American Idol: Why It Will and Will Not Be Missed

american idol

On May 10, it was announced that the longest-running reality show in history will be coming to an end after the next season wraps up. Yes, American Idol is finally calling curtain on what has been a roller coaster 14 years so far, and will end with 15. Upon accepting this, one can see that there are reasons why the hit FOX series both will and will not be missed upon its departure from the network.

It Was A Staple of 21st Century Entertainment:

American Idol made history, and not just because of how long it will have aired by the time it wraps up next season. It became something that individuals, especially those who are now in the 20-30 range, can say was a part of the majority of their life. Indeed, those who are turning 25 this year can say that for over half of their life, the show was in existence and they were at least hearing about it regularly if not watching it religiously. The series is just one of those things that defines the 2000’s, and life without its existence will be very hard for many to deal with given how used to it everyone became.

The Series Had Finally Gotten Its Act Together With The Judges:

For quite some time, the judging panel was tossed up in the air and changed the second it landed on the ground. It got to the point where no one expected anyone to last more than one season, and the replacements the producers brought in in exchanged never ended up being much better than the last. However, this current season (14) and the last (13) changed everything. The dynamic of Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban is nothing short of a force to be reckoned with. The three compliment each other without overdoing it, and in short just seem to fit together; it is almost as if they grew up together or were related, in how perfect their relationship is and how it saved the show from declining even further. Given this most recent admittance, it also has to be discussed why American Idol will not be missed.

The Judging Situation Being Fixed Was Too Little, Too Late:

While the aforementioned combination of Lopez, Connick Jr. and Urban managed to fix the show’s deteriorating state for the last final years, the damage had unfortunately been done by that point. The drama of Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey in Season 12, along with the bizarre choice of Steven Tyler the year before turned viewers off completely, not to mention the unfortunate but true pointless hiring of Kara DioGuardi back in 2009 (back when original American Idol judging trio Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson were still together).

The Talent Became Not Much More Than Barely Passable:

Over the years, various horror stories from previous American Idol winners and contestants who did not end up in a great situation career wise began to diminish the amount of people who even wanted to try out for the show. Indeed; as much as people did not like season nine winner Lee Dewyze, they were still not too impressed upon hearing that the singer was dropped from his label mid-tour, while promoting his debut album (post-Idol, as the entertainer had a few records under his belt previously). The fact that he was cut off from the tradition of the previous year’s winner giving out new cars to the next year’s final two was not ignored; in fact, his brother spoke up about it on Twitter and made it known that he was not happy with (former) Nigel Lythgoe whatsoever. In short, being the winner or even being associated with American Idol in any way has become something of a notoriety in terms of how little it matters, and how much it actually does not do any contestant any good in the end.

While the end of American Idol will surely bring mixed reactions, it is clear that there are both reasons why it will be missed as well as reasons why it makes sense for it to be canceled at this point. Regardless of how people feel, however, it is undeniable that American Idol has been a significant difference in the history of 21st century television.

By Rebecca Grace

(Image via meagan383’s Flickr Page)

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