A Tale of Idol Boredom

by Melissa Minners

            I missed the first three seasons of American Idol, but I really didn’t feel like I had actually missed anything at the time.  The show was super-hyped, but I was not a fan of reality television shows where talent matters less than popularity and so I had decided to skip it.  My brother got me interested in the fourth season and I sat through a couple more before becoming completely unenthused.  By the time Season 7 rolled around, I was annoyed with the show but continued to watch with some interest.  We are no in the midst of Season 8 and I can barely bother offering it a glance.

            Last year, we all asked for some changes – less audition episodes, less bickering amongst the judges, more control by the show over the voting process, etc.  This year, the producers thought they would shake things up a bit and make some changes.  Unfortunately, what the fans wanted changed really didn’t factor into their thought process. 

            The producers added a new judge (Kara DioGuardi) who is just as annoying as Paula, except not as cloyingly sweet and more attentive…in other words, less drunk/drugged looking/acting.  The extra judge was supposedly brought aboard to add some spice to the show and a new perspective in the judging process.  I ask you, wasn’t it bad enough with three judges?  Why do we need a fourth?  Or is this new judge simply a replacement for Paula Abdul once her contract is up, hmmm?

            The producers completely ignored viewers pleas for less audition episodes and subjected them to more and more freaks, horrific incantations and boring dialogue.  Why would anyone actually sit through seven two-hour episodes of auditions?  Especially if half of them are just plain frightening.  This is followed by four nights of Hollywood Rounds, but things are changed up a bit in the last round.  We have added something new – the judges know damn well who they are planning on putting through, but they make a show of pitting a couple of contestants against each other in a sing-off in order to make their final decision.  Gimme a break!  This move was so incredibly transparent – we want to make the Top 36 selection just a little less boring by pretending that singers have a chance to change the judges’ minds about their selections.  Whatever!

            The new format for the Top 36 drags things out longer than ever before, begging the question: Just how many nights of Idol do we actually need?  We don’t do girls night, guys night and result show anymore.  No, now we listen to one group of contestants (men and women) sing on the first night and then watch the results show on the second night.  Only three of the twelve can go on to the Top Twelve.  This goes on for three weeks in the same format.  But…oh no!  This means only nine of the Top Twelve have been chosen!  Whatever shall we do?  I know!  We’ll bring back the Wild Card Round.  That will make things exciting.  And in this round, we’ll include people who never should have been voted off in the first place.  That’ll really stir things up!

            I have to say, as far as I’m concerned, the new “improvements” to Idol have only made things that much worse.  I was completely bored by the second audition show and haven’t bothered but to watch little snippets of the show since then.  There are those who are diehard fans and will continue to watch American Idol until it finally goes off the air.  Good luck to those diehard fans.  I commend you on your strength.  As for me – well, it’s almost as if the show was already cancelled.  I simply can’t be bothered.


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