Season 6: The year 'Idol' jumped the shark

Sanaya_lAt the risk of being crucified for insulting the most popular TV show,like, EVER, I feel it must be pointed out that American Idol clearlyjumped the shark in season 6. There are four reasons I say this:

1. Sanjaya (pictured): Some pretty-boy with funny hairbecomes the most buzz-worthy (and, some would say, most entertaining)thing about this season despite struggling to carry a tune andremember lyrics.

2. Mindy Doo’s ouster: Although she arguably has thestrongest voice of any Idol contestant ever, Melinda Doolittle didn’teven make it to the final round. So much for Simon Cowell’s insistencethat, when all is said and done, "This is a singing competition."

addCredit(“Sanjaya Malakar: Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images”)

3. Blake: This guy somehow got to the final round with alame, white-boy beatbox gimmick that he’d played out by the third timewe saw it. We know Justin Timberlake, Blake, and you’re no JustinTimberlake.

4. "Idol Gives Back": Who can criticize a show for leveragingits unprecedented popularity for charity? Nevertheless, it stilldoesn’t change the fact that the whole, schmaltzy ordeal was a textbook example of’s "A Very Special…" category.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Did Idol jump the shark this year? Ifso, what other shark-jumping events did I leave off? Or maybe you thinkthe show jumped in an earlier season?

Comments (187 total) Add your comment
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  • gross me out

    Ewww since when is Sanjaya a pretty boy?!
    I ain’t into that vindaloo, if you get what I’m saying.

  • John K.

    Right on the money. Glad someone finally said it. Don’t forget their now well-known manipulative and cruel audition format and their uninspired Top 24 selections. And not to mention the lame theme weeks. Gibb? Bon Jovi?

  • JKS

    Idol jumped the shark last year when Taylor and Katherine landed in the final two over Elliott and Chris. After that, why bother? It’s over. The only thing to look forward to is Simon’s post-season assessment, which is bound to be extra snarky!

  • Sally

    Like DHW, Idol needs a shakeup. Rotate the judges? I would like to see Patti Labelle or Lulu sit where Paula sits, she has become irrelevant. Less of the silly cruel auditions. If you can’t sing, you can’t sing. Put that portion of the show near the end. If people want to sit around for 2 hours till the end of the show and watch those stupid insulting auditions, they will. The power of Idol is making stars. If the show & producers stop making stars out of nobodys then it too becomes irrelevant. One reason people tune in is because they have invested in making a “star.” If the Kelly C’s, Carris U’s, and Jennifer H’s stop being made, then yeh, people won’t care. And so far this year, we haven’t heard much from the last two – Taylor and Katharine.
    BTW, Sanjaya has his own reality show in the works produced by Idol producers. Did you know that?

  • DLN

    Sally –
    While I agree that AI has become stale, I disagree that last season failed to produce any stars. Daughtry is having huge success. You included Jennifer Hudson who didn’t make it to the finals as a successful AI competitor, you should have included Chris Daughtry.

  • sorry but…

    What is DHW?

  • gabe

    They chose contestants who would make good tv and this strategy bit back their asses. Plue the producers’ decisions to make tele-novellas around some less deserving contestants. By the time the top 24 rolled in, no one knew who half of the singers but everyone knew who Sanjaya was. Duhhhh!!

  • Nyla

    MORON. Blake did NOT beatbox his way through the top 12. You people (aka. the media) are such lemmings. If you want to know why this season sucks so much, go ask the AI producers. They insisted that we all would rather watch freaking JLo than get to know the contestants. Get your facts straight.

  • Michael Jackson

    Dear Sanjaya, tell, nay shout (or whisper if you prefer) to EW that you are not a prettyBOY!! You are a fairy like me and would like to spready the fairy force to all of America who stupidly voted for that gigantic girl over you. At least Blake is cute, even Ryan has a crush on him! Love, Michael.

  • TO DLN

    “Sally –
    While I agree that AI has become stale, I disagree that last season failed to produce any stars. Daughtry is having huge success. You included Jennifer Hudson who didn’t make it to the finals as a successful AI competitor, you should have included Chris Daughtry.”
    You misinterpreted what I wrote, I stated the top 2 winners (Taylor and Kat) haven’t been heard from. The top 2 are supposed to be the MOST successful, well, they fell short last season.

  • Elizabeth

    While voting for my cover choices for the AI winner (Jordin v. Blake), I was very surprised when I saw the Jordin covers side by side. Maybe EW should take a look, it couldn’t be that obvious, could it?

  • sam

    AI is still of value for introducing us to great talent, like Daughtry, Elliott and Melinda. But the final has become a joke, just like it was last year. The youngest viewers pick the winner and by the time that person’s CD comes out, they have moved to the next flavor of the month. Other viewers find talented people to appreciate–the success of Daughtry is an example and I hope that Melinda and Kiki will be the same. Just forget the final, cut the guest coaches and let us enjoy the talent.

  • Kent

    Sanjaya’s a pretty boy? you must be joking, right?

  • Thad

    Has not jumped the shark but clearly changes need to take place. The public can not be in charge of choosing the best singer. I think this is what had to happen on the Pop Idol. It should be the judges decision each week who goes home. The public has shown, in more than one season, that the best singers are not chosen.

  • Anna

    I agree 100%…. and yet people still watch this show (including myself). They need to make it like Dancing with the Stars… so at least the judges have SOME say in who goes on. Then again, they DID put Sanjaya in the top 24.

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