Fuck All These Fucking Talent Shows.S

The Voice premiered last night, the America's Got Talent finals are on Wednesday, The X Factor starts Wednesday and Fox is gearing up for a revamped American Idol , starring Mariah Carey. But it's time we faced the terrible truth: We have too many goddamn talent shows.

Idol began airing in June 2002. In the eleven seasons that have passed, we have indeed unearthed gems like Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Carrie Underwood. But between America's Got Talent, The Voice, X Factor, America's Next Top Model, Top Chef, Project Runway, Design Star and TWO shows about pawn shops, it's time we faced the facts: We're spreading ourselves too thin. We're on the verge of being picked clean of talent. When television "stars" include the Kardashians and the guys on Hillbilly Handfishin', that's a cue you've reached some kind of tipping point. (I say this as a person who recently watched a Call of the Wildman marathon. Forgive me; I was on a plane.)

But the trouble is specifically with the singing shows. Once upon a time, a singer became famous for having a amazing, distinctive, voice. Not every singer was a "star." Only the truly truly stunning were rewarded with fame, and sometimes fortune came with fame (but not always). Timeless voices — Billie Holiday, Dolly Parton, James Brown, Nat King Cole, Johnny Cash — are few and far between. Yet we have approximately one zillion "singers" releasing music right now — many of whom are simply just thin-bodied, symmetrical-faced dancers who can warble a little. Throw together some recockulous lyrics (wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle) and you earn a bajillion dollars. Lots of folks can carry a tune; that doesn't mean they're supposed to make a living singing. WHAT DO YOU THINK KARAOKE IS FOR?

What's more, true artists — with gifted voices and the burning desire to sing and create songs — can just upload to You Tube. Eliminate the middle man. Who cares what Blake Shelton thinks when you can go directly to The People? Idol crowned Taylor Hicks a winner, but the the kids from P.S. 22 are way more fun to watch. Just because you're singing on TV doesn't mean you're more talented or more deserving of attention than the dude singing in the subway station down the street. These talent shows hold auditions, get hundreds, nay, thousands of people excited about FAME and then televise their sad desperation and shaky, pitchy attempts at singing as entertainment. As an audience, we know it's just for entertainment, but the (mostly) young people go on these shows honestly believing that their life is about to change and it will all be private jets and diamond rings moving forward. Worse, talented folks — Jennifer Hudson, Allison Iraheta, Crystal Bowersox — are showcased but not rewarded with a win. The whole thing is flawed and stupid and stupid.

Look, I know that these shows are cheap, and instead of paying writers to come up with storylines and actors to perform them, it's budget-friendly to take some poor sap of a kid with stars in her eyes and exploit her dreams in front of über-rich celebrity judges, but that doesn't make it some ugly fucking bullshit.

And with so many shows, if we're not careful, we're going to be tapped out. We're in danger of overfarming our talent fields. We're going to overfish the singing sea! You have to wait for the population to replenish. So let's just take a break, huh? Fuck these fucking shows.