After months and months of seemingly endless media speculation and hype AMERICAN IDOL Version 2.0 finally arrived. But did the revamped reality competition, complete with new judges (pop diva Jennifer Lopez and aging rock star Steven Tyler) and an emphasis on “talent” still have what it takes to compete in the increasingly cluttered primetime television landscape? One reader, who wishes to remain anonymous for what we can only assume is a fear of reprisal from the all-too-powerful FOX network sure as hell didn’t think so. See for yourself after the jump.
At 10PM on Wednesday night (EST), AMERICAN IDOL died. The hit singing contest, once the most popular kid in school, suffered a slow death as a result of a complete lack of authenticity.
Over the past ten years we have seen good singers and bad singers parade across the stage, but the constant remained an attachment to the people behind the judging panel. Yes the Lythgoe [Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe] propaganda office would like us to believe the show is about the talent, but when for a majority of the show that talent can not connect to its audience, we turn to the only person on the tube who we both loathe and love Simon Cowell for that connection. Randy Jackson never had anything authentic to say to begin with and being in first position on the panel made it easier to fast forward over his comments. Steven Tyler physically lacks authenticity and his washed up rock star “cool” oozes pathetic. He is truly difficult to watch. Jennifer Lopez fares best on the panel as she brings bits of authenticity and truth. However her comment that it was surreal to sit in the judging chair was somewhat bizarre coming from J Lo. Why couldn’t she have replaced Paula and saved us from Cara/Kara whats her name. Lopez and Cowell could have been epic.
As we built up to the final singer of the night, Travis Orlando, I thought his down on his luck story and incredible talent gave hope that perhaps it was all about the talent and that the shark may stay away. Unfortunately the sharks circled when that panel opened their mouths, it was not all about the talent. At that Orlando moment I realized it was not Simon’s meanness that we loved, it was his authenticity. If a kid was good a wink and a “I like you” warmed the hearts of viewers and excited us about a talent. Through Simon, the good and the bad, we could all connect to the talent. Last nigh we had no conduit, no connection, no authenticity and therefore IDOL was dead on arrival.