In the summer of 2002 Fox Network premiered a new reality singing show, “American Idol.” With the charming Ryan Seacrest and the arrogant yet entertaining Simon Cowell, the show became an instant favorite. The success of “Idol’s” first winner, Kelly Clarkson, set the tone of the show for the next eight years.
As “American Idol” started its 12th season on Jan. 16, it has become more apparent that it isn’t the show it used to be. With the addition of three new judges, Nicki Manaj, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban, “Idol” seems to have lost its original likability.
The show began its downfall in season nine when Simon Cowell, the harsh judge who had become an iconic face of “American Idol,” left the panel to start his own reality singing contest, “The X Factor.”
Season nine was also the first season that neither of the top two finalists obtained any significant album sales, thus ending “Idol’s” eight year reign as America’s favorite reality TV show.
In the seasons following, the judges’ panel was constantly changing. By this season the only original judge is, record producer and music manager, Randy Jackson.
But the judging situation isn’t the only reason for the recent decline in “American Idol’s” support from the country. “Idol” has also seemed to have lost its “class,” so to speak.
The most prominent example of this is the widely covered feud between Manaj and Carey. One of the only reasons some may still watch the show is to get the cheap entertainment out of the constant underlying tension between the two new judges.
The talent in season 12 also doesn’t stand out as it did in the previous seasons. As America watched the selection of the top 20, only a small handful of contestants stood out from the good but non-unique top 40.
The top 20 includes Zoanette Johnson, Breanna Steer, Adriana Latonio, Janelle Arthur, Candice Glover, Kree Harrison, Amber Holcomb, Aubrey Cleland, Tenna Torres, Angela Miller, Elija Liu, Vincent Powell, Lazaro Arbos, Charlie Askew, Nick Boddington, Paul Jolley, Cortez Shaw, Devin Velez, Burnell Taylor, and Curtis Finch Jr.