For more than a decade singing competitions have filled primetime slots on TV. With the promise of lucrative record contracts, fame and millions of adoring fans, year after year people continue to line up for days and audition in front of professionals.
“American Idol” was one of the first singing competitions, and TV executives saw the popularity of it and have ran with it ever since. “The Sing Off,” “Popstars,” “Making the Band,” “The X Factor” and “The Voice” are just a few of the competitions that have popped up over the last 10 years.
Originally these shows were meant to bond the viewer with the participants of the show. The struggle, emotional turmoil and personal stories are put on the screen for millions of viewers. This gives them the feeling of really getting to know the competitors and makes it easier to launch a career once the show is done.
But after the same sad, stressful stories of every contestant the viewers have began to ignore the fact that any of the voices they are hearing have a face or name.
Do any of these names ring a bell: Jermaine Paul, Pentatonix, Melanie Amaro, Donnie Klang? Did not think so.
It is safe to say that the audition process is the most entertaining part of these shows. Most of the people who audition know very well that they cannot sing, and all they want is their 15 minutes of fame.
William Hung filled America’s living rooms with hours of laughter after his rendition of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” on the third season of American Idol. Hung is better remembered than the winner of that season and still is referenced in comedy skits today.
It is time to stop all of these competitions and put shows on with more substance. Instead of putting out the same show with a different title, TV executives should put effort and money into sitcoms and dramas. Fill our TV sets with shows that leave us on the edge of our seats or have us falling off of them.
It was entertaining when Kelly Clarkson won because she was the first winner. It was new, fresh and something our generation had not seen before. She is still remembered as a singer and has a strong fanbase to this day. She was lucky not to just be an overnight wonder.
By the time David Cook rolled around people were starting to get over it. People get excited during the competitions and clog the phone lines trying to vote, but as soon as the winner is chosen everyone stops caring.
So what is the point of even having these competitions if everyone is just going to forget the winner?
One can even say it is a cruel practical joke for the winners of these shows because they have all these expectations once they win but then all they are left with are episodes of them singing on DVRs instead of on their own album.