Written by Joyelle Ronan
“There was one great part to your song – it was the end!”
– Simon Cowell
Allow me to take you back to my most prominent memory of 2008: the finale of the seventh season of American Idol.
It was David Archuleta against David Cook. My friend and I had printed pictures expressing our devotion to David Cook, her dad yelled at us for using his expensive colored ink, but we were too excited to care. My whole family of loyal Idol fans gathered around our boxy television to watch David Cook become the next American Idol.
This was at a time when American Idol was a big deal.
Simon, Randy, and Paula were household names in a way that they never had been before. The show gave us icons such as Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks and Carrie Underwood. Also, it invented what might have been the first ever meme: William Hung singing “She Bangs.” It was known for being one of the biggest shows in American television.
So what happened?
Why did we all stop watching?
The last winner I remember watching is Phillip Phillips in season 11. He sang the song “Home” and, honestly, it’s still a jam. But after that it’s all a blur. This could be attributed to many different reasons, like television making the shift to being more online, or making live shows like Idol less appealing, or rivaling shows like “The Voice” or “X Factor” becoming more popular.
Maybe it was because Paula and Simon left and they were simply irreplaceable. Whatever the reason may be, American Idol aired its last season (sadly) in 2016 . . . until a different network revived it in 2018.
All you really need to know about the latest season of American Idol is that Ryan Seacrest is still the host. Seacrest and Idol are mutually exclusive. Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan join him. In case there is any confusion, Katy is the Simon, Luke is the Paula, and Lionel is the Randy.
A new batch of judges isn’t the only thing that’s different about the show; it’s less mean and more focused on the talent of the artist. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t have its comedic moments, they’re just no longer focused on humiliating people for a quick laugh.
Now that we’re stuck at home with our families, it’s the perfect time to start watching American Idol again. While I’m not sure if/how the show is going to continue under current circumstances, what I do know is this current season is on Hulu. You and whomever else you’re quarantined with can catch up on auditions, Hollywood week, and the top 40 performances in Hawaii.
Give the new American Idol a chance. If you used to watch it, the new Idol will feel nostalgic. Almost as nostalgic as googling worst American Idol auditions, which I also highly recommend.