The time has come for the television networks to find replacements for their ‘talent discovery’ shows. American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and The X Factor have reached the point where it is time for them to quietly disappear from the airwaves. Each needs to go for its own reasons. As for the NBC entry in this category, The Voice, it got laryngitis long ago for me and doesn’t merit the waste of good electronic ink to call for its demise.
The granddaddy of the shows, American Idol, has become more memorable for the judges and their controversies than for the talents the show find. The contestants no longer capture the imagination of the public with either their talent or their back-stories. The last couple of years have been about the actions of the judges—most recently this past season’s dust up and potential cat fight between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. It will be interesting to see if the changes in judges this coming season will do anything to rejuvenate the show and bring its focus back to interesting and memorable contestants. It is highly doubtful.
America’s Got Talent’s issues and fall from grace is that instead of being a serious talent finding show, it has devolved under the panel leadership of Howard Stern and Howie Mendel into something that can be summarized in three words: The Gong Show. The show is not helped by the eternally prepubescent Nick Cannon(Mr. Mariah Carey) being the host. His childish antics distract from what little actual talent is presented on the show.
Which leaves us with the final show to talk about: The X Factor. Simon Cowell’s bickering with Demi Lavato, the channeling of Charo by Paula Rubio, and the golly-wow fawning of Kelly Rowland, all cause the show to not being worth wasting the electricity to watch the show. When you add in the hyping of weak, untalented acts and the yuppie-fication of classic rock and country songs, you almost want to charge the entire panel of judges and the show’s production with Crimes against Good Taste and Good Music. The saddest thing is that it makes the ‘Gong Show’ atmosphere of America’s Got Talent almost tolerable by comparison.
So, the Idol should not longer be worshiped; America’s Got Talent should be ‘gonged’; and The X Factor should be an ex-show. Harsh truths, I know, but truths none the less!