It was announced today that the next season of American Idol, the 15th season, will be it's last. It is the end of an American institution, to be sure, but I think we can all agree it is time to put this one out of its misery. First debuted on Fox in June 2002, American Idol created a sensation from the moment the first episode aired.
American Idol once was a national obsession. Years ago, myself and several other bloggers would write re-caps and enjoy handicapping every minute of the Cinderella story played out in real time. I used to LOVE to watch Idol every week and root for my favorite talent to win. It was a family affair, as we would all gather together to enjoy the excitement of Idol. It was magic, watching everyday people become singing sensations each week. Thorough it's tenure, Idol has produced two bonafide recording stars; Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Then a string of 11 almost stars, some more forgettable than others. American Idol introduced us to Simon Cowell, the celebrity judge we all love to fear. If Simon said something, one was hardpressed to forget it and his advice helped launch the careers of many aspiring stars.
The judges, they became like family. A cuckoo, crazy family with a stern father (Simon), a beautiful but dizzy mother (Paula), a groovy big brother (Randy), and the voice of reason. (Ryan) Then they got too famous...the judges almost became the focus more than the talent. There was fighting within producing staff...it was documented that the franchises marquee talent-Simon Cowell- wasn't happy and was looking elsewhere. Then Paula left and then Simon left and no matter who they replaced them with Idol was never the same without Simon.
Is that when Idol jumped the shark?
Possibly, but my guess is it jumped the shark some where in between Season 4 and Season 8. Too many talented folks elimated early-conspiracy theories abound-and America's favorite show never quite rebounded. The hand writing was on the wall, yet it soldiered on, banking on America's belief in the dream. They bled that franchise for every dollar it was worth and they weren't smart enough to stop the bleeding. They hired new celebrity judges-big names with big followings-they changed the format countless times, yet Idol never delivered the goods after Season 4. They never delivered another true American Idol.
In the end, we enjoyed it for what it was worth-but nobody like a guest who overstayed their welcome.
Bye bye American Idol. Your time has come.