What Critics Are Saying About American Idol

I am reading what the critics are saying about Season XIII of American Idol.  After reading, I am asking some questions.  What makes for a good show? What makes for a good judge? What is going to keep viewers coming back week after week?  The critics I speak of are not the entertainment news reals clicking out the numbers of viewership. The critics are not the writers meeting deadlines for what they think is going to be the story of the day.   The critics are the fans.

American Idol, Idol , Season 13, Season XIII, Elizabeth Traub, Social Media, Entertainment, American Idol

I took this standing on the stage in Dolby Theater.
This was above my head. Imagine when they light it up.

The fans are those excited to see what’s up with this season. Fans that have family, friends, or the girl they want to junior high school with who tried out.  There are those fans that stopped watching American Idol and could not help but just try one more time and watched on both Jan 15 & 16 of the premiere. The critics are fans that have never stopped watching regardless of who’s on stage or who’s judging. The critics are Americans who gather around their TV’s and watch dreams of others that perhaps they could not have.  Sadly some the critics are those who walk away and click to another channel.

How does a brand bring it? Bring it year after year and keep their biggest critics coming back? How will American Idol sustain longevity in a space that is compromised with the advances in technology?  Although that is an all  together topic and post.

American Idol is a dream maker.  They are filling stadiums years after year all over American with a dreamer, hopeful and opportunist.  Does filling stadiums during auditions equate to bringing back fans and continuing to be the only show that has produced the highest number of music stars?  The competition is tough in this TV space and there are many talent and music shows to compete with.

Thirteen years ago Americans were calling in to vote for their favorite contestant.  Then they added the “text” feature and now add in all the Social Media conversations and it’s easy to break down what the critics are saying. 

What are you saying? I asked a few questions on my Facebook page of my family and friends. Here is what some are saying before the airing of Season XII.

Why or why not did you watch American Idol in the past?

Velinda Davis I only watched the auditions couldn’t believe some of the people. No one should lie to you about your singing voice!

Cindy L. Johnston-Bennett I am not a chocolate person but will always give you an honest answer. .. in the beginning we loved to watch the raw talent preform and learn. Not wearing expensive outfits or singing with back up. Just the raw talent… now it has changed and we enjoy watching it but not as much.

Nathasha Alvarez I used to watch it when it had Simon. I loved that he was honest. He left and so did I.

Emily Otteson I watched it in the beginning for the joys of watching others’ dreams coming true and the silliness of people like William Hung. Then I stopped watching because I didn’t like tv.

Amanda Farnsworth Young Chocolate? Did I see chocolate? I do not believe I have ever watched a complete season, but I did watch the very end of the first season. In the more recent years I have only watched some of the auditions at the beginning because it hasn’t held my interest for the entire season. I tried watching it last year or the year before though, and quit pretty quickly because the drama between a couple of the judges was a bit too much.

Sherrie Finch We watched. Partially because we like the auditions. Then we got hooked after Nikki and Mariah had their drama.

Amanda Farnsworth Young Sherrie, that drama is what turns me off of the show.

Nathasha Alvarez I don’t think Nikki is qualified to be a judge

Nathasha Alvarez Mariah can judge but Nikki isn’t even a decent role model and I don’t understand what she says

Stephanie Leigh Samuel I used to love American idol, then it seemed like the best performers never won, and the ones who did actually win didn’t really become stars. (The exception of the few…Carrie, Kelly, Jennifer, Katherine Mcphee)

Stephanie Leigh Samuel oh yeah, and I’m sad Simon is gone. I do love Harry though! He might entice me back!

Amanda Farnsworth Young I agree about Harry. He seems solid.

Suzy Henshaw I personally love these types of shows but the one thing that has ALWAYS bothered me is that they are too predictable! I get bored after awhile because I can usually pick out the winner in the auditions and there is no need to watch anymore. I stopped watching American Idol because of that reason and because I get super annoyed with the judges/peanut gallery:) My honest and un-edited opinion:) I would prefer to watch the first couple episodes and then the last episode.

