Friday, May 25, 2012

The Ancient American Idol Finale

I am a fan of American Idol.  I've watched every season except for the first one.  And I've noticed that things have gone downhill since the days of Carrie Underwood.  (Then again, how could things not go downhill after her?  Have you seen her?  Have you heard her sing?  She's amazing.  That's when the show peaked.)  And while I can remember some of the past contestants, I'm not so great at remembering the acts that they've had during the past seasons.  But I have noticed something about the finales. 

The finale the other night had on such guest stars as Neil Diamond, Chaka Khan, John Fogerty and Reba McEntire.  Aerosmith even showed up an played a set.  (Jennifer Lopez did a song as well.  I don't really remember what she sang because I was too busy trying to figure out why she was wearing sparkly MC Hammer pants.)  There was also a tribute song to Robin Gibb.  (If you're going to have tribute songs during a celebratory finale of something, can't you at least make it an upbeat song?  Why must every remembrance tune be some slow and schmaltzy that just takes all the wind out of your sails?  Though I am willing to concede that for the recently departed Robin Gibb, playing Stayin' Alive, while upbeat and likely his most famous song, would have probably been slightly inappropriate.  At the very least, ironically uncomfortable.)  And as I'm watching these dogs and ponies get trotted out onto the stage, I began to wonder if they were going to have anyone out there who was under sixty. 

What is the fascination with ancient music stars being brought out for the American Idol finale?  They always do it and I always don't get it.  And they wonder why their ratings are dropping?  How about not catering to the 50 and over crowd during the shows?  Considering that the main audience is the 18-49 demographic and the main voting demographic is teenage girls and family members of contestants, I'm not so sure that they're doing themselves any favors by bringing Neil Diamond on stage.  Don't get me wrong.  I love me some Neil Diamond.  But I just don't think that he's exactly a fit for American Idol. 

There were more age appropriate to American Idol acts that were at the finale.  Rihanna did her thing, whatever that's called.  (I'm not a Rihanna fan.  The only reason that I would consider going to see the Battleship movie is if I knew that she got killed in it.  That would make it worthwhile for me.)  And I think that Jordin Sparks sang.  Jordin Sparks, if you aren't familiar, was the last American Idol winner that wasn't a WGWG.  That's White Guy With Guitar to you.  But other than those two, and the already rejected American Idol wannabes from this season (one of whom I did not recognize at all and had no recollection of him ever being on the show, let alone singing), it was a senior citizen fest.  All they needed was a shuffleboard court painted on the stage and it would have been like an old folks home up there. 

And I keep reading about how the ratings are down from previous seasons.  Well, of course they are!  American Idol had massive, massive ratings there for a while.  Phenomenal would be one way of putting it.  Of course they're going to go down eventually.  And even though they're down, they're still higher than (from what I can tell) all of the scripted shows that are out there.  So while I don't think that they should be that worried right now, if they keep inviting the elderly to sing on their show, then maybe there will be cause for worry.  Actually, I think that I'd be more worried that they have this successful show and they don't seem to know how to cater to their target demographic.  Then again, I guess with the ratings that they get, maybe they don't need to cater to anyone.  Other than the elderly, from what I can tell.

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