Our Generation’s American Bandstand

As most of you may know, the twelfth season of American Idol aired this week. We’ve seen this show evolve over the years, with new judges, winners, and formats. Nonetheless, it was a huge reality check for me when realized that half the people who were auditioning this week were around 17 years old. I was 12 years old when this show first aired, not even a teenager myself, and now that time came and went. I’m 23.

The judges have changed so much from a trio to a foursome, from Simon and Paula Abdul, to JLo, Ellen, Steven Tyler, Kara whatever-her-name-is, etc. One thing that has remained constant on Idol (besides Randy Jackson) is Ryan Seacrest, except for the first season when there were two hosts (I bet the other guy is off kicking himself somewhere). In a way, it seems like Ryan Seacrest has taken over for the late Dick Clark, who hosted American Bandstand from 1956 until 1989. Now Seacrest has filled Clark’s shoes in Times Square for the Rockin’ Eve celebrations.

One thing to debate is who is the best American Idol winner– Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood? I really don’t know if I can choose. Who do you think would win in a sing-off? I think Kelly is probably capable of higher notes, but Carrie’s voice is so powerful. Carrie also has more awards, and quite possibly, record sales.

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There have been so many standout stars who have gotten their starts on American Idol, and a lot whom didn’t even win. Jennifer Hudson, Katharine McPhee, Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler all started their careers on Idol. And then there are of course several who have won, yet have had short-lived success, such as Ruben Studdard, David Cook, Kris Allen, Taylor Hicks, and Lee Dewyze (never even heard of him until I researched this.

This makes me wonder if it’s even a big deal to win American Idol anymore. The premiere of this season had the lowest ratings ever, down 19% with 17.9 million viewers. In my opinion, that’s still pretty huge, but the more I listen to Nicki Minaj speak, the more likely I am to turn of my TV.

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