Shae Kelly Rutledge I don’t like how they air the not talented singers as a joke. Those poor people don’t know they are bad, or they do and just want publicity but either way it encourages People to laugh at one another faults and failures.

Marie Drexler I have watched and enjoy the show. But . . . I don’t like how much people feed in to the negative criticisms. I enjoy watching when the contestants are respected and the judges are kind. It has been fantastic when everyone wins . . . Even when they leave the show.

Beverly Olson I haven’t watched it for awhile…..got kinda old…Tired of Randy calling everyone “dog” every other word…..I will be watching this season since I love Harry Connick Jr. Saw him in concert in Hawaii…love that man!

Stefanie Webb My guys and I have never watched an American Idol. We would see some of the shows funny moments on another show, but never actually watched. And to be honest, can’t even tell you why. Just haven’t.

Janice Brand Worthington Like seeing the auditions probably the most. Loved Steven Tyler on the panel and think Simon was usually the most accurate in picking who ‘had it’ and why. Sometimes he was too harsh but that’s also the biz. Nikki was total crap and Mariah never had anything interesting to say. Their bickering was such a turn off. Glad to see J Lo back and interested to see Harry but somebody needs to be gutsy with their comments or it’s too boring. The judges truly matter. They need to do something different to keep attention past the top 10 or 12 because if the lead singers are not great, I start tuning out. Plus all of that Seacrest build up and repetition that stretches the show is a waste if time. I don’t watch unless its on TIVO, period. That’s my two cents

Patty Norman Burke Unlike most people, I do not enjoy the auditions. I am just too mortified to watch some of the people that they show that obviously do not have what it takes to go further. I wish they did not show those and only showed the more serious contenders. I watched several seasons, but last year I did not watch because I did not like the Nikki/Mariah drama. I will watch this year as I like the judge line up (just not until auditions are over) I like the addition of Harry Connick Jr.

Gunnar Simonsen Openly Rambling Alert!!! We used to love watching it as a family and then for us, something changed. It always seems to when the chemistry is changed. Though we hung in there, last year we hardly watched. I think we were just tired of the drama or perceived drama of the judges panel. Tired of feeling like we’re getting played while watching people getting played. I think though in the end, we just got tired. We do watch The Voice more regularly though. But, if you say so… I’ll watch it again.

Elizabeth Traub Gunnar Simonsen It will be a pivotal season for Americans who tuned out…and tuning back in. Not to mention you are a musician who is influencing the Emily Otteson and Elliot Otteson sons of the world.

Anne Marie Tarjan Robbins I haven’t watched it in a few years. I don’t like the commercialized part of it. I can’t stand the way Simon treated people. I think it was somewhat fake and not quite as real as it could have been.

Gunnar Simonsen Thanks for your kind words. I will be sure to tune in. As far as me influencing others… you’re too kind.

Sheryl Ann Camp I watched after season 1. I flipped during the finale of season 1 and decided to try it. I watched it in the beginning, sometimes had a hard time not laughing at people who clearly had no talent trying out. But then Simon annoyed me. It’s not that I didn’t agree with him, I actually think to this point he’s the only judge who got it right most of the time, but after awhile he got incredibly annoying with his pretentiousness and condescending treatment of those not as good. He was actually mean at times and I don’t like to watch, or feel part of, berating of others. Once he left, they got Steven and JLO. I thought Steven was hilarious and JLO was a nice change after Paula. But last year my husband and I swore to never watch again if Nicki and Mariah came back. Nicki was hard to listen to. Her speaking voice made me cringe. Mariah made Simins pretentious attitude appear non existent. That was disturbing.

Sheri Kaetzel We watched a couple of seasons of AI. Maybe the 2nd and 3rd. It got too routine. And the people we thought should win were booted off really early-I guess that means that we weren’t the type of people the show was meant to appeal to? I got tired of watching the auditions with people embarrassing themselves and being embarrassed by the judges. I also am not into all the back story of the contestants. I’m glad they have a life, I just want to hear them sing. A little back story is okay.

