randy Jackson gives an unenthusiastic I ain’t feelin’ ya, dawg. And it is this show where we tune in to view Paula Abdul’s latest bout with craziness. And then we might actually hear someone sing a few songs.
If that seems a bit harsh, well, it is. American Idol isn’t a bad show. It’s very entertaining, especially in the context of reality shows which seem to be dying down in popularity. Or they’re at least aren’t as many of them as there had been.
But it seems as though the show has ADD. The show seems more focused on stirring up controversy between hosts, or hyping up a contestant’s wild appearance and hilariously bad singing than it is to actually watching the contestants perform their songs.
Granted, like any show, American Idol has had its share of oddball contestants, scandals, and just great moments. But it seems like after the William Hung incident that they are trying to top it every year.
The primary problem lies with the fact that the show just doesn’t seem to want to focus on the performers nearly as much as the scandals. Here we have people who have worked hard to get their chance at fame, and yet we appear to be more interested in laughing at a contestant who is wasting the time of America.
It just seems silly to focus on the person’s personality quirks as opposed to what talent (or lack thereof) they have. And for a show that America votes on more than they do for who the next leader of this country will be, it makes you question whether or not they were voting because of talent, or because of the show’s baggage.
Now, the first season’s winner, Kelly Clarkson, and the winners of the following two seasons most assuredly had talent. But later installments have featured people whose talent is somewhat questionable.
While others were able to shed the attachment to American Idol and stand on their own as performers, some seemed to have simply flickered out. As stated before, American Idol isn’t a bad show, but it is, however in need of a heavy dose of Ritalin.