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This.....is American Idol

“This…..Is American Idol.? Those famous words that begin each show – a show that not only millions of people watch - but pay money - in order to participate in the process. As possibly the show that began the reality show phenomenon, American Idol has captured the attention of all ages. Even if you’re a critic of the show, it’s hard to argue with its success...

The season begins with a few weeks of auditions. This is the time where they take obnoxious, talentless performers to embarrass themselves and entertain others and mix them in with the talented contestants. They also follow a few of the unsuccessful, first showing their story to an ironic soundtrack in order to entice the audience. Many people watch just for the auditions – a time where it’s okay to laugh at others, feel better about yourself, and just shake your head in embarrassment. People knew what they were getting into, so they deserve it, right?
After the seemingly exhausting (although you never really know what reality is in reality tv land) audition weeks are over, the top contestants are chosen and the judges “work? is done – now it’s up to the audience to carry the show. Performances start each week, eliminating contestants week by week until they’re down to the final few. Theme weeks begin, and celebrities are brought in to help the contestants and to further popularize the show. The judges “judge? each week - Randy usually just shaking his head and repeating his famous lines: “What up dogg,? or “it just wasn’t great for me?: Paula, commenting on how great they look tonight and how proud she is: and Simon, the judge who actually will tell you how it is, and who is usually on key with the voting audience. Finally, the finale. Two singers are left and the winner will go away with a record deal and instant recognition. Due to the success of the show, the “loser? will go away with a record deal and instant recognition…….
I, like millions of others, love American Idol. The audition weeks are my least favorite, although I do see the appeal of many and understand why many people (especially youth) watch this part and this part only. I love the actual competition and I usually agree with the voting audience, although I have never voted myself. I like the idea of the show, that there are “regular? people who are trying to make their dreams come true. While there is always more than meets the eye, overall I think that it does produce motivation for trying your best and reaching for your dreams. As corny as that sounds, I do believe that behind the money making schemes, the core of the show is based upon this belief and that the public believes it.
Whether people do watch it for the auditions, the performances, the music or the entertainment; if we have to have a reality television phenomenon, what better topic than music? To bring music into the spotlight in primetime television; and to have millions of people participating and talking about it is great – music has the power to bring all ages together to have discussions and just plain fun. And if this is the outcome, then I’m a big reality tv fan as well.