In contrast – Christopher and I just recently watched the Sing-Off and loved it. Pure talent. Helpful criticism. Had no clue who would win because they all kept improving. When all of the contestants would have to perform together it was amazing choreography of voices and dance moves. Nothing cookie cutter.  Other than that… I’ll give AI another try, but just for you, my friend. And maybe Harry Connick, Jr. will sing?

Deborah Main I dont watch TV period. But Im going to watch it for 1st time this season ONLY because of the #IdolTweetHearts with YOU and because of Harry. I respect you and Harry. I definitely dont watch shows like this, even though my daughter and I both sing. Its basically because of the drama that people above mentioned…and the “credibility & respect” factor. For me constructive criticism is interesting to watch…bashing and drama is not. It would not be entertaining for me at all to see someone ridiculed. I watched Fashion Star one season because my friend was on it. I was surprised how much I liked the show. I learned a lot so it was educational, but I also respected the judges. So I think who the judges are makes a HUGE difference. Thats my 2 cents from someone who never watches these shows!

Justin Michael It just became really lame after the first 5 seasons and the talent decreased each year too…..I have more respect for people who reach the top the hard way than someone who wins a silly contest.

Ruth Wiggins-Davidson I quite watching because of Nikki.

Rita Kaye Hamlet Could not stand the sight of NIkki Minaj. Mariah was a little too Diva for my taste too. She acted like it was “The Maria Carey Show.” Definitely plan on watching this year. Great set of judges. Still going to miss Randy Jackson. But love the other three.

Rita Kaye Hamlet So Elizabeth, if you didn’t swoon over Harry, did you swoon over Keith? Love him.

Elizabeth Traub Rita Kaye Hamlet let me rephrase this. I did SWOON over his intellect. I mean handsome guy yes. But his ability to speak to the language of music, and education of music was what impressed me.

Rita Kaye Hamlet Oh I’d swoon.I would SOOOOOO swoon! So, what about Keith?????

Tracee Greenough I watched my first idol last season. Why? Because my boyfriend was watching it. Watched the whole season and really wanted Angie to win but knew that the woman who won (can’t remember name) was a much better singer. Man that woman can sing. Oh! And I know I’m alone here but I like Niki. Fell in love with Keith and almost like his wife because of him. I think Emily should go for it. She is so talented. Miss you.

Terri Williams We used to watch it with a group of neighbors for the first 5 seasons. We met every week for a potluck dinner and really enjoyed it. Then it just got boring and lost us. You couldn’t pay me to watch it last season with the judges they had in place. I now prefer The Voice. If there is some BIG change, I might consider watching again but truthfully once you’ve lost an audience, it’s not easy to win them back. Sometimes a show has just run it’s course.

Alicia Gonzalez I watch it with Pedro. I love to see dreams come true and watch the impact the show has on contestants SM. I love to sing. We compete against the TV. Lol. And I BELIEVE our lives can change in an instant. Also I’m not a damn hater! I might be rooting for someone but no matter who wins, I’m THRILLED for that person. That’s my story. That’s why I’M A ROCKSTAR!

Annie Cowing I love all the comments here. I am definitely watching this year. I love the praise given where praise is due. I love constructive criticism and watching people grow. I love it especially in our culture where true encouragement is hard to find. It is sort of anti-cultural in that way and much needed. Everyone should have this kind of encouragement where they are gifted and be empowered. Everyone should watch idol so that they can learn how to praise others and do it in a personal fresh way like the judges. They can also learn how to constructively criticize, but that takes even more practice and tact

Teila Thomsen The only interesting part of the season is the auditions. Lol

Shelly Cowan Buttenmiller I watched way back then started up a few years later then stopped again & started. The first year of Randy, J- Lo & Steven was brilliant, breathed life back into the show. I’m hoping the same will happen with Keith, J-Lo & Harry. Refused to watch Mariah & Minaj. Can’t stand rudeness, catfights or cleavage that should be kept to themselves. I love judges who really show they care, are encouraging with constructive criticism. These kids have dreams & some of them blow your socks off. Tryouts are hilarious, group eliminations are brutal but necessary & I love as they get down to the best. I love the back stories. This show is the quintessential American dream, it’s why immigrants come here. Love it & will watch this year!

