Would you watch a singing competition where the contestants were required to sing their own original music?
yes
34.5% (39)
34.5% (39)
no
65.5% (74)
65.5% (74)
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Poll: A thought on American Idol and similar shows.

First let me get this out of the way. I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of American Idol, The Voice or similar competitions.

However I have watched them in the past with friends or family and I always have the same complaints no matter how good the various competitors are.

1. They never sing anything i actually like. I'm a metal head. The vast majority of competitors are singing hip hop or pop music which i can tolerate but will never be my first choice. This is why the one show like this that i DID get into was Rockstar: INXS and then the second season Rockstar: Supernova.

2. and this is what the poll is about. 99% of what they sing is covers of already popular music. I hate that. No matter how good they are I know what Whitney Houston, Taylor Swift, Pitbull, etc. sound like. I don't want to see if these people can imitate them or "make a song their own". I want to see if their real music is worth buying. Among the reasons I liked Rockstar is that when they forced the competitors to perform an original song it gave me one of my favorite songs ever, Trees by Marty Casey.

So the question is this. Would you watch a singing competition where the competitors were forced to sing ONLY their own original music?

It'd still be reality TV and thus I don't give a shit.

I like documentaries, something that's desgined to educate, but drama and competition that's made for the sake of making drama and competition then passed off as "reality TV" is perhaps the most shallow type of television one can watch.

darkcalling:
First let me get this out of the way. I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of American Idol, The Voice or similar competitions.

However I have watched them in the past with friends or family and I always have the same complaints no matter how good the various competitors are.

1. They never sing anything i actually like. I'm a metal head. The vast majority of competitors are singing hip hop or pop music which i can tolerate but will never be my first choice. This is why the one show like this that i DID get into was Rockstar: INXS and then the second season Rockstar: Supernova.

2. and this is what the poll is about. 99% of what they sing is covers of already popular music. I hate that. No matter how good they are I know what Whitney Houston, Taylor Swift, Pitbull, etc. sound like. I don't want to see if these people can imitate them or "make a song their own". I want to see if their real music is worth buying. Among the reasons I liked Rockstar is that when they forced the competitors to perform an original song it gave me one of my favorite songs ever, Trees by Marty Casey.

So the question is this. Would you watch a singing competition where the competitors were forced to sing ONLY their own original music?

I don't know if all "idol" singers work this way obviously, but I know that at least some, unlike what you might traditionally associate with a musical performer, like a rock band or whatever, might not actually write their own music. They're just performers. They look good, sound good, and sing the songs they're given. Obviously that's not true for all of them, and even if it is it isn't necessarily bad. Think about people who play classical music, all they do is play stuff that already exists and yet they put out new CDs of their "version" of the piece.

Well, I don't think I'd watch it, but it does sound more interesting than listening to covers.

The reason 99% of what they sing is hip hop or pop music is because that's what sells best, and those shows are designed to have the broadest possible appeal. That's why every series, during the auditions, there are hundreds of people copying whoever won the year before.

To be honest, I wouldn't watch a show like you describe because it would most likely still be filled with shallow stock characters who just want to be on the telly and get their fifteen minutes; but now with the added benefit of not being able to enjoy the songs they're singing. It would still just be populated by people singing what they thought was going to make them win --i.e. what sells: hip hop and pop music-- rather than just gigging and doing things the proper way.

I don't know how things are in the Americas, but in the last few X Factor and Britain's Got Talent series there have been people who write their own songs, and they are almost always either trying to copy Adelle (heartfelt ballads about nobody in particular) or do an 'urban re-imagining' of a classic song (i.e. a girl sings 'I Will Always Love You' on acoustic guitar while some dick with a backwards cap on unnecessarily raps over it.)

Also also, after hearing the woman from Buck's Fizz murder Time is Running Out by Muse on The Voice this year, I am more than happy for them to stick to pop and hip hop.

Yeah, I can't honestly say I'd be compelled to watch it, but I think it would certainly bring a lot more talented people to light. Well either that or all the contestants would just make shitty pop music and the majority of the viewers would vote for the shitty pop music contestants because they like shitty pop music. I'm probably just being pessimistic though, it would probably be better to watch than just covers of the latest top 10.

