Idolatry – Just who is the American Idol target audience?
I decided to watch American Idol tonight, just for the heck of it. Andrew Lloyd Webber was the guest this week and everybody had to sing some of his tunes. Webber himself appeared in some awkward commentary moments looking like a cross between an upper class twit and a grotesque ventriloquists dummy (but that’s not nice of me to say, is it? Sorry). Next week they promise Neil Diamond and apparently previous weeks featured Dolly Parton and Mariah Carey. Now I actually appreciate Neil Diamond, but I’m a middle-aged songwriter. Do the kids who watch American Idol really want to see how these young singers handle Webber and Diamond? Is that something that their target audience demanded? Or is it something that the middle-aged and older producers of Idol want to foist upon them. I get it, of course, these are all well-established icons of the “Entertainment Industry”, and perhaps when we’re talking about great melodic material for the contestants, it’s better to go back to earlier times of Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and London’s West End to find songs to challenge their voices. But aren’t there any stars of today who are writing big material for singers? And not just Clive Davis disciples like Alicia Keys. Open question then, who of today’s superstars would be more identifiable to the younger audience — second part of the question – is Idol not in fact aimed at the younger crowd, is it just a show for middle-aged folks to look at the young and cute newcomers handling material suited to people twice as old as them? Comment back to me, I love hearing from you!