Every year, I become more of an American Idol junkie. I have seen more talent come through the show than any other broadcast venue and thanks to AI for giving these kids a opportunity. This past year, 75,000 hopefuls signed up and probably 6 – 12 will have careers of some level for a long time.
Every year, I read and hear others criticize the show for their treatment of the contestants and the exploitation of them after the fact. But to date, most contestants that made it to the top 12 say it was a great experience. What other way is there for a great vocalist to go from complete obscurity to stardom in 6 months? Every winner and many others have gone on to some level of success. Like the rest of the music industry, some continue to have success and some don’t. The odds of making it through the traditional channels aren’t even close to this success rate.
Every year, I read that the judging this year was terrible, the show is fixed, one person says their ratings were the lowest in the shows history. Lots of opinions continue to pour in. It still ranks in the Top 10 week after week after week and it is clear that the show execs are evolving the staging, dialogue and judging to get it to the top spot again. Most television producers would be happy with a Top 10 show year after year.
Every year I read that the final three were all terrible singers. Of course, 100 gazillion records later, they are still terrible. And this year, the final two contests had vocal ranges that far outweighed the competition. And number three was one of the most tasteful and inventive singers to ever grace the idol stage.
I understand that it’s a matter of taste when watching reality shows like Idol and everyone has a different take on the various aspects of it. I appreciate any show, like Idol, who give kids a shot at “making” it. And several do "make" it, every year.