American Idol is one of the most successful TV reality shows in USA with current ratings soaring with over 35 million people viewing the premier of the new 5th season, which began on the 17th January 2006. Produced by FrementalMedia on behalf Fox TV Network, the show has become…
Exploring the spontaneity aspects of the show, how much of it is truly spontaneous and what parts are orchestrated is a topic of speculation (Shale 2006). The competition’s initial rounds attract tens of thousands of hopeful artists who are screened and only dozens move on to the rounds in Hollywood. In these initial auditions, a mix of expectant artists are showcased comprise of some bizarre acts, very poor singing talent along with those who are chosen for the rounds in Hollywood. The viewers are granted the experience of watching spontaneity at its epitome with bizarre and awful performances such as the portrayal of Lady Marmalade in season one and a contestant dressed as the Statue of Liberty in the latest season’s auditions. While one may wonder whether such self-delusioned people are for real, viewers will no doubt agree that such eccentricities add to the reality show’s appeal.
While spontaneity of the contestants is one aspect, the judges themselves add to the drama of the show by blunt and harsh criticisms and unsuppressed dismays expressed verbally and with their dramatic facial expressions. The three judges of the show, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson portrays three different personal styles with Simon coming across as the most critical and harsh of them with controversial remarks which even raise public backlashes. As per Tom Shales, in his article, Americas Winning Losers… “when the show started, this aspect of it seemed awfully mean-spirited -- humiliation television, cruelty as entertainment” (Shales 2006). However, it has to be accepted that the viewing audience sees such brutal remarks by Simon as "You look like the Incredible Hulks wife" as an essential element of the formula which makes Idol the success it is. Squabbling between the judges themselves on disagreements on who they ...
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