Monday, January 9, 2012

My Five Cents: Why I am giving the proverbial "Forget You" to 'American Idol'...

They say 'Out with the old and in with the new', but in truth that does not even begin to scratch the surface of why I stopped watching (and never even once covered) American Idol. Sure, there are elements to the show that certainly became repetitive week after week, let alone season after season, but if you were following my FOX TCA Tweets, you would have seen some of the outlandish and petty and defensive disparaging comments that a number of panelists and Powers That Be at the show hurled at The Voice. I don't really want to recap such negativity here (this is a safe space!), but you can search my Twitter page for the #Idol hashtag and see what potshots everyone from judge Randy Jackson to producers Ken Warwick and Cecile Frot-Coutaz took.

And those in a nutshell sum up why I choose the latter over the former, and in essence, even sums up the difference between the two shows. The Voice is all about positivity and uplifting both its talent and its audience, while American Idol gets off on mean-spirited "fun."

But furthermore, The Voice actually develops artistic talent in a way that American Idol never seemed to. As Cee Lo Green put it, "Essentially and ultimately this is artist development, which is a department that's closed, null and void in most labels today. So I kind of look at it in that context, like A & R and our executive-producing, they still have room to grow. Like, as opposed to the other shows in comparison where they kind of can see that you're a total package coming into it."

The Voice puts in the work, and in turn, it finds artists who are actually willing to do so, as well.
They care more about the craft than any perceived glitz and glamor that might come with it. American Idol wants to pluck kids from obscurity and catapult them overnight to the stage-- and to headlines, even if just for a few minutes. It gives its contestants a crash course in singing in front of a large audience, but it doesn't show them what life will be like if they really want to be a professional singer for the rest of their lives. And considering the snide and cynical mentality of those behind the show, I get no indication that they care what happens to their talent post-season. If the singer does well post-show, they take credit for "discovering" that person. If the singer fades into obscuring or makes headlines for their mugshots, they pretend they never graced their stage. It's everything wrong with the entertainment industry, in my opinion.

How do you feel, though? Do you know anyone who have auditioned for either show, giving you a different impression of them? Feel free to comment!

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