American Idol’s 11th Season

April 6th, 2012   admin   Uncategorized

TV’s American Idol is celebrating their 11th season on the air. When the show first aired June 11th 2002, America was floored. It was a bit reminiscent of American BandStand, which carried a strong following from the first show in 1956 and it’s last in 1989. The modernized concept opened opportunities for pop-star hopefuls (and fame-seekers) in their rise to the top. The first few seasons were extremely successful, breeding superstars like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks. As the seasons went on and the theme stayed the same, as with many other TV favorites, less and less viewers tuned in each week. It was roughly around the 3rd season that Idol decided to lower the age requirement to 16 to include a younger audience, and extended it further to 28 in Season 4. That brought new talent to the show along with new viewers. Ratings were strongest in the 5th and 6th seasons, beginning a slow decline in the 7th.

Like any product, there is a life cycle. A new concept gains much attention and earns more money in its beginning stages. As the product matures, more competitors arise to the challenge (cue The Voice, The X Factor, America’s Got Talent etc…) and innovations need to be made. Idol has done a decent job of changing the judges and visiting a wider range of locations, but apparently it isn’t cutting it. Earlier in the week, an episode aired where 16 year-old contestant Symone Black has a fainting spell, falls completely off the stage and hits her head, causing alarm in everyone on the scene, including judges, producers, a cameraman that tries to save her and her father. The producers thought it would be a great idea to end the show directly at that moment, leaving the audience in a state of shock not knowing the outcome, seemingly to attract more viewers to Thursday’s episode. One would hope that if the girl was seriously injured that Idol would resist exploitation.

Too many questions arose asking if the teen was injured seriously, if the fall was an attempt to gain support and if she will continue the show, so much so that a FOX spokeswoman had to make a statement saying she is just fine, that she was treated by on-site medics for dehydration and will carry on in the competition as planned. Being the fifth contestant to faint during Hollywood week in the past 11 seasons paired with the fact that she was completely fine, it seems we can forgive Idol for garnering more viewers in that way. We also hope this does not become a commonplace occurrence, and that American Idol keeps their viewers for the show they have been for this long.

Article By:
Katie Campo

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