In television, "American Idol" has enjoyed viewing successes not normal for most scripted and non-scripted shows. Even so, earlier today Fox announced the next season of the music competition show – its 15th – would be its last. The show that launched Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson will get its swan song for one last gathering where Ryan Seacrest and company can pick the next American singer to hit the charts.
"'American Idol’ changed my life. It was a great way for me to pursue my dreams of being a country music singer and introduce myself to the nation," season 10 winner Scotty McCreery said today. "'American Idol' has been a dominant force in our pop culture for almost a decade and a half, but all good things must come to an end. I wish everyone involved with the show my best and know they will all continue to do great things."
Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks got to know Milwaukee and its TV market pretty well after his stint on the singing show.
"’Idol’ was groundbreaking television. I am very fortunate to have won the show at the time. ‘Idol ‘changed my life, and I am thankful. Looking forward to an entertaining final season," Hicks wrote.
When I had the chance to chat with Crystal Bowersox around her performance at Turnner Hall last year, she only had great things to say about the show. Despite its then shrinking space among TV audiences, Bowersox was grateful for her time connected with the show. She said back then that she learned so much about the industry, that it prepared her for today. Now, she does just about everything involved with her own tour.
"When you start out on your own … I know I have to do it all," she said. "It's drive all day, and drum all night."
"American Idol" isn’t as shiny and new as it was with Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, but even last year’s 13 million watchers is not something to simply ignore. Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. have proved to be musically adept, dynamic and able to anchor the show that once had fireworks with judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.
Like many in Milwaukee, I enjoyed when Tim Cuprisin would weigh in on "Idol" chatter, leaving a thought or two for the producers. When the show was struggling and made a judging change to Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, Cuprisin knew the writing was on the wall.
"While the show remains the No. 1 and 2 program for the season, its numbers are down and a shakeup is clearly in order. And, frankly, Ellen was never at ease judging the singers," Cuprisin wrote.
Though I’ve never been at ease in judging TV shows, I think Cuprisin would have agreed with me on this one: This is the right time to let this show go and end a journey a decade and a half in the making.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
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