In its continued quest to be a boring shell of itself, American Idol is scrapping what was once the heart and soul of the audition process—the terrible singers.
Per The Hollywood Reporter:
One thing Idol was known for was its mocking of bad singers during the early audition rounds, an aspect famously rebuked by NBC’s The Voice when it premiered in 2011 and ultimately stole Idol’s thunder. Showrunner Trish Kinane said that would no longer be the case, though she was also quick to note the original version of the show had leaned away from that in its later years.
More accurately than simple mocking, the judge’s critiques of the show’s least talented contestants were a combination of rude feedback and a reality check for people with unrealistic vocal ambitions. Viewers, for the most part, knew these segments were part of the entertainment and played along until the gag and the show itself became stale.
Kinane’s explanation for not airing the humiliating auditions is a sign of the times, a shift from the show’s trainwreck reality TV aspect. “It doesn’t feel comfortable to put borderline unstable people up on stage and laugh at them,” she says. “I think that people once thought that the judges saw everyone, and now you know there’s a line of producers who screen before them. We want the humor, but we don’t want the exploitation.”
Fair enough, but Idol has to compete with other evolved competition shows and find its heart. The new judging panel led by Katy Perry has also vowed to play nice with their critiques, when we already have The Voice for that.
In memoriam to the worst of Idol, watch the above clip in which a contestant tells the panel, “I’m a great singer,” and Simon Cowell responds, “No you’re not... and you never will be, honestly.”