07 Mar 2013
- Written by Myron Mays
"American Idol" is back in the news and this time it's not all Nicki Minaj...well, maybe just a little bit. Apparently ratings are at an all-time low, with reports that viewers are just not feeling Nicki.
Might be true, but I'll be fair. I don't think it's all Nicki. The show itself is partially at fault as well. It has stayed around too long and has been essentially forced upon us lately.
I'll put it this way, if "American Idol" is the houseguest who stayed too long, Nicki Minaj is like an extra houseguest the invitee brought along with getting an OK. They showed up in the same car.
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against Nicki Minaj. She might be a little out of my range when it comes to my musical taste, or even my generation for that matter. However, she is who she is – wild and out there. That's her thing. She is good for what she does.
However, I think when it comes to a talent-type show such as "American Idol," it should come down to "talent," even when it gets down to the judges. Before I need security, let me explain.
In Hollywood, there's two types of superstars, maybe three. The first is the one with undeniable talent. For example, people such as Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin would fall in this category. And just to keep it fair to today's music, so would R. Kelly and Beyoncé. Their talent speaks volumes and sustains their careers for long periods.
Then there's the second type of superstar. You know, the one who has that "thing". You can't really identify what that "thing" is, but you know he/she has it. For instance, I think Kanye West has it, and I'd say that M.C. Hammer had it back in the day.
They can sell a lot of records and are exciting...at the moment. But then, some thing happens. That "thing" passes and the excitement goes away. Sometimes, someone with another niche comes along and takes away the attention. I think Nicki Minaj falls in this category. Nothing against her, it's just where she falls.
As for that third category, anyone with the last name Kardashian would fall within this group. I'd even go so far as to add Antoine Dodson and Sweet Brown as well. I can't really explain what garnered them their level of notoriety. Luck perhaps? Again, nothing against any of these people, it's just where they fall.
But back to "American Idol," it's not a "marketing" competition. It's a "talent" competition. It should be judged by those with the type of talent that stands on its own and who have had long and successful careers. Turning to those who are only poised to be around for a minute is not only unfair to the contestant, but also unfair to the artist doing the judging as well.
How is it unfair?
Nicki is a rapper. But "American Idol" does not let rappers compete. Where's the logic? The scenario doesn't give the contestants what they need to be successful in their "possible" careers, and it's putting the judging artists in positions to judge something they are not really familiar with.
So who really wins here? No one does actually. Including the viewer...you remember them, don't you?
No longer the top-rated show, "American Idol" struggles to make the Top 5. As it stands, the show will be ending its run after the May 16th finale. Not saying that I'm happy about it. Perhaps the show could have gone on for many more years.
However, everything has an expiration date. And when that "thing" has passed and the excitement goes away, it's sometimes because someone with another niche comes along and takes away the attention.
Ever heard of "The Voice" on NBC?