‘American Idol’ becoming more and more karaoke


Is anyone else sick of “American Idol”?

Of course I mean anyone other than judge Simon Cowell, who appears so annoyed with being at the show in every episode it’s a shock that he actually shows up each week. If it weren’t for the truckload of money he collects with every episode, he’d probably just stay home.

I know I am tired of “American Idol,” yet, like millions of Americans, I still, for some unknown reason, tune in each week.

I can’t say why I still do. It’s not because I enjoy the show, because more often than not after watching it, I’m left quite annoyed — much like Cowell.

One of the things that annoys me is the fact that, despite how much respect I have for the ability of someone like Carrie Underwood, it’s irritating that these regular people can win a karaoke contest and suddenly become a superstar. At least one person each season is blasted into stardom for doing something that billions of people do in bars every year — sing poor renditions of other people’s songs.

Another thing that irritates me is the genre choices that the producers of the show pick each week. They’ve gotten pretty ridiculous. Rather than choosing an actual genre, like country or rock, they have been choosing a specific artist from whose catalog the contestants need to choose their song.

Beatles night was OK, because there are a billion Beatles songs, many of which have been covered by other artists. So there are some choices there.

But last week was Shania Twain week. If you are not familiar with Shania Twain, she is a country artist who has released a whopping four original albums containing songs that all sound identical. If you played each album all the way through without any space between the songs, even the most trained ear would not be able to tell where one song ended and another began.

Notice in the last paragraph I stated that Shania had released four original albums — she actually has a fifth “Greatest Hits” album. This is something I do not understand. There are great rock bands that have released dozens of albums before they come out with a greatest hits album. But when you have only released four albums, how in the world do you then create a greatest hits album?

Another thing I don’t understand is that, as Shania did, artists often put new songs on their greatest hits albums. Isn’t that being a little bit cocky? How do you know that song is going to be one of your greatest hits? If for some reason that song doesn’t become a hit, then the title of the album is false advertisement.

Earlier this season, Adam Lambert was a mentor for the contestants on “American Idol.” If you don’t recall who Adam Lambert is, it’s not surprising. He ***lost last year’s show. That’s right, “American Idol” is the one place that you can ***lose one year, and come back the following year to give the contestants advice.

Lambert’s best advice for contestants? “Don’t lose, like I did.”

And now there are rumors that Lambert may replace Simon Cowell, who is leaving the show after this season. Really? Will someone please explain to me what qualification Lambert has for judging up-and-coming artists? He’s only been a part of the music scene for what, six months? He has one album. How in the world is he qualified to be a judge?

Of course, this season “American Idol” replaced Paula Abdul, an actual singer, with Ellen Degeneres, whose primary qualification for being a judge is the fact that she dances poorly to music at the beginning of her own show.

Oh, and she’s a comedian, so certainly she’s qualified to give contestants advice. Has anyone ever heard the phrase, “jumped the shark?” Look it up. You’ll find the “American Idol” logo.

Anyone who argues that this is anything more than a karaoke contest obviously has no clue what is going on.

And yet, I’m still watching…


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Eric, first of all, I've never caught and entire episode. Unfortunately, I've caught glimpses as I surf or stroll through the living room.

Nevertheless, it sounds more like you're upset with the industry as a whole. Unfortunately, not everyone recognizes that this show is just part of "the machine", nothing more. The artists that generally appear on the show as "mentors" are generally pushing a recent product. Also, notice the blatant product placements. Anyway, I could go on and on about things in the show that are just vehicles.

It's a business disguised as entertainment and the public has bought it hook, line and "singer".

Monday, May 17, 2010 | Report this

I agree, Eric. I think something that would change the show for the better would be to have the singers perform the music they have written themselves. That would show true musicianship. That would show what their record would sound like if they win.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 | Report this

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