American Idol

(Part 2)


American Idol actually auditions people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Contestants are not chosen because they are physically fit and gorgeous. The show does not flaunt behaviors that are unacceptable. American idol promotes suitable entertainment that you could view with all of your family members including children. It actually teaches the young contestants how to dress, act and strive to achieve the good things in life so they can have a good quality of life. American Idol Productions produced a telethon called ?Idol Gives Back?. The charity has made history by raising 140 million for charity to date (American Idol). This deserves praise and is certainly something that you would want your children to know and to be exposed.

Reality shows in general seem to come and go and don’t really have a long run of it. Networks keep coming up with new and ridiculous ways to entertain people through reality television. They work for a short time but then they tend to fizzle out. There have literally been hundreds of reality shows. How many can you name that you have heard of or that are still being televised?

American Idol has had nine successful seasons. According to the Neilson ratings this week, American Idol had 21.3 million viewers (Tribune Media Services). Even though Simon left the show, the ratings are still up and each week they claim to have a record number of votes. Granted, each person can vote as many times as they want. But with 45 million votes just last week, someone is watching the show! Kanye West, Carrie Underwood, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Black Eye Peas and Natalie Cole are just a few on the list of star studded entertainers that have appeared on American Idol. Many top musicians have appeared over the years to mentor the contestants such as Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Usher. Previous Idol winners also provide entertainment and have the opportunity to give guidance from their personal experiences to the contestants. There is a star based set of judges that offer constructive criticisms to the contestants to better their chances for a career. Currently, the panel of judges consists of Randy Jackson, who is a singer, music manager, record producer as well as well known television personality; Jennifer Lopez, who is an actress, singer, record and television producer, as well as a fashion designer, then there is Steven Tyler, who is a singer, songwriter, as well as the lead singer and front man for the band Aerosmith.

Most reality shows are just for the pure entertainment value or should I say shock factor? They are based on getting viewers by hyping up strange situations that most of us would not allow in our lives. They teach our youth on national television to do everything we have spent years teaching them NOT to do! My daughter was a teen mom and I would have been appalled had she suggested going on a reality show like `Teen Moms’ or `Sixteen and Pregnant’. These shows continue to glorify situations that the average person would not want to find themselves in. Much less, find their child in it! Through these types of reality shows, viewers are subjected to violence, drinking, drugging, teen pregnancy, superficial people, the use of bad language and a display of disrespect on all levels for the cast and the viewers.

American Idol actually gives not only the winning contestants but many of the contestants the opportunity to get their careers started. Many previous contestants have successful musical careers because of the show. It grooms the contestants and prepares them for stardom in a way that only experience could prepare them. The contestants receive sound advice not only from the judges but from musicians that have many years on experience in the industry. American idol gives young talented people that would not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue a career in music the opportunity for a very lucrative career doing something that they thoroughly enjoy.

There have been past contestants that did have `stories’ that came with them and some would say those stories got them votes. However, of the winning contestants, I can only think of one that possibly got votes because of her hard luck story. That’s not to say she was not talented and well deserving of the title but just to say that she did have a `story’.

At times, it was obvious that very talented contestants did not win and were voted off. It is unfortunate that these contestants win based on the votes. However, we all know that they are talented or they would not have been on the show to begin with because talented judges chose them to be on the show based on their talent and abilities alone. Even the contestants that possibly should have won the American Idol title still went on to have successful careers despite the votes. Some contestants that actually did win did not go on to have the most successful of careers. This is unfortunate but it could be the result of their publicist, the media or just the fact that they didn’t get that hit song that would send them sailing through the industry. It’s not the fault of the show itself. The show has proven over and over that it opens doors and provides opportunities.

American Idol gives opportunities to talented individuals to have a lucrative career in the music industry. There are definitely more pros than cons that could come out of being a contestant on American Idol and what it represents. I would be proud to have one of my children on that show but I can’t say that about the numerous other reality shows that are on television!



American Idol