So yes, I am one of the few remaining people who still watch American Idol ( You know I have always wondered..Everyone says they don’t watch American Idol but they stay pulling huge numbers, who is watching?). I digress…As I was saying, I am a fan of American Idol ever since Season 1 ( I haven’t decided if I was more of a fan of the show or Simon Cowell who I LOVE). I have watched every season since inception except the season where Scotty McCreery won.
This show has always been a ratings juggernaut. Of all the music shows out there, I like their format the best. I always say of all his numerous jobs, Ryan Seacrest does his best job here and they really do have talent on the show but alas, the producers of the show didn’t heed to the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The stumble began when few seasons in they decided to bring a 4th judge…there was Angie Martinez who lasted a few days, Ellen Degeneres who also bowed out and Kara DioGuardi who although a solid judge just never quite gelled with the rest of the judges *remember this*. Then there was the guest judge thing, then the introduction of Jimmy Iovine as a mentor – ok this one I like, he’s the closest thing to Simon I have left. The show has churned out a few hits and a few stars most notably Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. They’ve done okay but 12 years in and I think the show has reached the beginning of the end.
Season 12. Where do I start? Ok I know where to start from Season 10, when the judges tables took a big shake up and added Jlo and Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. It just signaled desperation to me. American Idol was pandering for the big names and not really catering to the premise of the show which is to make an obscure person with big talent into a star. Noone was really saying anything. Jlo was trying to be nice, Steven Tyler was a bumbling mess and Randy was just…Randy. As predicted, the two new judges lasted 2 years and there was yet another shake up. Enter the judges for Season 12 – Randy, somehow kept his job, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj. I was very unsure of this panel when I heard about it because for one, the 4 judge panel is not a fit for American Idol, past history shows that. Secondly. I am not a fan of Mariah Carey as an individual at all. I can’t explain it I just think as old as she is, she’s just never figured out herself and just portrays air brain and bubble. Third, I saw Keith Urban as timid and wasn’t sure what he could bring to the table but I was willing to wait till it aired.
It wasn’t long before the Mariah/Nicki feud came to light and then I knew it was trouble. I tuned in to the show when it premiered and the tension was so uncomfortable, I couldn’t finish the episode. I tuned back in during the sudden death round and no wonder ratings have slipped dramatically. It’s just a mess this season.The contestants are not up to par at all talent wise. Remember when I mentioned gelling? Paula and Randy didn’t really say or add much but Paula, Randy and Simon gelled. This season? Not so much gelling going on. The judge’s table feels like there are 2 camps, Nicki/Keith and Randy/Mariah. There’s so much being said with facial expressions with Nicki and Mariah that the camera never shows full view of all judges when one of them is speaking because you are sure to catch an eye roll. Mariah doesn’t even address Nicki. This is not comfortable viewing for the viewers. I’ll break down the judges individually.
Keith Urban – the biggest surprise, he actually has some good insight and seems to be free of the drama. He still every now and then tries to play mr nice guy and not say what he really means but overall he is a good judge.
Nicki Minaj – The time bomb on the panel. A lot of people feel she doesn’t have enough credibility to be a judge but I disagree. She may not be a singer but she knows about the industry and the image aspect and she doesn’t suffer from what most relevant celebs who are judges suffer from, trying to maintain a nice image and not really saying what they feel. She is pretty honest even though she goes too far sometimes. What irks me about her is the eye rolling, she needs to chill on that. I also never know when she’s kidding or not (when the audience boos) and can she stop playing with her hair!
Randy Jackson – I don’t have much to say. Sometimes I think Randy is slow and just so lucky to keep the same job this long. To be fair, he still has some good insight every now and then but he’s like a filler who is repetitive and the great wall between Nicki and Mariah.
Mariah Carey – My feelings aside, this woman is not earning her paycheck. Mariah comes in every week, shows us way too much of her boobs and just rambles. I am never quite sure what she is saying. She says a lot of things without saying anything. When she does say something, it is either her agreeing with Randy or saying something based on what Nicki said and throwing a barb. She also suffers from the relevantcelebasajudge disease and is trying to make nice with her judging. Next time you watch idol, see if you can catch her plastic smile when Nicki is talking, that’s if the camera doesn’t cut away really quickly.
I’ll see how it goes with the live shows but for now, I am beginning to think that it may be a good idea to let American Idol fade into the background while it still has a somewhat good reputation either that or if another judge rotation happens – which it will, don’t pander for the famous people for ratings. Get people who actually can articulate good critiques to the contestants and for goodness sake get people who like each other.
What do you guys think?