Idol idling: Why 'American Idol' is singing to an empty arena

11/06/14 by Rennie Detore



Right around the first week in November, FOX Network starts its push toward "American Idol" season, which begins every year in January.
Sleek promos and television commercials begin hitting the airwaves of the network, but as the 14th installment "American Idol" is in the works, you can't help greet the anticipation with anything less than a quick glance and subsequent shoulder shrug.
Everything about "American Idol" screams rerun and rehashed, aside from the three panelists of judges on the show. That revolving door started when Randy Jackson, one of the original judges, finally bid the show a fond farewell and gave way to a slew of replacements, some better than others (didn't mind Steven Tyler or even Jennifer Lopez; Mariah Carey, not so much).

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But the show never fully recovered from losing their savvy and sometimes cranky judges, and "American Idol," one the bench mark for reality television as it relates to competition shows now is struggling to remain competitive with other shows of the same ilk.
More importantly for the sake of the show and the network, "American Idol" is having a hard time retaining viewers, and the dwindling ratings in recent years supports the notion that fans have had their fill of this show.
What "American Idol" is experiencing is nothing different than other shows that have run their course and now are just running of fumes; the entertainment word for that is "nostalgia." Reputation isn't going to be enough to push Idol back into the spotlight as being a relevant piece of television in 2015. The new judges are fine, and Ryan Seacrest is forever a constant on the show but the premise, execution and talent searching is tiresome, boring and, honestly, hasn't yielded the kind of talent and superstars the show had been accustomed to producing.
The last few seasons in particular, even when you whittle the competitors down to the top 10 or the final five, haven't really had the kind of contestants that have blown away audiences watching at home on television. You almost get the impression watching the show that the Idol judges painfully attempt to gush over mediocrity, like they're critiquing a performance in a bubble that is one more season potentially away from bursting, if it hasn't already and no one is bothering to acknowledge that it has happened.
The lack of viewers obviously isn't going to do the new "American Idol" champion any favors as far as record sales or tunes downloaded, either. Idol is in the midst of storm that is hardly perfect. The show is old, the talent is missing and the format feels like you're watching reruns.

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