Before we get started, I’d just like to say that I will forever be grateful for American Idol (2002 – 2016 and 2018 – present) because it introduced me to the music of legends like Elton John, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Queen, and Judas Priest. Unfortunately, the show has gone on for way too long and let’s be real, the last good winner of American Idol was Jordin Sparks from season six.
I was a religious fan of the show from seasons one through twelve and I’ve seen a lot of crazy things happen to the show. From seasons one through two, the judges would predict who moves onto the finals. Season four saw the beginning of splitting the guys and girls up for the semi-finals; from 12 guys and 12 girls, they’d eventually be narrowed down to six guys and six girls, making up the top 12. Season seven was the first to allow the contestants to play instruments during the competition. In season eight, they decided to add a fourth judge to the panel, Kara DioGuardi; it was Paula Abdul’s last season as a judge.
Things got weirder when they brought Ellen DeGeneres to the judging panel in season nine. I enjoyed season 10, when they brought in Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler to join the judging panel (and had James Durbin as a contestant). However, when they brought Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj to the judging panel for season 12, I thought the producers had lost their minds! Fun fact: I’ve hated Minaj and Carey since then. I never watched the show again until season 15 because it was supposedly the “farewell season.”
Besides the fact that most of the winners from the show were unsuccessful, American Idol became obsessed with changing their format, which led to its downfall, in my opinion. I guess we can also blame America, since they put in terrible contestants to the finals and voted for cute boys as the winners from seasons seven through eleven. Some of the changes were good like they got rid of the judges’ predictions on who made the finals and they allowed the contestants to play instruments on the show, but most of them were bad and came with disastrous results.
They added a fourth judge to the panel, created a judges’ save option, there was a fan save option, they got rid of the separate results show; instead they announced the results from the previous week on the following week, and they started eliminating multiple contestants per week. There’s probably more changes than that, but this post would be way too long if I listed all of the changes that have happened since the show’s humble beginnings.
Like I mentioned before, season 15 was supposed to be the last season of the show (but really it should’ve ended with season 11 because that was the last season with Steven Tyler on the judging panel). The fact that they made such a big deal about American Idol ending just annoys me because that’s so rude! They titled it “The Farewell Season,” brought back past Idol contestants; and they had this big, grand finale, where they brought back Brian Dunkleman (season one’s co-host) and the original judging panel to share their wonderful memories of the show. It was all a big joke because the show returned two years later on ABC. They could’ve at least ended their run on Fox with a decent winner; come on, Trent Harmon sounds like a baby crying to his mommy!
I just can’t stop thinking about those guys who thought that they were making history by participating in the show’s “final season;” I feel so bad for them and the Idol alumni that took part in that season. American Idol played with my heart, they played with everyone’s heart.
I truly believe that the show still exists because the producers and everyone on board are doing it for the money. It’s not about finding a star anymore, it’s mainly for the money. That’s why the producers spent so much time trying to modernize the show. Originally, it was based on a British singing competition called Pop Idol (2001 – 2003); since it was popular in the UK, the creators believed that a similar show would be popular in the U.S. There was no other show like American Idol, but then as shows like The Voice (2011 – present) and Dancing with the Stars (2005 – present) started taking over the ratings, American Idol decided to incorporate ideas from other talent shows in order to restore its former glory.
American Idol saw a decrease in their ratings during the eleventh season, the one where Phillip Phillips was declared the winner. By that point, the show was already becoming unrecognizable. Advanced technology became a huge part of the show, social media was taking over, the stories were more dramatic, and they shortened the iconic theme song.
I don’t even like the current judging panel on ABC with Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan. They’re big names in the business, yeah, but it’s all for publicity. What was great about the original judging panel with Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, and Abdul was that they were three professionals in the business that truly cared about discovering new talent; some of their opinions were messed up, but they knew what they were doing. Ryan Seacrest also had better chemistry with the original judging panel.
Though I wasn’t happy with some of the contestants that the judges put through to the finals and semifinals, America also made some messed up choices when they let go of a lot of talent over the years. The ones I can think of include Chris Daughtry, MacKenzie Bourg, Durbin, Pia Toscano, Clay Aiken, Allison Iraheta, Colton Dixon, Jennifer Hudson, and Adam Lambert. However, America did those guys a favor because American Idol would’ve provided those contestants with hand-picked songwriters and producers, and they wouldn’t have had control over their music.
There was a quote from The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story (2019) said by SiriusXM Volume host Nik Carter, “American Idol would’ve sent him on a very different trajectory. He wasn’t going to put an album out, it was going to be hand-picked producers and writers from the American Idol stable. The fact that he didn’t win is probably the best thing that ever happened to him!” Of course, he was talking about Adam Lambert.
So, what happens now? Well, American Idol is in the works for its 20th season and will probably continue on until a producer forces them to end this nonsense once and for all! They’re like Bon Jovi, even though they suck now, they still do it for the money and won’t stop performing until somebody forces them to stop. Ok fine, Tico Torres, David Bryan, and Hugh McDonald don’t suck, only Jon Bon Jovi sucks. I’m not saying that the current seasons of American Idol don’t have talent; they’ve had quite a bit of talent recently. I’m just saying that American Idol is not the way to make it as a singer, as there are better ways to do so.
I don’t want to end this post on a sour note, but somebody needs to speak the truth. American Idol, thank you for all of the wonderful memories (excluding the bad ones), but it’s time for you to go!
Comment below your thoughts on American Idol and don’t hold back, please!
Take care and see ya real soon!