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Why Can’t They Just Let American Idol Die With Some Dignity?

Updated on August 2, 2010


While all the rumors run rampant about judges leaving, new potential judges and Nigel Lythgoe coming back as producer to American Idol I find myself wondering what I wonder about so many things. I’ve always been and always will be someone who believes in quality not quantity. That goes for everything from chocolate to life. Lest you think that I’m an advocate of the Soylent Green approach to life (killing everyone when they get a certain age and then turning them into food for the rest of the population without their knowledge, “Soylent Green is made of people!” insert Charlton Heston’s pained face here), I assure you that I’m not but all it takes is watching one relative or friend slowly slip away as they’re eaten away by disease until they’re no longer even themselves that has shaped my belief that should the time come for me to languish away bit by bit I’ll be looking for someone better than Wyle Coyote to drop an Acme anvil on me. Wasn’t there a song about everything having a season? Well American Idol has now has its season now, many in fact, and it’s time for it to bow out gracefully. But where there’s money to be made there’s someone who is going to try and give it a facelift to line their pockets. Why can’t they just let American Idol die with some dignity? – Don’t Get Me Started!

I stopped watching American Idol about three seasons ago. I could barely get through watching the whole audition process, where they exploit people’s mental illnesses. I don’t care what you say, you have people on there who really think they can sing or are going to be superstars who can’t sing a note and while we all laugh at them we become a collective of couch bullies and I don’t have the stomach to be part of that group. Sure, you can say that they “let themselves” in for it by waiting in rain, sleet and snow for three days and then finally getting in front of the judges but would you be saying that if the people’s mental illnesses were more prominent than just a little self delusion?

Once the judges cast the show (and believe me they cast them more on the participants’ personal tragedy story than their singing abilities) the real torture begins of having to watch these kids try desperately to be “stars” while the judges offer little constructive criticism to help them because they’re more concerned with their own camera angle or creating a catch phrase. (Are you hearing me “Dog” – ‘cause I dunno that was just a-right with me and pitchy in places but mad props ya know I got love for you.)

I watched the first few seasons and I got everything you’re supposed to out of it. I wanted Kelly Clarkson to win and I felt personally responsible for her win but as time has marched on, the talent has gotten worse, the shows have gotten longer and perhaps worst of all, it seems as though those involved with the show began to believe that they were more important than the singers or the competition. You can applaud Simon for leaving but didn’t he stay too long at this fair too?

The American public has tastes that change rather quickly and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, I just think we have a short attention span and have to acknowledge it. I get that American Idol was a great idea when it first came out but it’s time has passed. Let it go. It’s like trying to get someone to love you after they’ve moved on, even if you get them back you’re going to have to sleep with one eye open for the rest of your life to make sure they’re not trying to chew through the restraints at night while you’re sleeping.  (whoa, have no idea where that came from but it’s so bizarre I’m leaving it in)

So let’s all put on our black t-shirt that’s just a little too tight and shows off our man boobs and mourn not only the passing of Simon Cowell leaving American Idol but the entire show. I don’t care if Simon thinks the show couldn’t survive without him, I don’t care if Ryan Seacrest has to find something he’s actually good at besides wearing suits that are tailored so tight that they make him look as if he has no circulation going to that big head of his and I don’t care if Randy Jackson and the rest of the lot have to go back to actual careers at something they were talented doing. It’s time to let it go. And while we’re at it, let’s start putting a few expiration dates on a few other shows: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Survivor, Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Real World (and every version of Real World Road Rules, whatever), all reality shows with “rock” star family men or rock stars trying to supposedly find love and finally turn Snooki and the gang from Jersey Shore over and you’ll discover that they’ve got until the end of 2011 before they’re rotten…oh wait, maybe they’re like a dented can, doesn’t matter what the expiration date is, you should still throw it away because it’s damaged goods. Why can’t they just let American Idol die with some dignity? – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • gqgirl profile image

      Sabrae 7 years ago from Georgia

      I only watched the first two seasons and I wasn't hooked! I can't stand reality tv at all....let alone a bunch of kids setting themselves up to be laughed and ridiculed in front of millions of people!

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      EA - The strange part is that at some point, people felt it was a good thing to go on and make asses of themselves..all that mattered was getting their air time. They exploited themselves knowing full well how foolish they would look. I don't get it. Ugh.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 7 years ago

      Once again you have 'hit the collective conscience on the pin head!!' GREAT Hub GREAT Scott!!

      Any show, on any medium, has behind it an evolving, and sometimes dissolving, intention!! Those that at least have a sincere element,albeit small, will flourish; those that exploit others will fade in time!!

      How long a show lasts on the air once it has turned that dark corner, is a social barometer to where our collective consciousness is registering!! When we exploit the mentally challenged in the name of humor, we have become a mentally challenged society!!

      I think your insert of demise, restraits and keeping one eye open fits in perfectly!!

      Have a GREAT day filled with GREAT Scott!!

      Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

    • KFlippin profile image

      KFlippin 7 years ago from Amazon

      If it weren't for having a DVR, I probably wouldn't have been able to endure American Idol the past 2 seasons, it definitely is time for it to go, and leave with some dignity. Hard to do though with the Dog and the ding a ling as the anchors. I thought Ellen did a good job considering and got better with each show, and wondered if she'd realize she ought not do the show again.

      You're right, I think they began to focus too much on the mental cases in the auditions. Anyway, great observations on the AI's demise, and without being able to fast forward through the crap and singers who had no business making it so far into the finals, it would have been not watchable. The ones that were good this year though, were really good.

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Point taken Angelfish - I agree with what you say about the dancers on SYTYCD, what I think is that through the way they are now casting the show and use of "all-stars" that they have killed the show from a competition/entertainment standpoint. The judges...that's why God invented the fast forward button - I don't want to hear anything those pompus asses have to say!

    • profile image

      Angelfish 7 years ago

      Too true about Idol and the other shows, but I have to disagree with you about SYTYCD. I believe the kids on this show are truly talented and that it gives them an opportunity to grow a tremendous amount as artists in just a few short weeks, besides giving them exposure to the realities of a professional career in dance. Many of these dancers are from small schools in small towns that would never get the chance to work with choreographers of this calibre in their lifetime. Okay, so the judges are sappy and opinionated and full of themselves at times but they at least seem passionate about the work and the future of the dancers. This show has brought the art of dance to many people who otherwise thought that Baryshnikov started his career on SATC. Don't get me started!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have to agree, American Idol has seen it's time, it's time to let go. I enjoyed it but there have been too many changes in judges and its time to move on.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good hub, Scott. I was never a big IDOL fan, and I agree with you--let the thing die a natually death. I also agree with you about the couch-bully gong-show aspect of things just lately. Not much talent there: I feel sorry for just about everyone involved.

    • rgarnett profile image

      Rachael Fields 7 years ago from KC, MO

      I watched last season after a very long hiatus - only because Ellen was on it and I love her. However, you are right about that show, it should likely have a full funeral. I would probably cry however, if So You Think You Can Dance? went off the air. :P

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Good Hub and good point. The title of this Hub caught my eye even though I've never seen one episode of American Idol. Even as someone who has never watched it, though, I've pretty much heard about it second-hand because of its "big presence". It seems pretty clear that (nature of the show aside) the show's success could be attributed to the particular combination of judges who made it what it was. On a show like that, some combinations work for whatever reasons they work, regardless of (or because of quirks or personality "issues"). Even to a "second-hand observer", it's clear it's time to start a whole new show with a whole new name. At this point, that one would fall under the category of "embattled" and needs to pack it in.