Rising Stars Still Formula

Brooke Presten, Staff Writer

The 12th season of American Idol premiered January 16 with Randy Jackson, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj as judges.

My issues start here. The original judges, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, were the perfect three. Their chemistry entertained and added suspense for Idol viewers. I loved watching them fight; it added a layer of drama to the reality show. To this day, whenever someone says “American Idol,” I think Simon, Paula, and Randy.

Idol stats reveal that the reality show reached its peak in season 6, attracting over 37 million viewers, according to The New York Times ratings. After Simon and Paula left in season 9, the number of viewers has steadily decreased.

I don’t think Nicki, Mariah or Keith are bad judges, but viewers naturally don’t like change, especially on one of their favorite shows. Even though it is still one of the most watched shows in the country, American Idol season 12 is down to 17 million viewers; a full 20 million less than they had 6 years ago according to Hollywood Reporter online.

Even though I miss the novelty of Simon and Paula flirting and my favorite judges are gone, Keith Urban’s Australian accent is more than enough to get me back on my weekly routine of watching Idol.

The talent has remained impressive. Season 11 winner, Phillip Phillips, released a best-selleing single, “Home,” which is ranked 9th on Billboard’s top song chart. Phillips even surpassed Idol season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson, with Clarkson’s “Catch My Breath” ranked 22nd.

Even though American Idol is no longer at its peak, it’s intriguing to watch talented singers make their way to fame.