The upcoming fifteenth season of American Idol will be the iconic show’s last. It will also be shorter than previous seasons, reportedly. With so little time afforded to crown a winner, there won’t be much space left to celebrate and reflect upon the competition reality series that impacted television and the music business in a major way.
However, it appears that that FOX’s digital department will be producing pieces to release online. The first is a 20 minute documentary that looks back on the series. It features interviews with Idol notables, and clips of many of your favorite contestants.
Many of the original players are here, including creator, Simon Fuller and the original panel of judges, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. The man who has helmed the ship from beginning to end, Ryan Seacrest, lends his insight as well. Pundits from TV Guide, Billboard and People also offer their thoughts. A glaring omission is Nigel Lythgoe, who executive produced every season except 8-9 and 13-15. Obviously back on good terms with the show, as he’ll be co-producing this year’s finale, I hope he was at least invited to participate.
Regardless, the extended feature is a fun trip down memory lane. For us Idol Loonies, there’s nothing new, but it’s still fun to hear the show’s origin story told by the people who lived it. Big shout out to the writer from TV Guide who gives former judge, Kara Dioguardi her due! Jennifer Lopez is treated as if she were the sexy replacement for Simon Cowell, and I suspect many will groan at how the narrative slobbers all over her. Former judges Ellen Degeneres, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, and the particularly nasty details of Idol’s downfall, are never mentioned.
There is plenty of nostalgic footage of winning moments, first American Idol auditions, etc. It’s rightly pointed out that American Idol created a couple of superstars, in addition to graduates who have maintained visible careers in many facets of showbusiness. Idol alums have gone on to viable careers in television, Broadway and the music industry. Oscars, Grammys, Tony nominations. Hit albums and singles. There’s much to brag about when it comes to American Idol alums.
Check out the full documentary here.