North Texas Daily

‘American Idol’ Season 19 brings another intense competition

‘American Idol’ Season 19 brings another intense competition

‘American Idol’ Season 19 brings another intense competition
August 29
17:31 2021

With auditions in full swing for the next season of “American Idol,” there’s no better time to take a look at the previous season before season 20 rolls out likely in February or March. 

“American Idol” was first introduced to the world of television by Simon Fuller, a British entrepreneur and one of the most influential people in television history. He started the show’s format in 2001 with “Pop Idol” and eventually developed “American Idol,” which premiered on June 11, 2002. It aired on Fox for 15 seasons and ended with a hiatus, until it was revived in 2018 on ABC. From Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks Thomas to Scott McCreeryPhillip Phillips and Jennifer Hudson, to Adam Lambert and even Gabby Barrett, many celebrities wouldn’t be where they are today without this show.

With that being said, I’ll admit I have never seen an episode from the first five seasons. Being five years old when the show started airing, I was a little too young and my family wasn’t into it, so I hadn’t watched the show until it was revived in 2018. Now, if the original 15 seasons were available to watch on streaming services in the U.S., you bet I’d watch them. As someone who’s watched the show since its revival, I can confidently say the series has been excellent and has had some enjoyable moments.

The first part of the “American Idol” process is the auditions. Hundreds if not thousands of individuals try out for the show during each season and only the most elite get the chance to audition directly in front of judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry. The three judges returned this past season, along with Ryan Seacrest, who has hosted every season of the show.

Over the season, plenty of individuals proved themselves as performers and vocalists. Some of the major stand-out performers during the season were Chayce Beckham, Casey Bishop, Grace Kinstler, Caleb Kennedy and my absolute favorite contestant in the season Willie Spence. Willie Spence might be up there with Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson when it comes to the greatest of all time in “American Idol.” During the season, there were plenty of excellent performances from the contestants and celebrity guests.

With that being said, not every moment of the show was met without criticism. There were plenty of instances in the season that either didn’t age well, like the inclusion of the contestant Cecil Ray, the shocking elimination of Casey Bishop, who Luke Bryan predicted would win but got cut in the final four and the “comeback” aspect of the season.

For those who don’t know, during season 18 the taping of the show was put on hold due to COVID-19, and the top 21 had to finish off the season by filming performances from their homes. Because the top 21 never got to perform on stage in Hollywood, 10 of the contestants from the season were allowed to return and perform for a chance to land a spot in the top 10 in the new season. Many people were upset by this because they thought it was unfair to the contestants who were already in the lineup, but this twist never really bothered me. 

The most controversial moment from the season has to do with Caleb Kennedy. Yeah, I might as well address the elephant in the room now. Caleb Kennedy, an excellent vocalist and songwriter who made it to the top five this season, made an appearance in an old video that resurfaced online where he was seen with someone wearing a hood resembling the uniforms associated with the Ku Klux Klan. After the video was found and received a lot of backlash, he admitted what he did was wrong, apologized and dropped out of the competition. 

Overall, I think season 19 of “American Idol” was excellent. It brought us plenty of excellent contestants and performances, gave plenty of talented folks a chance to shine in the spotlight and hopefully we’ll have some new big names in the industry coming soon. Season 19 is available for watching on Hulu, and I would recommend it to anyone intrigued by reality shows, performing/competition shows or both.

Courtesy Variety

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Grant Tittle

Grant Tittle

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