Stacie Adams Savant I watched it a little in the beginning and then mostly just the tryouts. I did not like Paula Abdul and I didn’t like it when Simon was mean. I truly felt bad for contestants.

Alexandra Stan Watch it because its fun and interesting. I love to hear amazing voices. Stop watching after a few weeks cause Ryan gets annoying and it’s always the same old stuff. They need to stick with singing like the voice and not all the other stuff:) I like dark chocolate:))) xoxo

Amy Wilkie I honestly have never watched it or really have a desire to watch it. Mainly because I don’t like watching people being mean to other people (judges), there is not a whole lot of substance, no story line or plot which is something I look for in a television show.

Susan Kay Wyatt I never watch those shows. I don’t like the mean part where they exploit the untalented people and just watching people get critiqued in general. I am too sensitive. I did watch The Voice for a little bit. But for the most part we don’t watch TV in our house. Jazz is playing and we are reading or writing.

Krista Thomas Gilbert More singing and human interest stories than critiquing!

Lynn Abate-Johnson i watched in the early years because my sister and her family were crazy about it. then, they got rid of their TV right around the time Paula left and i didn’t continue watching it on my own at home. It seemed like more fun to watch WITH family/friends, especially during auditions when it was more like a trainwreck and Paula/Simon were going at each other with Randy-DAWG being chill/refereeing (is that a word?). I think for me, if the “chemistry” would have been as strong after Paula left, it might have held my interest. But it didn’t, so i haven’t watched in years. From the commercials I am seeing, it looks like the “chemistry” may be found again, and I’m cautiously optimistic, so i will likely DVR it and see! #HopeThisHelps #MUAH!

Jamie Greer Gibb We used to love Idol and then, perhaps because of ratings or sponsors requests, the show got trashy judges; Judges who were more interested in how little they could wear and rarely offered criticism that could be considered constructive. Last season, with Keith Urban in the seat, was one of the best for helping contestants grow from week to week, and one of the worst for female judges. Because of Mariah and Nicki, we rarely wanted to watch. When we did, often we cringed or felt compelled to cover our eyes. Nonetheless, Keith had a way of telling it like it was without trashing the contestant. We will try the show again this year, mostly for his good judgement. If there are barely clothed judges who have no valid input, nothing will convince us to ever watch again.

Scott Derby it’s too redundant and you can pretty much determine who’s gonna win it all before they reach the finals. Too many times the judges tend to steal the scenes with their petty sniping…need I mention Minaj and Carey……The Voice and The Sing Off displ.

Shannon Anderson I watched up until last year due to bad choice with judges as well as the genre of music the final contestants would sing. Quite honestly I would love to see a “Christian American Idol” be launched as this would definitely be one I would love to see. Just my thoughts

Scott Derby me too Shannon….nothing wrong with belting out a song or two about our Lord.

American Idol has done more than just produce the highest number of music stars.  Each person who steps on that stage is given something to take away for a life time. I was able to get small glimpse of what that felt like.  In December of 2013 American Idol treated me, and host of other women from all over America to come to the taping of Hollywood week.  It was a lovely all-expense paid trip which gave wings to what is now called IdolTweethearts.  A number of us gals connected and helped bring a different kind of critic.  We were women from all walks of life.  American Idol brought us in to be critics and they received our feedback.  Now that the show is fully engaged for Season XIII the fans are tweeting, commenting, facebooking and sharing their voice.  Here again are the questions I ask:

What makes for a good show?

What makes for a good judge?

What is going to keep viewers coming back week after week?

We’d love to hear from you.

 

Working alongside my clients to develop a strategic plan to design and market their product or service in the correct markets.

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2 comments on “What Critics Are Saying About American Idol
  1. Jane M. says:

    Last years judges (Nikki, Mariah and Randy) were awful. The only good one was Keith. It’s unfortunate because the talent of the top 11 was extraordinary but overshadowed by the bickering judges. I like the group of Keith, Jennifer and Harry this season. I hope that viewers will return.

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