American Idol just moved one step closer to being irrelevant. Lee DeWyze was crowned the winner of season 9 and Crystal Bowersox had to settle for the second place consolation prize. Many feel Crystal Bowersox was cheated out of the title, which brings up a larger problem for the producers of American Idol.
Is American Idol‘s voting system rigged? If not, it is certainly flawed. Based on Tuesday night’s performances, Crystal was the clear winner of the season. Bowersox sang with such passion and conviction that it seemed she would be declared the winner. Lee DeWyze has talent, but his last performances were boring and lackluster.
American Idol has proven this year that it’s not about the singing. The contestants in the top 24 were so generic; some were even knock-offs of performers from seasons past. Ever since Taylor Hicks mobilized the “Soul Patrol”, voting seems very geared toward popularity contests. Singers who cannot sing advance into the top 10 and higher simply because they are attractive and personable.
Simon Cowell’s departure this season also presents more problems. Many people tune in simply to see how rude and nasty Simon Cowell can be. This season, he seemed to have checked out very early on in the competition and without him next year, Idol will lose many viewers. Ryan Seacrest is also another problem with the show. His behavior this season was much more annoying and antagonistic than in years past.
American Idol is facing large problems for the upcoming tenth season. Simon Cowell leaves some large shoes to fill. If the producers want to get back to the originality of the first few seasons, they need to find contestants who can actually sing and who are not cookie cutter, pop-singer types. The girls, and even many of the guys, have the same generic type sound. Finally, Idol producers must revamp the voting system. The show is about singing and quality singers, like Crystal Bowersox, fall victim to the scores of teen girls who call and vote for the guys who are cutest. The case in point is Casey James; he is an attractive guy who couldn’t sing as well as some of the other guys in the top 24. However, because he is an attractive guy, he made it to the top 3.
Unfortunately, American Idol has run its course. It’s not the same contest it was six or seven years ago. Idol producers face some very big issues in the off season that can make or break future viewership. This is the first time in several seasons that the show has been losing viewers to other shows like Dancing With The Stars.
I hope American Idol can revamp and come back next year better than ever, but with the past few seasons, I think the show has jumped the shark and has seen better days. Meanwhile, I’m waiting anxiously for the premiere season of X Factor.