There is really NO question about whether the contestants on American Idol have talent. The question, really, is whether the ones that make it through the screenings are the ones with the MOST talent. This season has been quite an interesting one to watch, so far. It seemed that with the addition of the new judge, Kara DioGuardi, they would be getting more strict with the ones that they put through. I was wrong in that thought, however.
This season, they let people through the audition stage based on their looks, their personal story and their begging. Some even made it through the Hollywood weeks, where they normally cull the herd to the real talent. What good does it do to have a bunch of people who lack talent on a show that is supposed to be about talent? The point of the show is to showcase talented singers that wouldn’t have gotten a break without American Idol and if that wasn’t really the case, it would not have lasted as long as it has.
Does American Idol exploit those who think they have talent to make them look like fools? Definitely. But that’s also part of the draw of American Idol. Look at William Hung and the name that he has made for himself by American Idol making a fool out of him. They have absolutely no qualms about putting people through who they think will boost the ratings, but that’s only for the first audition stages, normally.
If you look at the number of talented singers that have come out of American Idol with record contracts, it’s clear that there is real talent there and that’s not just the ones that have won. That’s people like Bucky Covington, Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken and Eliot Yamin. If you look at the winners, you’ll also see that there have been singers who have made their best of it, including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
American Idol has been great for the music industry, especially in the most recent seasons. There have been many great contracts that have come out of the top 24 American Idol contestants. When you think about the latest singers that are at the tops of the charts, you will see at least one American Idol contestant, so to say that there isn’t real talent in American Idol is telling some of the most successful singers today that they aren’t talented, and that’s just not true.
Will this trend continue this season for American Idol? I am not sure. Season 8 is shaping up to be more about the looks and the stories, rather than the talent. I hope that as it gets further in and America votes, the focus will shift. America needs to make the right decisions.