After fifteen seasons American Idol is finally signing off. Sad you say? No, I am happy as can be. I have never liked the American Idol format of contestants with minute talent, being transformed into an over night music success. On air talent was selected by music background and skill. In later seasons the guesswork was taken out, leaving less work for the judges. Contestant Clay Aiken admitted to this happening after his American Idol appearance.
I have never been a firm believer in a show that skips all hardships of the average music star. Another problem I have is that American Idol is supposed to be a serious competition, but they let people like William Hung (She Bangs) and Larry Platt (Pants on the Ground) make a mockery of their show.
Some of American Idol’s finest controversies have been: Phone-phreak hackers using hardware and software to place 10,000 votes a night, more than 230 million calls were dropped by AT&T, a phone scan system that tricked people to call an 866 number instead of an 800 number all while charging callers 99 cents to $1.99, Howard Stern leading with “Vote for the Worst”, “textgate” where AT&T admitted to providing free texting services for Kris Allen fans, and the list goes on through all 14 seasons.
They tried to give the show a spin to make it appealing to a dying audience, with publicity stunts, scandals, and controversy. However, not many seemed to be interested in the show, hence American idol’s demise. Other problems with the show were the quote on quote career control or the contracts that were held by finalists and contestants. Simon Fuller’s entertainment company, 19 Entertainment, controlled merchandising, touring, sponsorship, and movie deals. Fuller preyed on the ignorance of dreamy contestants that seeked fortune and fame, little did they know that they would add to Fuller’s fortune.
I am so glad to see American Idol come to a close. I would be even happier if they cancelled The Voice too.