My thoughts on American Idol ending
The talent reality search show that revolutionized television is on its final legs. When it was announced that after one more season the long running American Idol which has entertained viewers from all over the world for nearly 14 years will no longer be seen, it made some people feel bad. For the most part, though, it honestly felt like it is indeed high time–if not in fact a few years overdue already–that the plug was pulled on the show.
Why so? The current product has begun to feel stale and dated when compared to its main competition, The Voice. Ideally, this should not be the case because American Idol is the “original” and the very first of its kind when it comes to the following factors: its mechanics such as the procedure on how the voting system is conducted, the manner the show was organized from top to bottom, and the set-up of the elimination process of competitors by which an overall winner per season is declared.
Many aspects of American Idol have now become the basic blueprint that its emulators over the last decade have followed with a few tweaks of course thrown in just to say that they did not straight up rip off American Idol.
Early on one more winning point of the show was the original panel of judges composed of Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell who were another point of attraction for viewers to stay tuned in throughout the duration of the show whether it was to listen to their expert criticisms and the occasional goofiness that would take place between Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, mostly. That was entertaining and did not appear forced or planned. For me, that kind of interaction among the original three judges helped me stay glued to the television.
In my opinion, those three judges had a natural chemistry on screen and I did not see that vital ingredient in the succeeding reshuffling and line-up changes of the judging panel and whether they became three or four people in the panel, it still somehow did not work out for the long term. Why so? It was that rather than there being a healthy exchange of ideas or intelligent debates among the new judges, there were several occasions viewers at home had to witness on-screen squabbles and walk-outs when the wrong judges were thrown in together.
I was an avid follower of American Idol for approximately the first five seasons of the show, rarely missing an episode. After that, my interest for the show diminished when the gradual shake-ups to American Idol were being brought in.
I mean, the product was already good, if not great. Then why modify something that enjoyed the highest ratings in its time slot in the United States? American Idol would rake in millions of viewers each time it was on air thus quickly making it a pop-culture phenomenon. It changed the way the music industry from that side of the globe would look and scout for talent.
Why on the last point? A good bulk of the stand out past winners landed recording deals among the major record labels and a few of them still have thriving careers to this day.
Even one of its contestants who did not win turned to movies and proudly has that much coveted Oscar in her possession. That was Jennifer Hudson. It just proves a show like American Idol opens doors for everyone who has “It”–whether you got eliminated early or became the overall winner of the season.
Years even before Filipino YouTube sensations would be a somewhat semi-regular occurrence, there were the Fil-Am’s making their mark on American Idol. Looking back, there will always be one that stood out for me. I still remember when I would root for Jasmine Trias. It brought me exhilaration to see a competitor of Filipino descent trying her best to outlast the competition.
In the end, when the last season–which will be the 15th season–officially begins, it is no secret that the producers of American Idol will bring in some familiar faces from the last 14 seasons, past winners or otherwise who gave remarkable performances, or even possibly one shot deal appearances of former judges. This final run should make American Idol a must-see again. The ratings should be higher than it should have been in the last couple of years, but more importantly, and hopefully, the show will remind us once more why American Idol revolutionized television in the first place.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.