Idol Is Back but Am I?

If you came for my musings on Idol’s Season 21 Premiere Sunday night, you’ll have to come back later. I was watching the NBA All-Star Game, the closing festivity in the three-day All-Star Weekend, aka “Black Thanksgiving.” But I will catch up on and react to the initial auditions, so do come back!

That said, I will take the opportunity to muse on my feelings about watching and blogging on another season of Idol, feelings which are decidedly meh. Meh has been my feelings for several seasons now.

A large part of the meh is that the entertainment value for me has decreased each year since the original Big Three judges of Simon, Paula, and Randy have been gone, especially Simon. Since then, I have tolerated or been actively angry at the judges who I believe play too nice to the Idolists and overvalue their prospects, leading them and the viewers astray. 

Another part of the meh is the frustration with the predictability of the winner. In other words, how quickly can I identify which good-looking white, male, guitar-playing country singer is going to win? That these “winners” are barely heard from again post-Idol only adds to this frustration (see Laine Hardy, Chayce Beckham, Noah Thompson).

I suppose I’m also getting weary of sentimentality and storylines, although I recognize these elements build audience interest over the course of a long season. I’d likely be bored, too, if all of Idol was purely a talent contest, which is why I find the drama of Hollywood Week so compelling.

And yet, in spite of the prolonged meh, I can’t quit this show. I can’t quit because the curiosity that I bring to almost everything in my life, the curiosity I brought when I first started watching the show (Season 5) still remains. And while changes in the music business have changed the specific nature of that curiosity, the objectives are the same: which, if any, Idolists will have meaningful success in the music business, and by the business I mean the industry.

I can’t quit because almost every year somebody gets discovered. The fact that that somebody is rarely, if ever, the winner and that I know that in advance, is what makes my quest particularly satisfying. I can’t quit because Gabby Barrett (3rd place, Season 16) went on to become a big country star. I can’t quit because Jacob Lusk (5th place, Season 10) is (finally) a rising star in his band Gabriels, who have impressed Sir Elton John. I can’t quit because the song Victoria’s Secret by Jax (3rd place, Season 14) peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100, #109 on the Billboard Global 200, and is still on the charts. And I can’t quit because 16-year-old Casey Bishop (4th, place Season 19) signed a record deal with 19 Recordings, a label closely associated with American Idol, as did Alejandro Aranda aka Scarypoolparty (runner-up, Season 17).

So because I can’t quit my curiosity and the pursuit of seeing it satisfied, I can’t (yet) quit American Idol. So I’ll be back again for more musings with some level of meh commitment. And to be perfectly candid, that level of commitment will likely be less meh after I finish my musings on this meh season of The Bachelor.

Sheesh. How is my life so meh LOL?

See you soon.

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