On ‘American Idol,’ we have finally arrived at the live shows, which means the fate of the contestants is up to solely the viewers. Because of this, the critiques from the judges are all the more important in terms of guiding viewers, so why are they holding back?
On the Feb. 25 episode of American Idol, the first live episode of the season, the top 12 boys sang for their lives. There were a few great performances, as well as some definite clunkers. Yet, no matter how it went for a given contestant on stage, the judges– consisting of Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban— seemed to say pretty much the same thing. So, what gives?
‘American Idol’ Judges’ Comments
That vague praise came up quite a few times when the top 12 boys took the stage on American Idol. And, let’s be clear, the performances were by no means all of equal quality. Not by a long shot.
Mark Andrew and Nick Fradiani were leaps and bounds above most of the other contestants on the first live show. Meanwhile, Qaasim Middelton and Trevor Douglas very clearly struggled with the strength of their vocals.
To the judges though, at least based on their comments, all of their performances ranked about equal. In season 14, that just is not good enough.
Why It Matters
Here’s the thing. Yes, the point of American Idol is for America itself to pick its next champion, and the judges are merely present to help guide the contestants. However, at the same time, we are voting on our next pop star here, and if a winner is crowned who doesn’t have what it takes, they won’t be able to hack it when they really are roughing it out in Hollyweird (that’s Hollywood combined with “weird” because Hollywood is very weird).
My point is, the judges are not in control of America’s vote–and they shouldn’t be– but it is their responsibility to provide guidance to the people. These judges are some of the biggest names in music, and they’ve managed to obtain some longevity. They have knowledge that the average person just doesn’t have about the music industry and their insights can and should be taken into consideration when we, the audience, are whipping out our phones to vote.
So judges, I’m begging you, when a contestant doesn’t deliver while giving a performance, don’t tell them otherwise! Let America know who you think can make it, and though we might not listen, at least you can say “we told you so.”
So that’s my two cents– what about you? Do you think the judges need to step it up with their comments or should it be left solely to the audience to figure out who’s great?
— Casey Mink