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Op-Ed: The Downfall of Singing Competition Shows

Competition shows have had their run of popularity throughout the early 2000s. Prominent artists like One Direction, Fifth Harmony, and even Kelly Clarkson gained fame from appearing on shows like American Idol and X-Factor. However, the popularity of such shows is beginning to fizzle as the idea/plot of the shows is becoming robotic and formulaic. 

If you’re like me, you may have grown up watching American Idol and watching Kelly Clarkson’s dreams come true. The fact that an ordinary girl was able to win a singing competition and win, throwing her into stardom, was something that almost anyone could ever wish for. The idea of singing competition shows is enjoyable and fun to watch, but after a while, it becomes formulaic. The exact age ranges audition. The same rules seem to stay the same. The only thing that changes and that is exciting is the different celebrity judges that join/leave the shows. 

Most of the excitement when it comes to the shows is the auditions part of the season—new faces all with unique and unseen talent. The real climax of these shows is the freshness and newness that the auditions have to offer. The only show that makes it a little more exciting is The Voice with its addition of the Battle Rounds. However, besides that, the same sequence of events happens every season. 

Due to the high popularity and over-saturation of the show genre, contestants have little to no chance at stardom as they did in the early 2000s. As the genre begins to put quantity over quality, many winners of the shows gain the same status as the latter seasons. On top of that, winners don’t get their albums and songs promoted, played, or streamed, ultimately preventing them from making a name for themselves. 

Additionally, competition shows provide little to no effort in differentiating themselves from their counterparts. Nothing new seems to be occurring. Yes, there is excitement in finding out who will be the next celebrity judge, but that’s about it. 

Alas, there is a small bit of hope for the television genre with the popularity of the new competition show, Masked Singer. The Masked Singer involves an all-celebrity cast competing against each other in pairs while wearing a costume that conceals their identity. It puts a new twist on the genre and brings hopefulness to it as well. 

You can watch Masked Singer Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.


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