American Idol 2013: Dear Producers And Judges: Stop The Manipulation (Op-Ed)

American Idol judges

I’ve been covering American Idol for the past four seasons and I’ve been watching since Season 4. I might not be an expert, but I’m pretty well-versed on all things American Idol.

So last week in my American Idol 2013 Top 4 performance show recap when I said I’ve never seen such blatant manipulation on the show, I meant it. A few readers called me out in our comments section asking if I’ve been watching with blinders on this whole time and am just now noticing the manipulation. The answer is no. I know this show isn’t always 100 percent honest and does what it can to make sure it gets the best-possible outcome.

But never, in my nine seasons of watching, has the judge/production interference been so blazingly obvious. It’s so obvious that I’ve started writing about it. I never thought the judges’ jabs and production interference was worth mentioning until now. I feel like it’s worth mentioning now because American Idol is in trouble and it’s trying to fix itself in all the wrong ways.

America doesn’t care if there’s a female winner or not. They spent the past four seasons voting for guys they thought were cute. Sure it’s going to be nice to have a female winner, but not having a female winner isn’t what’s been killing the show. In fact, we’re definitely getting a female winner this season and ratings are at an all-time low.

So what do producers do now that they’ve insured a female winner? They want to ensure it’s a skinny girl who is marketable. So now they’re shoving the 3rd- and 4th-best singers in the competition down our throats. Yes, I’m talking about Angie Miller and Amber Holcomb. They want Amber and her legs to win SO badly that they will use critique time for Candice Glover to praise and defend AMBER. I’ve never been more offended by this show than I was last week when Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson used Candice’s time to tell Jimmy Iovine he was wrong about Amber.

And not just because they were using Candice’s time, but because Jimmy was right, not wrong. Amber wasn’t that great. She’s never THAT great. She’s good, but the judges praise Amber like she was produced in a petri dish using the DNA of The Beatles, Whitney Houston, Superman and Jesus Christ. It’s ridiculous.

As I said, Amber is good. And so is Angie. But you know who are better? Candice and Kree Harrison. And the judges all thought so too until the guys were all gone. So that mission was accomplished, so they moved on to mission #2: Who they actually want to win. And that’s clearly Amber. Because she’s the most marketable, apparently?

And that’s just one more thing that’s wrong with this show, and especially this season. Let America decide what it wants. If America gets what it wants, America will keep watching. We all know producers made sure to pick guys that girls just weren’t going to fall in love with and then gave them horrible themes and placed them in vulnerable performance spots until they were picked off one by one. That’s where the manipulation should have stopped. But it didn’t.

So to American Idol producers: Stop forcing Amber on us. We’ve been rejecting her for weeks. Let us decide who we want to be the next American Idol. It might even be Angie without your help. She has a lot of fans. So just let us decide. Let us take that burden off your hands. You can focus on how to save your show by format changes and personality changes. Shake up the things that matter. Keep it fresh. And remember that fresh doesn’t just mean a female winning.

And just to be clear, I don’t have anything against Amber. I think she’s beautiful and talented. I’d think even more highly of her if the judges weren’t exaggerating everything she does. And I’d also think more highly of her if my personal opinion didn’t put Angie, Kree and Candice above her as far as singing ability goes. That’s just my opinion. It’s not my opinion that America almost sent Amber home twice early on, and again last week, however. So it’s not just me who isn’t feeling Amber like the judges and producers. Remember that when you ponder what I just read.

But hey, at least we get a girl winner this season, right? Go ladies!