The Voice

Should AI Stay, or Should AI Go?

Teresa Mathew

By Sarah Yeider and Katcy Stephan

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Pro:

Who doesn’t love turning on the television for a good laugh after a long, hard day? Lately, there’s been nothing funnier than American Idol.

The old American Idol may have been a serious show where contestants fought for their dreams of becoming singers, but now, the show is just a hoot. With crackpot judges and even stranger auditions than before, American Idol should be kept on the air solely for its hilarity.

I have never been a faithful watcher of the show. In fact, the last thing I remember was Kelly Clarkson battling it out against the guy with the crazy curly hair. But back then, I could tell that contestants were there to really try their hardest and belt out songs likes there was no tomorrow for a shot at a record deal. Now, people bring their own instruments. It’s like a one-man band competition!

With that said, the show is a little disorganized. But that adds to the funny factor as well, with the new judges and the kooky contestants.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen the show funnier. The judges are crazy. It’s hilarious when Randy tries to be mean but can’t,” said senior Becky Morin.

I couldn’t agree more. The meanest Randy seems to have ever gotten is “Dawg, that didn’t even sound remotely like singing at all,” and “That wasn’t even close to good.” How can I take the show seriously when the judges are so half-hearted?

The addition of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez has upped the comedy as well. While Steven Tyler has had a bumpy past and has supposedly gotten better, he still looks like a hot mess. He was an amazing singer and knows his stuff about judging, but the way he looks at contestants makes me laugh before the audition even begins.

Jennifer Lopez is also a great addition. She has assimilated into the role of “Paula” quite well, as she seems to be the nicest of all of the judges. But when I see her, I can’t help but see her as her old self, “Jenny from the Block.”

Despite the disorganization of the show, Pres students still love American Idol. “I love American Idol this season! It is so funny and the judges are amazing,” said senior Lauren Cooper.

As if the judges weren’t amusing enough, the contestants are too good to be true. There are, of course, the crazy dressers, like the women in their funky punk outfits. But then there are those truly wacky contestants who choose to come to the auditions with over-the-top plans. Take the woman that came to the auditions to profess her love for the Patriots, all while performing an opera-style ballad.

Most people feel that American Idol is washed up. Every devoted follower of the show, I’m sure, agrees that Simon, Paula and Randy were the best trio of judges. But I believe that American Idol is better than before because right now, our televisions are chock full of bad news about the war, protests and murders. A little comic relief is always helpful when I’m feeling down.

It may seem rude to laugh at the expense of others, but the contestants go on the show fully aware that they are going to embarrass themselves. Some people who go onto the show are there to show us their talent, but many go on and pretend that they believe in their talents, even when they have none.

These are the people for whom I watched the show. Even when the auditions ended, I kept watching because I had become interested in the top 40 contestants, and now, I’m hooked. Even though the judges have changed and the show is different, you should still give it a shot and get a good laugh out of it.  

Con:

I stopped watching American Idol when Paula Abdul left. When the show first debuted in 2002, my family and I were instantly hooked, and we watched the show religiously for the next eight seasons. However, once singer-songwriter Kara DioGuardi joined the judging panel and subsequently replaced Abdul, the show lost a necessary element.

Each season, I attempt to rekindle my love for the singing competition and find enough redeeming qualities in the show to justify a DVR recording, but I always lose interest quickly.

Paula could always be counted on as the “nice one” of the panel. Her quirky commentary left audiences guessing what the “Straight Up” singer would say next.

Abdul served as a perfect foil to Simon Cowell, the blunt British judge imported from England’s Pop Idol. However, even Simon’s witty commentary could not save the show from the lack of chemistry among him, Kara DioGuardi, music producer Randy Jackson and comedian Ellen DeGeneres.

DeGeneres left the show after only one season amidst a barrage of criticism from viewers who asked the question, “What qualifies a comedian to judge others on singing ability?” Furthermore, DioGuardi’s contract was not renewed, and Cowell decided to leave the show after nine seasons.

The departure of three of the panel’s four judges left the show’s future up in the air, but pop star Jennifer “J.Lo” Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler were ultimately selected.

The panel, consisting of the two new judges and veteran judge Jackson, is clearly the weakest in Idol history. While J.Lo is musically qualified to judge contestants, her commentary often does not really say anything. She frequently tries to assert her position on the judging panel by describing contestants’ voices as the best, worst and most unique “in Idol history.”

Steven Tyler, on the other hand, constantly tries to obtain a more family-friendly persona, making personal connections with contestants and giving out numerous hugs. However, he cannot shake his bad-boy image, as he is consistently less harsh on attractive females, often allowing them to progress to the next round for the sole reason that he finds them good-looking.

Even worse, Randy Jackson is attempting to fill Cowell’s shoes by giving harsher criticism than ever before. In the past, Randy was the “moderate” judge- he was harder on contestants than Paula but not as frank as Simon. Suddenly, after nine seasons, he is the new “mean” judge—but, Dawg, it’s just not right.

Junior Rachel Whelan offers a similar opinion, saying, “American Idol has been on for too long! Once the original judges left, the show lost appeal because Paula, Randy and Simon together were the identity of the show. It got boring just watching people sing after the show had been on for so long.”

Junior Ashley Phillip agrees, saying, “In my opinion, American Idol spends too much time ridiculing others instead of focusing on the talent that makes a person an ‘American Idol.’ The judges sound like immature preteens because they spend too much time insulting contestants rather than giving constructive criticisms and suggestions. I don’t think that American Idol needs to end, but they should re-evaluate what they show to viewers and the message that they are sending.”

Now in its tenth season, American Idol has completely lost its spark. None of the show’s original appeal remains, and what’s left is not enough to keep viewers still watching.

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Should AI Stay, or Should AI Go?