‘American Idol’ Failures: The 3 Things Fans Hate Most About the Show

American Idol – seventeen seasons and running (on thin ice) – has not been the “talk of the town” in quite some time. With many drawbacks, ranging from a lack of reinvention to a sense of detachment from contemporary society, the show’s viewership has failed to hit the high notes it used to achieve back in its prime.

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie
Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie | Karen Neal via Getty Images

While Idol still manages to garner a couple of million viewers when on air, the show averaged over 20 million in season two. So, when you put the new numbers into perspective with respect to the show’s former spread, it’s clear that American Idol is no longer the American public’s go-to talent competition show. Yes, The Voice, you are being referenced here.

While some of the overarching gripes fans harbor towards American Idol were mentioned above, this list will highlight the three aspects that (former) fans seem to hate most about the current production.

3) Viewers don’t love Katy Perry as a Judge on ‘American Idol’

While no one will deny Katy Perry’s vocal talent and pop icon status, many fans feel that she isn’t right for the role. Many argue that Katy Perry toys too much with male contestants, to the extent that it should not be acceptable, while others say that she makes the show about her.

Katy Perry tends to steal the spotlight – and given that her fanbase is reflective of one of the show’s major demographics – she gets away with it. Because fans want to see Katy being Katy, her spotlight-stealing tendencies are put on full blast. However, viewers who “didn’t mind” her before Idol, now can’t stand her. Thus, American Idol is isolating fans who would stick around if the show remained focused on the contestants just a bit more.

2) ‘American Idol’ is stuck in yesteryear, and can’t find its footing

From consistently swapping judges to retaining a few bad auditions, but not as many (and making sure they’re not completely brutal), it feels like the show is attempting to retain what made it a smash while incorporating slight adjustments to modernize. The problem: the show is failing on both fronts.

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American Idol is longer the Simon, Paula, and Randy infused show we all loved (with one of the best judges’ panels of all time), yet it also fails to stray far enough from the original to feel “new.”

Many fans argue that ABC bought the rights to Idol, and failed to change the show in a meaningful way. Instead, they just threw a handful of stars – representing different populations – in the judges’ chairs, hoping to gain viewership on the back of star power alone, as opposed to working on revamping and strengthening the concept.

1) Winning doesn’t seem like the best outcome

American Idol – barring the two exceptions to the rule, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood – rarely produces a winner who goes on to receive national acclaim. When you think of all the runner-ups and finalists who have far surpassed Idol winners, the show loses its suspense factor, as fans realize that winning doesn’t really matter in the end.

Katherine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson, and Adam Lambert all lost American Idol; however, who is going to argue that Kris Allen is a more successful musician than Adam Lambert? The latter now tours with Queen! Fantasia beat out Jennifer Hudson, and no one is going to argue that the soon-to-be Grizabella in Cats retains less star power than the former Idol winner.

Fans wonde… if American Idol cannot forge a deep-rooted connection between its winners and the likelihood of actually becoming an “American Idol,” what is the point of watching?