I Loved American Idol, But I Don’t Want It To Be Revived

I have written this before on my blog, but in case you don’t remember every post I’ve ever written I’ll say it again: I used to be a huge fan of American Idol. So much so, in fact, that I regularly took notes on the episodes (examples here). You may think, then, that as a prior Idol fanatic, I would be overjoyed at the recent speculation that the show will be revived. I am actually not overjoyed at this news—if anything, I am skeptical and unimpressed.

I don’t have anything against revivals in general. I like the idea of taking something from the past and repackaging it for the current generation; Netflix’s Riverdale, a dark twist on the Archie universe, is a good example of this. Despite being created in 1941, the Archie characters have a certain timeless appeal. There will always be an appetite for classic all-American high school characters, and much of the drama Archie and his friends faced in the comics translates well into today’s world.

American Idol is different. I’d say that the main “character” on the show is well-known pessimist Simon Cowell—but he left in 2010. When I was younger and heavily invested in the show, my parents often had to explain who the judges were. Granted, the show wasn’t necessarily targeted towards ten-year-olds, but still.

Today I couldn’t even name the judges of the final season; Google tells me they were Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. If I am now the target audience of Idol—a young person with an iPhone who can vote for my favourite contestant without help from my parents—then I can say with certainty that those judges do not reflect the celebrity scene for my age group. This may very well be something addressed in Idol’s revival; a sweeping out of the “old”, so to speak, and a 2017-makeover for the show and its cast. But I am still not convinced.

In its prime, American Idol was the pinnacle of great television (or something like that). It produced huge stars and had a captive hold on viewers which was reflected in its ratings. Like most good things, it hit a peak and then it slid downhill. The show probably went on for too long as it was; it eventually became characterized, at least in my mind, by judge turnover and unmemorable contestants.

American Idol had its time in the spotlight, and it shone brightly. But it ended for a reason. Idol is one good thing that I wish could just exist in the past, without being repackaged for the future. I want to believe that Idol can be successful today; but there are already so many other reality competition shows, particularly singing ones.

American Idol was at its best when it was one of a kind, and it can no longer claim this. If it returns, it will be to a markedly different climate than the one it thrived in. If the show really is revived, it will be setting itself up for failure. And as a previous Idol superfan, I can’t bear to see this happen.


What do you think about the possibility of an Idol revival? Let me know in the comments!| Follow me on Twitter | Bloglovin’ | Header image source

23 thoughts on “I Loved American Idol, But I Don’t Want It To Be Revived

  1. I feel like American Idol was only American Idol with Randy, Paula, and Simon. Once they started swapping judges, things took a turn. I watched the first 2 seasons all the way through, but after that, I watched the tryouts (’cause let’s face it, that was the best part of the show) and tune into the final to see who was still standing and who won. When the show first started, it was new and exciting tv and because of that, it made lots of money. That’s the only reason there’s any kind of ‘talk’ for a revival; money.

  2. I watched the first few seasons of the American one and even watched the Canadian one the year a guy I know was on it- and it was great back then- now there are so many of these types of shows… I am over it. They don’t need to revive it. I am tired of television and Hollywood in general trying to revive and remake things that should just be left alone. They will never find a better judging panel then the original.

  3. I heard about this on the radio last week. I used to watch American Idol every week with my family when it was on and we loved it. I lost interest myself when they started to change judges. I don’t think it will ever be the same if they were to bring it back again.

  4. Who won American Idol? Was Kelly Clarkson an American Idol? Leona Lewis? I think that show formula has been done to death and there’s no point in beating the proverbial dead horse any more… They need to let it go. It was fun, but let it go now.

  5. Super thoughtful and interesting post- I guess what also kinda put me off was the whole making fun of the bad singers- in X factor they purposefully let bad acts through to get more views. Don’t get me wrong, some were really funny, but I think as I got older I started to see it more as cruel as well. Great post ❤️

  6. I completely agree with you. Once Randy, Simon and Paula left I feel like the show became more about drama between the judges, not the music and contestants. And I think a revival would be the same, which is sad.

  7. I agree. I was a huge Idol fan but I don’t want it back either. At least not yet. It’s only been gone a year!
    The Voice is still on and doing well and I don’t think Idol can magically come back and top that.

  8. Good points, I understand your skepticism and I would hate to see it come back and fail. I only really watched a few seasons with great interest and never much afterwards. However, I do feel it’s an awesome platform for young artists who somehow hit the jackpot and make it on the show. I love the opportunity it brings to people who may never have a chance of making it in the music industry and so for that reason alone I hope it succeeds wildly. 🙂

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