I didn’t realize until yesterday that the final finale of American Idol had already took place, won by Trent Harmon. Usually, the finale of a season isn’t usually held until the week before Memorial Day or thereabouts. But I guess the creators and producers were in a hurry to say goodbye.
My first thought is that the show was never the same since Simon Cowell left it. He was to AI what Dorothy Kilgallen was to What’s My Line and what Howard Cosell was to Monday Night Football, and ABC Sports in general (which no longer exists). It became just another reality show. Not even the very talented and attractive Jennifer Lopez could keep the show from spiraling down in the ratings.
Second, and I alluded to this back at the end of last year: I think you’ll see some of the elder reality shows that started at the turn of the millennium eventually fade away. The show I follow over the summer time, Big Brother, would be a prime candidate to be retired, having declined in the ratings for four straight years and losing nearly a quarter of its ratings within that time frame. It’s first year’s average of a 9.1 rating has never been equaled in all the seasons that have passed since BB1 aired in 2000.
One thing that can’t be denied is the impact the show has had on the pop music industry and culture. If everyone who appeared and was cultivated on AI was in a single band, then that “band” definitely had the same level of success (if not more) than the all-time greats. It’s a show that was its own legacy, and that will continue on through time even if no comeback is attempted.