It was announced today that American Idol will be over after this upcoming season. I’ve been ready for this for years. That show went off the rails years ago when it became more of a product placement, two hour commercial that just happened to have people who sang.
I enjoyed the first season. I was totally team Nikki McKibbin until Kelly Clarkson belted out “A Natural Woman” then I switched to team Kelly. I still love her to this day actually, having been to see her in concert six times with a seventh coming this summer. Justin Guarini should never have made it as far as he did. He isn’t bad, mind you, but he isn’t that good either. Then that awful movie….come on people, what were you thinking?!?
The second season should have clued you in immediately that this wasn’t going to work. You should have stopped then. You know why? Two words. Rueben Studdard. Not that Clay Aiken was much better.
Third season did give us the amazing Jennifer Hudson, who came in seventh. Seventh! Fantasia Barrino won that season, and not that she was a bad singer, but she was a hot mess. At least Jennifer Hudson has an Oscar.
The fourth season wasn’t all that great either with the exception of Carrie Underwood. I’m not a huge country music buff nowadays, but I do enjoy her….well until the Sound Of Music on NBC, but that’s another story.
After that, the show hasn’t really given us a standout star. Sure, there’s been a few mediocre stars; Chris Daughtry, Katherine McPhee, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Scotty McCreery. Of course there was Adam Lambert, who didn’t win, but has found his niche fronting Queen since Freddie Mercury is dead and all. And Phillip Phillips, the Nickelback of the soft rock world (every song sounds the same).
The rotating judges panel never really worked for me either. Originally Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson had it. That worked for several seasons. And by worked, I mean it worked for the show. Not that it worked in any other capacity. Should Paula Abdul been giving singing advice? Probably not. Randy Jackson actually has the knowledge of what he was talking about, but with all the “Yos” and “Dawgs”, should he speak in public? No. And Simon Cowell. That cranky old bastard. He spoke the truth (mostly), but was never nice about it. It wasn’t WHAT he said, it was how he said it.
The rotation after that was a who’s who of people not qualified to give advice for various reasons. Ellen Degeneres (the great songstress she is), Steven Tyler (who I enjoy, but is a little nuts), Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj (who raps, not sings), and Mariah Carey (who is an awesome talent, but is so self involved I’m surprised she could even hear other people sing).
The show lost its way very early on. It was never about any talent or ability, it was a popularity contest that a couple times worked in the favor of actual music lovers. I quit watching years ago, as I felt there was no longer an exciting enough reason to do so. If by some slim chance a great voice did make it through, I’d hear of them via the radio or internet anyway and I wouldn’t need to watch them jump through musical hoops to get their voice heard.
Beware The Voice….you’re next.
Ps. What ever happened to Brian Dunkleman?