February 8, 2012

Auditions Remain 'American Idol's' Weakest Link

Craig Berman, writing for MSNBC.com:

““Idol’s” auditions blatantly manipulate audience emotions by playing up the life stories of people who will eventually wind up being stealth eliminations in Hollywood, getting the viewers to care for a few minutes about folks they will never hear from again. It’s just a nonstop series of home videos with the occasional two minutes of music sprinkled in-between.

This year’s were the worst, because the episodes were so formulaic that the show looked like it had been done on autopilot: The credits begin. Ryan stands in front of a big crowd. The judges walk into the hotel. Steven Tyler shows up dressed in something random that he fished out of the costume closet and says something wacky. All three agree on the first singer, who usually moves on. Commercial break. Touching footage of the obstacles that the next contestant faces. Repeat for 60 minutes.”

We've skipped the auditions round in our living room this season, and we'll likely skip the Hollywood round, too. We'll tune in when Idol is down to twenty-four, or even 12 contestants and watch through the end.

Our reasoning is similar to Berman's account. The treacly personal stories and poor performances aren't worth watching, and most of the contestants will be gone by then anyway.