05/12/15 by Rennie Detore
"American Idol" finally is no more.
The show, once the darling of reality television in general and FOX specifically, is being canceled by the network after next season, a move that is long overdue. The fledgling reality show got hit with a dose of just that when FOX said so long to one of its more popular and polarizing shows in the history of the network.
Once a critical and commercial success, "American Idol" fell on hard times over the last five years with slumping ratings and general disinterest in what can only be described as a hard to watch, watered down, train wreck at times version of the original.
The contestants seemed rather average at best over that period of times, and the judges were a far cry from the original three of Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. The show delivered some ridiculously talented winners (and even non winners), such as Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry and Carrie Underwood, just to name a few. The show had the proverbial Midas touch as contestants ended up scoring huge record deals and churning out one successful album after another.
What the show has become is tired and formulaic. Not much about the show has changed over the last nearly two decades other than the aforementioned judges and the crop of talent that is terribly underwhelming.
The truth is "American Idol" served plenty of good. It changed the scope of reality television in its genre of finding talent in every nook and cranny of the United States. It pulled virtual unknowns out off their suburban homes and gave them a much needed platform to succeed, and for that, the show served its purpose. The original judges also were entertaining, and the show's formula was new, fresh and revolutionary at the time.
But like anything else, it grew old. It failed to adapt, and when a show like "The Voice" came out of the chamber, it blew away "Idol" with a newer, more unique concept. It also didn't hurt "The Voice" that the show lived up to the moniker with much better singers and talented contestants.
You can't discount, too, that "Idol" could never find a judges trio that matched the charisma and level of combative behavior that Cowell, Jackson and Abdul had. Ryan Seacrest also has started to grate on the nerves of the casual fan as well since he's basically everywhere from radio to executive producing just about everything on the E! Network.
The decision to deal "Idol" the cancellation blow is a good one. The show already was forgotten and now it will be gone as well. Much like a professional athlete who competes long past his prime, "Idol" has seen better days and having the plug pulled was a compassionate decision for a show that had long since been irrelevant.
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