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This Is American Idol

Emma Greenspan, Opinions Editor

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Two years ago, American Idol, a beloved reality TV singing competition aired for the last time… or so we all thought. On March 11th, American Idol returned airing on ABC, rather than Fox, giving millions the chance to audition and win a recording contract. Some of the biggest names were created on Idol: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, and Scotty McCreery, just to name a few. But towards the end of the show, there were not as many hits and views decreased. With the return of the show on the new network, there are high hopes for American Idol.


The singing competition begins with auditions across the country. The judges travel from city to city listening to many vocalists sing their heart out for a chance to earn a golden ticket to Hollywood. The golden ticket gives them the opportunity to travel to Hollywood, California to compete in more rounds of the competition. One of the reasons why the show originally decreased in viewership was because the judges were too nice, they would not be critical, allowing too many people to advance to Hollywood. As the new season airs, one of the main concerns is how much backstory we learn about each contestant. With almost every singer, we get a reel about their life and how they got to where they are, but it takes away from their voice and does not allow the viewers to form an opinion on talent alone. By focusing more on the talent, the show could create that wow factor it was once famous.


This year’s judges are Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. The three are some of the most well-known names in their genre. Their salaries for the show exceed what the previous judges made by a landslide with Perry earning $25 million, Bryan and Richie both earning approximately $7 million, and, the host, Ryan Seacrest earning $12 million. With salaries like these, ABC is for sure betting on a massive following and interest in the rebooted show.  Although most loyal viewers long for the brutally honest Simon Cowell, one of the original judges, there have been a lot of people not given the golden ticket because the judges deemed their voices not ready or not as good as other contestants. The new panel of judges delivers the bad news in a more positive manner than Cowell once did.


When Idol stopped airing, another singing competition show grew, The Voice. Both shows overlap on Monday nights, although American Idol drew in 7.7 million viewers; The Voice drew in over 10.7 million. The ratings for Idol suffered another double-digit ratings decline and about an eleven percent deficit from the first week to the second. With ratings like these, the question remains, will American Idol cease to exist once more, or will there be redemption for the once beloved show?

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This Is American Idol