American Idol Backlash

This year, the highly anticipated and competitive singing competition, American Idol, made its return to the airways. In previous years, the television show was a dominant force on the big screen where it used to be the most successful show not centered around sports. American Idol ran for an incredible 15 years with a staggering fifteen seasons including fifteen Idol winners. The previous winner was Trent Harmon, of season 15, of who beat out La’Porsha Renae for the title. The most successful winners from the earlier seasons included Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Jordin Sparks, and the first ever Idol Kelly Clarkson! American Idol was cancelled after its 15th season which also included an emotional performance from Kelly Clarkson. The show had incredible viewing statistics in the beginning years, upwards in the tens of millions of viewers. However, in the past few years the viewer turnout was on a steep decline. The show typically hires musicians or persons in the music industry to participate as a judge. Another minor factor that brought down viewers was the lack in connection between the judges or if the judges had tension between them. Also, with the loss in viewers, the show lost revenue from advertisements and endorsements. While American Idol was on the decline, a newer show titled “The Voice”, took the attention of American Idol’s younger audiences towards their own spin on a singing competition. All in all, American Idol outlived its own hype and was cancelled in 2016 due to outstanding factors.

Although American Idol was cancelled in 2016, the show was rebooted in 2018 for its official “first” season since its cancellation. The show switched networks from FOX to ABC although the show aired on FOX for fifteen years. This time around, the show is in a similar format as its previous years yet with three new judges. These judges included Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and host Ryan Seacrest. With these judges came some backlash from an action that Katy Perry had decided to take. A contestant, who was 19 at the time, auditioned for the show and was asked by Luke Bryan if he had “kissed a girl and liked it” hinting at Katy Perry’s single “I Kissed A Girl”. He explained to the judges that he had never been kissed before. Katy Perry was surprised and asked for him to come and kiss her on the cheek. He was surprised, and looked uncomfortable, then explained that he hasn’t kissed a girl since he would need to be in a relationship first. He approached Katy and kissed her on the cheek and Katy exclaimed he “didn’t make she smush sound” when he kissed her. They then attempted the cheek kiss again, but this time when the contestant leaned in to kiss Katy’s cheek, Katy moved her head and kissed the contestant on the lips where he then fell backwards in surprise. This received some backlash since the contestant did not give Katy Perry consent to kiss him on the lips where he was only attempting to kiss her cheek. This also received backlash from the #MeToo movement where it seemed Katy Perry had sexually harassed this contestant where she intentionally kissed him without his consent. The contestant later spoke out on Instagram stating he did not think he was sexually harassed by Katy Perry and that he was only uncomfortable since he had never been kissed before.

Article by: Matthew Oevermann