Pop music appeals to the widest possible audience by making catchy, easy to relate to and simple songs to maximise sales. Shows like American Idol also want to appeal to the widest possible audience so they only air pop songs, because the more views they get the more money they rake in.

It would be a mistake to think that industry behind such shows, and indeed pop music, is in anyway a celebration of artistic skill and expertise. It's all about maximising profits.

Such shows wouldn't be as nearly as popular if they didn't use covers. The audience tends to enjoy covers more because it's familiar 'but with a twist.' It's recognizable that's all, and by dropping names like 'Queen' they're guaranteed to hook people in.

I would like to see what'd happen if some obviously talented musicians in a non-marketable genre, like black metal or proggy jazz or something, auditioned for "America's Got Talent", don't get accepted, and sue to make the show change its name to "America's got Marketable Talent"

The last season of American Idol was the first singing reality show I've ever watched in full, and ONLY because Mariah Carey was a judge. I liked it. It's definitely entertaining.

Honestly, most people I know who dismiss these shows as "pointless" are usually just snobs. Yeah they're silly but they're still entertaining, and therefore are FAR from being pointless.

Given that I watch next to no tv at all, and I have no interest in any of the "Idol" or "X has talent" type of shows, I would absolutely miss this. Why? Because the shows are not good. At all. Adding original music wouldn't make it better, just different IMO and that's not good enough of a reason for me to suddenly waste an hour of my night watching that program. Sorry bud.

No I would not watch it as it would still consist of 2% singing, 10% sob story and 88% pointless tension-building filler.

No, because in reality it wouldn't work as a show. There would not be enough people that go for it to make it the car-crash tv that people watch it for and more importantly, the winner does not make a lot of money out of their first album release. It is cover songs for a reason, and that reason is money, more money to SyCo or whatever company they end up with.

I'm not a huge fan of TV talent shows (although I think they're the least offensive of reality TV outside of the how-to/real estate series), but I think a fair number of them technically do allow original songs. I think it's more rare just because that means the contestant is being judged on both the singing (and playing, for some of them) and their writing ability, and the number of people who can do both fairly well is always going to be smaller than the number who can do just one well.

Sounds quite entertaining, actually. Whether or not I would actually watch more than an episode would depend on how they did it. I find the structure and presenting style of a lot of those singing competition shows quite annoying. But I love Masterchef and I'm an absolute addict of The Great British Bakeoff. So I'm certainly not adverse to knock-out-competition-TV.

I'm really torn here. On the one hand, I want to encourage originality.

But on the other, I just don't think it would be good.

The real issue with a lot of competition shows, regardless if it's dancing, singing, etc., is the need to have the audience and viewers to cast in their votes on their favorites and not necessarily the most talented or deserving.

This is a huge flaw that causes a lot of people who are clearly not talented enough to win the competition to stay on the show because they are a fan favorite (f***ing Sanjaya) and continue to prove the audience more so that they are not going to win.

Also, in a lot of competitions, if you excel in a certain style of entertainment/genre/dance (like contemporary dance), then that's half the battle right there. All you need to do is out contemporary dance the other contemporary dancers and you've basically won So You Think You Can Dance?. Very rarely is someone who is NOT singing Pop, Country, or Soul, or dance another style other than Contemporary actually win in these types of competitions. Also, despite saying that the winner will be the next big hit that was voted by the audience, very rarely do they actually become successful.

Although I do wish that Candice Glover, the most recent American Idol winner, does get all the fame and success she deserves. After her version of "Lovesong," she deserved to win the competition, despite what Nicki Minaj felt.

Seriously, f*** Nicki Minaj; I hope those two 9-10 year old girls from England just skyrocket to fame and take her out so that we actually have little girls that sing like little girls. Plus, those girls are a lot more talented than Nicki Minaj, anyway.

Actually, a good few do write their own music. Not a whole lot but still.
Anyway, the competitions were never about music, it's partly about the quality of their voice. I recall some years ago an obvious metal-head walking into an audition with a guitar, but then was informed he wasn't actually allowed to play it. It's why you get so much pop and soul. You very rarely get hip hop though, I don't know where you got that from (although I haven't watched this type of stuff in years so maybe it's a new thing).

