Thursday, April 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday: When American Idol Was a Thing

It's the apocalypse.
When Kelly Clarkson became the first American Idol eleven years ago, she changed the industry forever. Sure, she may flop as often as she succeeds, but her decade in the biz not only popularized the pop-rock genre, it proved that reality competition shows were viable means for finding the next American superstar.

It was a new era for American entertainment. Viewers in the millions would tune in twice (sometimes thrice) a week to see contestants sing it all or nothing and then vote for their favorites. For eight years, the show was the most-watched program in America, with the performance and results shows occupying the top two spots. Paula Abdul's dopey onscreen antics and Simon Cowell's controversial criticisms made daily headlines. Winners like Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jordin Sparks experienced immediate successes after they were crowned champions. 

Fast forward twelve seasons to present day. Nobody watches American Idol, and those that do average 50.4 years old, almost two decades older than the show's average viewer back in the day. It's all about The Voice these days, and with Adam Levine around, it's not hard to see why. Where's the eye candy for American Idol? Randy Jackson? I don't think so.

Speaking of the judges, can we just have a moment of silence for Simon and Paula? The show was never the same after they left. Only Paula would show up to a taping, practically popping pills between slurred remarks, wiggle around in her chair, and claim that certain contestants had performed twice when in fact they hadn't. And without Simon, there is nobody to be deliciously evil to the hopefuls. Like, why is everybody building their confidence now? Quite frankly, most of them need to be knocked down a peg or two.

In Simon and Paula's places, we've seen songwriter Kara DioGuardi, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, professional singer/bitch Jennifer Lopez, and Ellen (honestly wtf tho). And currently, we have Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, and Mariah Carey. Oh, and Randy. He's still there, too. The new judges aren't even done with their first year and there's already talks of replacing them.

And then there are the so-called winners. While early seasons produced a few snoozers (Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, etc.), they more than made up for it with not only Clarkson and Underwood, who are the only victors who will ever achieve legendary status tbh, but also with notable runners-ups, like Clay Aiken, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Jennifer Hudson, and Chris Daughtry. Since Sparks's coronation in the sixth season, no American Idol has even made a splash in the music scene. Think about it: how many can you actually name? Last season's Phillip Phillips might be the only hope we have, but for all we know, he could be just a flash in the pan.

Basically, American Idol was once a beautiful centerpiece of this nation's culture, but now it's a whole lot of bullshit. I say we just cancel it and put Ryan Seacrest out of his misery.

1 comment:

Taylor Tanton said...

I think the fights Nikki gets into are worth a watch