Chris Daughtry has recently taken some heat for saying negative things about American Idol, the show that gave him his start. He said things like "I don’t know how many people actually take it serious" and "I think that people get tired of seeing the people that suck." Two comments:
1. Nobody takes AI seriously when it comes to music. Nobody ever did. Daughtry may feel that they did when HE was on it, but that is delusional. AI is TV phenomenon, NOT a forum for music talent. (If it's all about the music to you, then you probably love karaoke too.) AI is one of it not the most successful show on TV right now, and it's not because of music. I would argue that it's the competition of the show that draws people in, much less than the actual singing. The contestants that make it in music after AI get as far away from the show as possible; they don't stay connected to the TV show. As Daughtry himself says, ex-Idols have "had to work our butts off to prove that, you know, we’re beyond that."
2. People will never get tired of seeing people that suck. It's not about watching bad people sing. It's watching bad people sing who believe that they are amazing get judged and seeing their reaction. The appeal goes beyond laughing at others. We see these people take a chance on a dream in which they have a huge emotional investment. We see real emotion out of these people, good or bad. The celebrations are as interesting as the breakdowns because it is literally a "dream come true" or "the end of a dream." There's a truth in the moments when the judges speak. A roll of the eye can say so much.
This doesn't get boring because it's a brand new experience for each person that walks into the audition room. It's a brand new set of variables for each contestant. The entire premise of the show might get boring (like a flipping a coin over and over again), but the people will be as unique as everyone that audtions.
It's for these reasons that I love American Idol. Yes, I will admit it. But I only care about the auditions because that's the most interesting part. By the time we get to the top 10, I've checked out. Luckilly, I live with a woman who still watches it, so I get see who gets kicked off each week.