CrimsonBlaze:
The real issue with a lot of competition shows, regardless if it's dancing, singing, etc., is the need to have the audience and viewers to cast in their votes on their favorites and not necessarily the most talented or deserving.

I think that's the point. As I said above, part of it is having a good voice - but the other major part is just being a great entertainer/personality. You need to know how to draw a crowd, how to smile at a camera and how look the part in general. That's the way I see it anyway.

Simple Bluff:
Actually, a good few do write their own music. Not a whole lot but still.
Anyway, the competitions were never about music, it's partly about the quality of their voice. I recall some years ago an obvious metal-head walking into an audition with a guitar, but then was informed he wasn't actually allowed to play it. It's why you get so much pop and soul. You very rarely get hip hop though, I don't know where you got that from (although I haven't watched this type of stuff in years so maybe it's a new thing).

CrimsonBlaze:
The real issue with a lot of competition shows, regardless if it's dancing, singing, etc., is the need to have the audience and viewers to cast in their votes on their favorites and not necessarily the most talented or deserving.

I think that's the point. As I said above, part of it is having a good voice - but the other major part is just being a great entertainer/personality. You need to know how to draw a crowd, how to smile at a camera and how look the part in general. That's the way I see it anyway.

Right, but therein lies the issue: popular != talented || successful.
(translation: popular does not equal talented or successful).

To think that this

was popular and remained on the show for longer than he needed to because he caused

is the whole premise of why this form of competition doesn't work...as a form of legitimate competition.

That's why I like competitive shows like Hell's Kitchen and Master Chef: a single or group of legendary, talented, and successful chef(s) and judges that observe, comment, and decide on who is the individual that is worthy of winning the competition. If these shows were done in the format that American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance?, Christine Ha would have won the last Master Chef despite her cooking prowess.

Although in all honesty, Christine won because she is an overall cooking bada**, despite her disability.

It would make no difference to me. In the end it would still be an over-glorified popularity contest so it still wouldn't appeal to me.

Reality TV angers me as a concept. It's voyeuristic, overly dramatized and pandering. Whether or not it's a better quality of reality TV, it's still reality tv.

I can't think of anything worse than watching a show full of songs written by the kind of people who go on TV Talent shows. It would be full of middle class teenage douchebags playing their angsty acoustic guitar shite.

Original music does not always equal good music.

HoneyVision:
The last season of American Idol was the first singing reality show I've ever watched in full, and ONLY because Mariah Carey was a judge. I liked it.

.... I want you to go to your room , and think about what you just said .

OT: would i watch it? No . Would it be better than American idol ? Maybe . But American idol is just a popularity contest with people that can sing . It's not about the talent . Pop music is what's most people are into ( for god knows what reason, i think it's because that's what people say we SHOULD like , damn media ), and will get the mos viewers . Hip hop can pass , because that's what the kids are into ( although i would argue it's not true hip-hop but that's another story ).

But to be fair , i don't want T.V . And " reality t.v " ( comon guys you think all those Reality shows are real?) i even less ! ( what's less than 0?).

A show like that would allow MY singing ability to shine. Being that I have a rather unique singing voice, this type of show would be a lot easier for me to win. I wish I had some youtube videos to show you guys, but I haven't gotten around to it. People like me NEVER get a break on these shows.

I tried out for America's got talent 2 years ago. I was able to get a second audition, but I never got a call back. I'm a freaking classical male soprano for crying out loud. If I can't get on this show then they certainly aren't looking for talent.

My voice is most certainly professional level. I made a thread about this a while back.

That reminds me of the last season of America's got talent they had that that goth guy with the contacts. I was really hoping that guy would represent what people with my kind of ability could do, but nooooooooooo....... he didn't take it seriously enough and messed up when it really counted. What a let down.

As I can very proudly say that I've never watched American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, or any other related show, I can also honestly say I would not watch a show regardless of who wrote the music they're singing.

