The End of Reality Singing Competitions? Idol, The Voice, X-Factor, now Killer Karaoke?

American Idol celebrated a 10 year anniversary in June. You can’t deny the springboard to success the show has generated for artists like Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry, Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson, and Carrie Underwood. But like any great TV concept, after awhile they tend to “jump the shark” becoming a parody of their former self. The revolving door of A.I. judges loses J.Lo and Steven Tyler, replaced by Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban. It screams “desperate” for a show that has lost that youth appeal and excitement found in previous seasons.

Recent winners like Melanie Amaru, Phil Phillips, Javier Colon, Jermaine Paul, David Cook, and Kris Allen haven’t generated major sales after their victories. Add in the feud between The Voice and X-Factor and we have strong signals that the end of these reality competitions could be near. Fox and NBC played a dangerous game of chicken, who would change their time slot first when they scheduled new episodes directly opposite of each other.  Low ratings, weaker talent, and a been there/done that theme has taken over.  Perhaps the final nail in the coffin could be TruTV’s new show “Killer Karaoke” hosted by Steve-O from Jackass.  They have singers doing Fear Factor like stunts while performing.  

On the X-Factor, Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid have been having a hissy fit all season over who’s the better judge to the detriment of the audience. In an odd twist, X-Factor added Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez as hosts to boost ratings???  On The Voice, it’s become a predictable mess when off-key singers destroy classic songs only to hear Christina Aguilera, Adam, Blake, and Cee Lo Green still heaping massive false praise on each performance.  It’s becoming painful to watch at times.

Yet, the hope of finding another Daughtry, Clarkson, or Underwood keeps that spark burning although it’s now down to a flicker. There are some shining stars on the current seasons. Tate Stevens, a Garth Brooks clone with a pure and natural country voice, Carly Rose Sonenclar, a 13 year old “old soul”, and Vino Allen, an emotional powerhouse are X-Factor contestants with amazing talent. On The Voice, Irish rocker Terry McDermott, the creative artistry of Melanie Martinez, and the blue-eyed soul of Minnesotan Nicolas David have me intrigued.  They’ve become a DVR show to watch on fast forward, such a sad decline from such an exciting original concept.