The Singing American Dream

American Idol is reaching its conclusion. After recently announcing that the 15th season will be the last one to air, this stalwart of American TV will be remembered for a host of reasons. From bad auditions to incredible artists, American Idol has seemed to produce it all. While audiences are dwindling, there is no denying that the show was a great success across many markets. What I want to ask is why and how?

American Idol Title card Licensed by Wikipedia

The answer given by this YouTube video published during the shows heyday in 2010, centers around the American dream and portrayals of success.  On a simple basis I would have to agree with this idea. It only makes sense that people want to see others be successful and have a chance to at a record deal. The video seems to harp on the idea that people love to see someone just like them go from a no body to a superstar over night. I would agree with this for the most part. While I have never watched American Idol I can imagine that it is cool to identify with some because of some likeness and the next day see them all over the place. Additionally I would like to attribute some success of American Idol to their inclusion of hilariously bad auditions. These light hearted moments not only make some people feel better about their talent but shows everyone there is nothing to be scared of but fear itself. Overall the show thrives on being motivational in many ways.


However, one giant challenge to this has to stem from the popularity of reality TV shows. It seems that the rise of things like keeping up with the Kardashians and the Jersey Shore that focus on how trivial arguments disputes the American dream. Indeed, I feel like Americans (and many other people around the world) love watching how crazy other’s lives are in order to make them feel better about any calamity in their life.