Ahead of the American Idol season finale, tonight’s American Idol: American Dream special celebrates fifteen seasons of the iconic singing show. On Wednesday April 6 the season 15 Top 3 will take the stage to perform one last time in competition. On Thursday April 7, the last ever American Idol winner will be crowned, amid performances by a slew of Idol winners and alums.
I’ll be back later with a few thoughts about the special. In the meantime, leave YOUR thoughts here in comments!
UPDATE: I got distracted last night before I could leave my thoughts. Seeing clips from the early years reminded me how low rent Idol’s production values were then. Nevertheless, it blew up the ratings. I always felt the cheesy let’s put a show on in a barn feel of the show added to its charm. When it became important to have celebrity judges on the panel, it took away from focussing on the contestant.
Viewers aren’t enthralled by starry eyed hopefuls looking for their big break so much anymore. X Factor and The Voice are really about the competition between celebrity judges, which is one of the reasons Idol lost the ratings race in the end. It would be cool if another competition would come along and make the actual talent show exciting again. Maybe a retooled Idol could do that. Maybe not.
I was struck by Kelly Clarkson’s defense of Simon Cowell. She’s been around for 10+ years and rightfully says artists will encounter much worse than Simon. He could be blunter than he needed to be, but I agree that it doesn’t do a singer any favors to be coddled. I always became frustrated when the honesty and constructive criticism on the panel made way for feel good bromides.
It was a smart artistic choice to open the special with Kelly and end it with her emotional performance of “Piece by Piece” on the recent Top 10 episode. Everything begins and ends with Kelly Clarkson.