“American Idol”: Plugging the Holes

Idol

American Idol, once the nation’s most popular television show and a major force in the music industry, has been reduced to a footnote on a theoretical map of pop culture significance. And yet it chugs along, struggling to maintain relevance even as viewers vote with their remotes for NBC’s The Voice, which is younger, hipper and ostensibly more reflective of modern music tastes and trends.

After watching last night’s show (the first time I watched a full episode of season 13), it’s not hard to see why viewers have been tuning out. Even as some aspects of the show have improved, and intentions are largely in the right place, American Idol remains out of touch with the audience it clearly wants to reach.

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“American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars”: Old Habits Die Hard

Dancing Idol

American Idol and Dancing with the Stars have long since ceased to be the nation’s two most-talked about reality competitions. Idol has become increasingly adrift since Simon Cowell’s departure and the recent White Guy with Guitar phenomenon (extinguished last year due to blatant producer manipulation), while Dancing has fallen victim to a case of stubborn, agreeable familiarity: the show isn’t really capable of fully reinventing itself without alienating its core, older-skewing fanbase. Nonetheless, both of these shows remain at the center of their networks’ fall and spring lineups, and they’ve both recently made casting announcements. Time for some knee-jerk analysis!

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