American Idol Season 7 Begins tonight with a two-hour episode featuring the Philadelphia auditions.
The peeps who follow my blog know by now that I positively LOATHE the audition phase of the competition. After 6 years, it’s the most predictable phase of the competition. At this point, finding contestants who are totally clueless about their lack of talent amid the famewhores who show up to sing badly just to get on TV is getting tougher and tougher. It’s so tough, in fact, that last year, the producers resorted to picking on mentally challenged contestants who truly didn’t know better. Bleah. It made for some truly uncomfortable tv-watching.
There is an outcry from the media every year about the cruelty of the auditions, yet nothing changes. That’s because the auditions attract people who love a good trainwreck. And it attracts those people in droves. Idol racks up their highest ratings in these initial weeks of the competition, so for that reason, it will be business as usual as the parade of wannabes begins in Philly tonight.
Oh, and please. If I read one more article that predicts the imminent demise of American Idol–GAH! It’s a nice hook for the pundits to hang their hats on, but seriously, aren’t we jumping the gun a bit? The ratings are down 1% from last year–hardly a nose dive. Sure, a few former contestants were dropped from their contracts, but so were a bunch of other artists last year. The record industry is in decline, anyone notice? And anyway, after 6 years, some contestants are bound to do better than others.
But, is the number of huge stars Idol turns out Idol’s big draw? Personally, what happens to the contestants after their season is over interests me, but does not affect how I feel about the show itself. American Idol and and the recording industry are two separate worlds. When I vote for someone on Idol, it means I want to keep seeing them on my TV screen. Will I buy their records once they’ve graduated into the music business? Maybe, maybe not. Does their performance in the real world diminish their achievements on the TV show? Not at all.
As long as Idol continues to entertain me, I’ll tune in. Of course, Idol was less entertaining last year, due to the assed-backward way TPTB produced the show. The emphasis on mentors, the lack of backstories and time spent on the talented contestants in the audition phase made it hard to connect to this year’s crop of contestants. The producers have pledged to get back to what made Idol work–putting the kids front and center. If they deliver what they’ve promised in interviews, Idol could have a memorable season.
If the producers can fix what ailed Idol last year, when Season 8 begins next year, the headlines will be altogether different.