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The television show AMERICAN IDOL. is a good show. and why it a good show - Essay Example

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American Idol is one of the most successful TV reality shows in USA with current ratings soaring with over 35 million people viewing the premier of the new 5th season, which began on the 17th January 2006. Produced by FrementalMedia on behalf Fox TV Network, the show has become…
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The television show AMERICAN IDOL. is a good show. and why it a good show
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What makes American Idol a good show? American Idol is one of the most successful TV reality shows in USA with current ratings soaring with over 35 million people viewing the premier of the new 5th season, which began on the 17th January 2006. Produced by FrementalMedia on behalf Fox TV Network, the show has become one of the most popular and talked about events among its target viewership not only in USA but also across the globe. Idol with its mediocre initiation has risen to its current stardom over the pats five seasons and what makes it such a success is worth exploring. The success of the show lies in the spontaneity associated with the reality show, its contestants and judges coupled with its appeal to all ages of viewers.
Exploring the spontaneity aspects of the show, how much of it is truly spontaneous and what parts are orchestrated is a topic of speculation (Shale 2006). The competition’s initial rounds attract tens of thousands of hopeful artists who are screened and only dozens move on to the rounds in Hollywood. In these initial auditions, a mix of expectant artists are showcased comprise of some bizarre acts, very poor singing talent along with those who are chosen for the rounds in Hollywood. The viewers are granted the experience of watching spontaneity at its epitome with bizarre and awful performances such as the portrayal of Lady Marmalade in season one and a contestant dressed as the Statue of Liberty in the latest season’s auditions. While one may wonder whether such self-delusioned people are for real, viewers will no doubt agree that such eccentricities add to the reality show’s appeal.
While spontaneity of the contestants is one aspect, the judges themselves add to the drama of the show by blunt and harsh criticisms and unsuppressed dismays expressed verbally and with their dramatic facial expressions. The three judges of the show, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson portrays three different personal styles with Simon coming across as the most critical and harsh of them with controversial remarks which even raise public backlashes. As per Tom Shales, in his article, Americas Winning Losers… “when the show started, this aspect of it seemed awfully mean-spirited -- humiliation television, cruelty as entertainment” (Shales 2006). However, it has to be accepted that the viewing audience sees such brutal remarks by Simon as "You look like the Incredible Hulks wife" as an essential element of the formula which makes Idol the success it is. Squabbling between the judges themselves on disagreements on who they see as talented adds to the viewer’s pleasures. To see these three celebrities in roles other than the performing artists that they were are interesting enough but opportunities to see them bickering and later making up with kisses, heightens the spontaneity aspects of this reality show.
The other aspect contributing to the success of the show is its appeal to all ages of the viewer-ship. Although the show’s main target audience may be the teen to twenties age group with their tastes hinging on popular pop culture which Idol relates to, the show is ardently viewed by many who represent other mature age groups. Increasing the upper age limit of participants from 24 to 28 from season 5 onwards may also reflect the show’s appeal to a diverse age group within its audience. The contests also present a wide variety of music ranging from pop, country to rock and this too appeal to a wider age group. The formatting of the show is also done in such a manner that variety is included through the types of music as well as show ambiance.
With its drama and controversies coupled with true talents of the aspiring artists who sing their hearts out in some of the semi final rounds, American Idol is one of TV’s most entertaining shows today. The spontaneity of the show, the contestants and judges as well as its wide appeal to all age groups of viewers can be considered as the key factors contributing to this phenomenal success. While its success may dwindle or plummet down in future, succumbing to the American viewers’ inherent short attention span, the show is currently not only an avenue for the aspiring young artists to realize their dreams but also a platter of “mix grill” of satire, spontaneity, drama and dreams for the viewing public’s pleasure.
Reference:
Shale, T. “Americas Winning Losers Idol Embodies the Qualities That Made a Nation What It It Is” Washington Post .com Wednesday, January 25, 2006; Page C01. 14 Feb 2006,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/24/AR2006012401853.html?nav=rss_artsandliving
"American Idol." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 13 Feb 2006, 23:36 UTC. 14 Feb 2006,
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=American_Idol&oldid=39503961>. Read More
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