Guest Author - Amy Romine
I am not an American Idol fan. Ever since Katharine McPhee was chosen over Chris Daughtry, I stopped watching, surmising that people in general are not bright. This is nothing against anyone who loves American Idol and waits in heady anticipation for it’s annual January premiere. To each his own.
The show itself changed the face of Prime Time as we knew it. Idol was the first to make a January premiere a big deal. Many followed such as Alias, Lost, and 24. This was something that wasn’t done before. January premieres were looked at as the shows that got a reprieve when the network’s original choice flopped. Now January premieres are as anticipated as the start of the TV Fall Season.
That being said, after the Daughtry fiasco I shunned the show on principle. My kids and husband continued to watch faithfully, and I would give my two cents but as a whole I haven’t been paying attention.
Recently there has been a huge overhaul to the shows judges. With the exit of first Paula Abdul and then the infamous Simon Cowell, we have rolled through two judges thus far. Ellen DeGeneres took her turn at the hot seat, but was unable to replace the cruel intense opinions of Cowell, and Kara DioGuardi was a less than amusing replacement for Ms. Abdul.
This year, both DeGeneres and DioGuardi have taken an exit and Idol has officially jumped the shark. The announcement of the new judges was surprising. First, of course, was the shock factor, and second, how the heck did they pull it off?
Steven Tyler , the lead singer of Aerosmith, and Jennifer Lopez, aka J-Lo, have stepped forward as the new judges. I admit I was intrigued. Not in a “wow that is really cool I want to watch” way but in a “wow this is going to crash and burn”.
So we, along with 26.2 million viewers, per The Nielsen Co., watched the two-hour premiere. Was I impressed with the new judges or any of the contestants? No, were you?
First off, Tyler and Lopez are not fascinating to watch. They are soft, nice and way too happy when auditioners enter the room and are star struck into laryngitis. Tyler, while I worship him as an artist, spent more time checking out girls asses than critiquing auditioners. Lopez was a giggling school girl, blushing and looking away, like she got caught staring at a cute boy.
It isn’t entirely their fault. The caliber of quality singers arriving to audition has dwindled over the years and you can only do so much to keep your ratings. By the way, The Nielsen Co. has also reported that Idols ratings were down 13% compared to last year.
While Idol was once the leader in reality competitions and has no doubt paved the way for breakthrough artists like Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Pickler, and Clay Aikin, it’s time seems sadly, to this reviewer, to be coming to an end.
The only ray of hope is an amazing rise of contestants which is what made the show a success. Whether it is Tyler, Abdul, Lopez, or Cowell, judging is irrelevant if your audience could care less about the people being judged.