American Idol 10: Use of Instruments Will Be Limited, Contestants Will Live Together in a House

Instruments will definitely be limited for American Idol season 10.

Nigel Lythgoe tweets,

“AI contestants will still be able to play instruments just not every week. “Playing” a guitar is totally different from “hiding” behind it.”

Also, the kids will be living together in a house again,

“If you remember the first couple of seasons we are going back to putting Idol contestants in a house together. It may prove interesting?”

Maybe I was cranky because I hadn’t had my morning coffee yet, but Nigel set me off on a little twitter rant this morning.  Here’s the jist of it, after the jump.

Pssst Nigel! Don’t blame American Idol’s recent ratings slide and disinterest on the contestants. Instruments aren’t the issue. Cast the show well, and the rest will take care of itself. WTF does “hiding behind a guitar” mean anyway?

Also, having the kids live together in a mansion has never added much to the show in the past. Sure, we got a few cute clips here and there, but what we DON’T need is the kind of fake drama Simon Cowell drums up for his UK X Factor.

Every day, there are tabloid stories coming out of the X Factor house–probably fed to the press by Simon. It’s a distraction.  I’d rather have behind-the-scenes footage of the kids working out song arrangements with the band, working with the mentor and vocal coaches, etc.

If the show is cast well, all the drama necessary will come from the kid’s struggle to navigate the competition.  American Idol is like no other reality show. There are real consequences at stake here.  The experience changes these kid’s lives forever.

Cast the show with a wide variety of talent,   give the kids the tools they need to succeed, allow the viewers to know the contestants, widen the pool of available song choices, fix the sound and direction problems, add a few twists like songwriters week (Jimmy Iovine could set the kids up with hot songwriters).

If Nigel limits instrument use, I only hope it’s not severely.  Maybe pick a few weeks out of the competition where the contestants can’t play instruments. But, if a guitar or piano is appropriate for a performance, let the contestants make that choice.

I think the producers are trying to keep a guitar-strumming male from taking the crown 4 years in a row.  That’s the bottom line, at this point.  They want a pop star desperately and are probably afraid Simon Cowell will beat them to it when X Factor bows in Fall 2011.

Hey, I’m all for a diversified pool of winners, but anytime the producers try to stack the deck, it always backfires.  Always.

I want to hear what YOU think.

About mj santilli 34998 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!