Monday, September 17, 2012
American Idol announces new judges
Sitting back and thinking about are these new judges suitable to be judges for this show, one may think about the background and accomplishments of the new judges. Mariah Carey is a multi-platinum (too many to count), multi-time Grammy award winner singer and song writer. Her career spans two and a half decades. In short, she is regarded as to having one of the greatest voices to ever grace the industry. In our book, she fits the profile to judge a talent show.
Keith Urban has over twenty years in the music industry, and has won multiple American Music Awards, Country Music Awards, BMI Awards, and Grammy Awards, to name a few. He’s most famous these days for a stint in rehab, and being married to Nicole Kidman, but that’s neither here nor there when it comes to his accolades to qualify as an American Idol judge.
Then there’s Nicki Minaj; the newcomer to the industry, two years strong. So far, she’s been nominated and won multiple New Female Artist awards, and multiple wins for songs Starships and Super Bass. When she first came on the scene, she was supposed to be the next top female rap artist, but as the months went by, her style and image began to morph. She started off with the raunchy and racy lyrics, drawing comparison to Lil Kim, and Choice, the little known female artist from Houston, Texas of the early 1990’s. Then she started taking on the image of Lil Kim, Missy Elliott (whom will be discussed later), Lady Ga Ga, and other female music artists who had a flamboyant image and personality. The direction of her music began to change, as she still rhymed in her music, but the music itself became more pop themed. The music was no longer geared for the 20-30 something’s, it’s now more for the 13 and under’s. She still makes music for the older crowds when she is in a collaboration with other artists, but her main vice is to draw in the young listeners, as they are the majority of the individuals listening and purchasing music. And this is why American Idol signed her up, at the tune of $12 million to judge this season.
American Idol knows exactly why they wanted Nicki Minaj as a judge. I for one, think it’s not hard to dress and act like a clown to get attention, but it’s the individuals that support the act that American Idol needs to maintain their spot in the ratings. Nicki Minaj is not that talented to judge a talent show. What advice can she actually give someone with an unheard voice, when the majority of her success comes from her image? She can rap, she can harmonize, not sing…………harmonize, but to tell a singer they are or not good enough to move to the next round to achieve their dream is quite asinine. She’s only had success on the mainstream level for 3 years at the most, and the explosion of that success is only about 1.5 years. Her opinion of a contestant won’t mean anything to me because I can see why she’s there as a judge in the first place.
Over the past couple seasons, American Idol has been struggling to maintain their viewership. During Season 11, viewership has fallen off to the second lowest since the first season for the entire season through to the final performances. Nicki Minaj is being brought in to boost the viewership and ratings. Mariah’s first reaction to being informed of Nicki’s addition to the judge’s panel was to hang the phone up on the show producers. She even knows that Nicki has no place being a judge on the show, but it’s not her call; she’ll simply roll on to the bank with a $17-$18 million check in tow. Call her a diva, call her a hater, but it’s a talent show, and in return, we’ll see and hear about what goes down between these two, without question, it’s going to happen. But back to why American Idol chose Nicki Minaj as a judge; she has a legion of fans, a majority young, but they will tune in just to see her and to hear her critique contestant performances. As stated before, it’s not about what Nicki has accomplished in her young career; it’s about the numbers game to American Idol. With numbers down, the producers are using Nicki and her fan base to get the numbers back up. They could care less about her ability to critique a singer; it’s about needing her fans to tune in each week to maintain sponsorship and additional revenue streams. This is why they have 4 judges, because she’s there to draw the numbers, while the other judges, Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban, all who have 60 plus combined years in the industry are there to give the expert opinion for the contestants.
I’m sure Nicki knows why she’s been chosen to be a judge, and I doubt she really cares because she’s got an easy $12 million not to care; and these types of decisions are why the show’s popularity have gone downhill. The producers have sacrificed the true meaning of a ‘talent judge’ for the sake of a ratings boost from a demographic that may be too young to stay up and watch the show. They have prostituted themselves for the sake of money. The first thing that popped into my head, Mariah’s head, and I’m sure into the heads of many, many others, is that Nicki lacks the talent and experience to be a judge on a talent show. But again, numbers rule, and it was the producers job to find a formula or individual that will bring those numbers up, and they found the source in Nicki Minaj.
The money American Idol will make from sponsors due to the increase in viewership will pay for all the judge’s salaries, plus much more. It’s a strategic and bold move by the producers to bring in Nicki, even though she lacks the pedigree as an entertainer to be a judge. In the end, that bottom line is all that matters, and American Idol will thank the legion of Nicki Minaj fans for the boost.
If Missy, Mariah, Keith Urban, and Randy Jackson were the judges of the show, it’ll bring more credibility to the genre, rather than more fans of one judge, who may not be able to watch the show past bed time; but I’ve already said that. Again, it’s all about numbers, and a show’s job is to maintain and grow those numbers, and they found a source to do just that in Nicki Minaj. So be it, if it works, then it works, but it’s all hollow. Let’s keep it real, and maybe that would be a formula that will work on a reality show.