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What's wrong with this year's American Idol (aside from Paula Abdul's absence)

I admit. I haven't been watching American Idol lately. That's new to me cause prior to this season, I never missed an episode since season 3. Haha. It was only yesterday when I realized we're merely days from the season 9 finale. So I turned to Youtube to catch a glimpse of the performances I missed (which is practically the entire season).

And while I was browsing, Youtube recommended the clip above as a related video. I posted it on facebook with the tag "Back when Idol was still fun." Some people agreed. Looks like Idol has lost its magic ang people's interest on it have started to wane.

Why so? I have some little theories. While some say it's partly because of the current judges' panel, I say it's still about the "casting." Am I saying this season's crop is less talented? No. But I say this group has less variety. And this can be blamed on allowing the singers to play instruments during the competition.

During the old seasons, we see a group of contestants, each one with their own styles - in music, in image and personality. In season 4 for example, we saw rockers go head to head with country, soul, R&B, jazz and adult contemporary singers. And since they allowed instruments, Idol, especially this current season, has become a competiton for acoustic rock singers.

Also, allowing the contestants to use instruments has shifted the attention to these instruments rather than the singer's vocals and over-all performance. The finalists' performances are now hinged on their ability to play the instruments, meaning, if they can play their instrument well, he or she is applauded, and it ends there. This takes away focus on over-all showmanship and stage presence. And in this age of performance artists like the Lady Gagas and the kids of Glee, there is a shortage of overall musical entertainers like the Adam Lamberts, Fantasia Barrinos and the Chris Daughtrys on the current Idol stage.

And one more point, these instruments allowed the contestants to tweak their songs from any theme into the genre they're comfortable with (which is almost always acoustic or rock). While it's true that this is the judges' idea of artistry, I believe it was better when American Idol was still a competition to find the next pop superstar, who can can adapt to and shine in any genre.

So there. My theories are kind of strange and mostly against what the judges are trying to teach the current crop, but I do think I have valid points. Haha.