Saturday, January 20, 2007

Humiliation: The New American Idol

I admit I was a huge "American Idol" fan that very first season when the beloved Kelly Clarkson rose to fame. The night of the final showdown between Kelly and Justin I was on the edge of my seat. Kelly's talent greatly surpassed that of Justin, but the public's taste can be fickle and I worried they'd make the wrong choice. Luckily they chose the true talent.

As the seasons progressed my anticipation wavered. The show was beginning to look manipulated, cheap, and the focus seemed to be moving away from artistic ability and more into media creation. The judges became jokes unto themselves. Their stale, apparently scripted banter was blatantly aimed at generating high ratings and their own celebrity.

If Paula Abdul ever auditioned for "American Idol" she would never make it past the first round. So what possible talent does she possess that allows her to destroy the dreams of would-be singers? Isn't it interesting that since "Idol" began she hasn't put out a new CD?

The most egregious crime of the show is broadcasting the auditions with all the ridicule and snide comments for the world to see. Doesn't anyone involved with the show have a conscience? Yes there are bad singers - horrific singers - who audition but what gives "American Idol" the right to belittle, degrade, and humiliate these people? Once the show is over these people have to go back to their small town lives and face family and friends. The humiliation must be overwhelming, and I'm certain the effects are long lasting.

Shame on the producers of "American Idol" for stooping so low.

I refuse to watch "American Idol" anymore. The American public deserves better than what the show has devolved into: a freak show without a conscience.

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