January 03, 2006 12:02 AM by Joe Blackmon
Fox has started running promos for the two hour premiere of American Idol 5, and the early commercials suggest that viewers can expect to see the same mixture of good and bad singers as in the past. If early statements from American Idol Host Ryan Seacrest and American Idol Judge Randy Jackson prove to be true, then one big change is that American Idol 5 might earn the nickname Evil Idol 5. First, Ryan Seacrest said that American Idol 5 would offer more “individual and independent competitive spirit than ever before." Then, Randy Jackson took it a little further and said there would be “interesting fighting and dialogue going on amongst the contestants.”
American Idol 4 set the bar high for the franchise, and many fans have questioned if season 4 can ever be topped. American Idol 4 succeeded in not only assembling the most talented group of singers ever, but also in generating the most controversy of any season. From shocking eliminations to wrong phone numbers to previous arrest records, American Idol 4 managed to generate buzz throughout the entire season.
The only thing that wasn’t shocking or controversial about American Idol 4 was the relationships between the contestants. Unlike other reality TV shows where arguing and backstabbing among contestants is often common place, American Idol contestants usually act like one big happy family. How much of the goodwill shown between contestants is genuine or is simply the result of the contestant’s awareness that their actions could influence the way America votes is unknown.
Why in the fifth season of American Idol would contestants suddenly decide to fight for the title? One reason is that the contestants are probably starting to realize the full extent of the opportunity at stake. While shows like Survivor might offer a million dollar prize, American Idol offers the shot at an ongoing multi-million dollar career. It truly is the greatest prize on reality television, and it’s a wonder that it has made it through four seasons with no finalist delivering a Sue Hawk dying-of-thirst type speech.
Another possibility is that maybe contestants took notice of the Summer reality TV show RockStar INXS. RockStar INXS proved that you don’t have to be an angel to win on a reality television show where viewers have a say in the outcome. In the early stages of the competition, J.D. Fortune displayed a very competitive attitude and made no secret of the fact that he was there to win. In fact, Fortune’s personality and attitude probably helped him stand out and survivor in the early stages of the competition. Of course, J.D. Fortune also had the talent to back up his attitude and went on to win the competition. As long as the talent on American Idol 5 is up to the level of American Idol 4, then the fighting and competitiveness could make things all the more interesting.