American Idol continues to set new records each week with the number of votes garnered from viewers when the time comes to selecting which contestant they liked best and preferred to have them stay in the competition. It is astounding as that interest remains in a talent show that is now into its seventh season, and while television ratings may have dipped slightly this year, it is undeniable that fans still love the show, and would remain devoted as long as there are willing contestants. And the latter numbers in the tens of thousands each year when American Idol auditions are held in the various cities across the United States.
With its seventh season now approaching its climax as one contestant gets eliminated each week until the final two pit their singing talents against each other, there has been a general lack of controversy and scandal this year, unlike that of previous seasons when many American Idol fans tagged onto every news bit that emerged from the show. Even the three judges of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson got into the act at times which drummed up, even more, media hype. This season’s contestants appear to be genially interested in singing and having a chance to establish themselves in the music industry, rather than generating fanfare and interest from other sources.
However, there has also been a noticeable lack of personalities this year. The initial drama generated from the likes of Asia’H Epperson, Kristy Lee Cook, and Amy Davis has quickly dissipated as two of them were eliminated early in the competition, while Kristy Lee Cook has been shown to lack any performing abilities and vocal range. The men themselves have looked shy or apprehensive on stage, with the exception of David Cook, which overbearing confidence can easily be construed as overriding arrogance by many.
Without a doubt, the remaining contestants such as David Cook, David Archuleta, Michael Johns and Brooke White have showcased their vocal talent. But the lack of a performance edge has dulled the show on many occasions. Proponents of the show would applaud this development as they would now be able to concentrate on the genuine singing abilities of the finalists, but this could easily alienate the other fans of American Idol who are genuinely enamored of the star qualities from previous editions such as that of Katherine McPhee’s, who is now a regular feature in celebrity gossip columns. Whether this would lead to a stronger show, in the long run, is anyone’s guess, but American Idol is as much about show business as it is about singing, and it remains to be seen if the producers’ decision to go mainly for talent this year would be worth the risk.
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