Let me preface this post by saying that I am not a fan of reality TV as a general rule. In my opinion, the term “reality” is ironic since most of the so-called reality shows are anything but real — all the participants are hamming it up for the camera.
However, I’ve slowly (I can’t believe I’m saying this) becoming a fan of American Idol. It started out last season when I’d catch tidbits of the show while waiting for House to begin or after watching Bones. Impressed with the caliber of the contestants, I began to have some respect for the show — a modern day Star Search. And I began to re-evaluate my first impression of reality shows — at least for the talent show type.
So when the sixth season began my husband and I decided to give it a try. I know most people like the beginning of the season when you see all those who don’t make the cut, but I actually enjoy it most when we get down to the final 12. Remember I want to see talent, not theater.
And I have to say I am truly amazed at the quality of most of the finalists. I have my favorites — Melinda Doolittle and Gina Glocksen — as does my husband, who also favors Doolittle and LaKisha Jones. However, I wouldn’t be upset if any of 11 of the 12 won.
But if Sanjaya Malakar wins, my foray into reality shows will come to a complete and abrupt halt. And judging from an article in USA Today this week, I’m not the only one who would stop watching American Idol over this charade.
Why am I so upset? Here’s a show with 11 talented singers that spend every week trying to improve their vocal quality, strengthen their performance presence and impress America with their passion for singing. Malakar, on the other hand, spends his time coming up with the weirdest hairdos. And trust me no hairdo will help his performance.
And what’s worse is that America isn’t talking about Glocksen’s rocker style or Blake Lewis‘ beat-box sound or even the pipes on Doolittle or Jones. Or the talents of any of the other 11.
I think Simon said it best on Tuesday when he reviewed Malakar’s performance, “I don’t think it matters anymore what we [the judges] say. I genuinely don’t. You are in your own universe. If people like you, good luck.”
I tuned into American Idol for a talent contest, not a popularity contest. And if that’s what it’s become, I’ll be signing off!