I still wouldn't enjoy the show purely out of my bias against reality shows. If the contestants actually tried, or are forced to do varying types of music, rather than the usual modern hip-hop sounding songs, that would be nice. Though I still would have little interest anyway.

I think it would be too chaotic and the quality would be bad.
So no, I dont think it is a good idea.

I'd be on board for something like that. Hell, pretty much the only singing competition show I've ever watched were the two seasons of Rockstar. I'll admit to getting a kick out of the audition phase from those that suck but think they're great but I can't help but wonder if they are plants just to keep things entertaining.

I do watch them, in the early stages, because it's god damn hilarious. I only really watched them because my flatmates did, and this guy was actually good:

But generally no. I don't really appreciate the whole idea of them. Whilst I might not like a lot of bands, I do have some level of respect for any artist that's spent years writing, practicing and touring to get to where they have. These shows seem like a bit of a cop out really- you gotta pay your dues, or otherwise you're going to be a shit live act.

Besides, as a metalhead myself, who wants to sit and watch it on tv? Here in the UK, Bloodstock festival runs a competition for bands to win a set at their festival, and they run regional heats. I think metalheads appreciate the grassroots, live side of things much more. We'd much rather go see a bunch of mediocre bands live, get a few beers in us and enjoy the live show than watch some over-dramatised bollocks on tv.

It might be more interesting if these shows required some originality and talent. In lithuania's case people just steal the music from some good song and add translated lyrics or make something retarded of their own, in both cases it doesn't usually work. As for the poll question, i wouldn't watch it, i despire 'reality' TV.

krazykidd:

HoneyVision:
The last season of American Idol was the first singing reality show I've ever watched in full, and ONLY because Mariah Carey was a judge. I liked it.

.... I want you to go to your room , and think about what you just said .

OT: would i watch it? No . Would it be better than American idol ? Maybe . But American idol is just a popularity contest with people that can sing . It's not about the talent . Pop music is what's most people are into ( for god knows what reason, i think it's because that's what people say we SHOULD like , damn media ), and will get the mos viewers . Hip hop can pass , because that's what the kids are into ( although i would argue it's not true hip-hop but that's another story ).

But to be fair , i don't want T.V . And " reality t.v " ( comon guys you think all those Reality shows are real?) i even less ! ( what's less than 0?).

Was this response supposed to spark some kind of self-reflection? Because it hasn't.

HoneyVision:

krazykidd:

HoneyVision:
The last season of American Idol was the first singing reality show I've ever watched in full, and ONLY because Mariah Carey was a judge. I liked it.

.... I want you to go to your room , and think about what you just said .

OT: would i watch it? No . Would it be better than American idol ? Maybe . But American idol is just a popularity contest with people that can sing . It's not about the talent . Pop music is what's most people are into ( for god knows what reason, i think it's because that's what people say we SHOULD like , damn media ), and will get the mos viewers . Hip hop can pass , because that's what the kids are into ( although i would argue it's not true hip-hop but that's another story ).

But to be fair , i don't want T.V . And " reality t.v " ( comon guys you think all those Reality shows are real?) i even less ! ( what's less than 0?).

Was this response supposed to spark some kind of self-reflection? Because it hasn't.

It was mostly a joke . Although watching a whow soley for mariah carey didi make me raise an eyebrow.

krazykidd:

HoneyVision:

krazykidd:

.... I want you to go to your room , and think about what you just said .

OT: would i watch it? No . Would it be better than American idol ? Maybe . But American idol is just a popularity contest with people that can sing . It's not about the talent . Pop music is what's most people are into ( for god knows what reason, i think it's because that's what people say we SHOULD like , damn media ), and will get the mos viewers . Hip hop can pass , because that's what the kids are into ( although i would argue it's not true hip-hop but that's another story ).

But to be fair , i don't want T.V . And " reality t.v " ( comon guys you think all those Reality shows are real?) i even less ! ( what's less than 0?).

Was this response supposed to spark some kind of self-reflection? Because it hasn't.

It was mostly a joke . Although watching a whow soley for mariah carey didi make me raise an eyebrow.

I don't mind the shows, but to see Mariah judge it makes it much better for me. She's more qualified than 99% of any other judge that's ever been on any singing competition show.

 

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