Reality Television Has America Singing
Reality television has America singing. There are more singing competitions on television than any other show. Star Search was the one that really got it all started with Ed McMahon in 1983. The talent show ran until 1995. But it was American Idol that jump started the musical reality shows and brought us a number of stars in the process.
It was almost 10 years ago American Idol began on Fox with Kelly Clarkson being crowned the winner. Since then, we've seen average people become superstars overnight including, Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson and last year's winner, Scotty McCreery. Its the show that everyone is trying to copy. Since Simon Cowell left the judging table, the show has slipped in ratings. But it's still the #1 singing competition on TV. Tune in Wednesday and Thursday nights at 8 on Fox.
The Voice is only in its second season on NBC and is possible the only other singing competition that can actually give Idol a run for its money. Blake Shelton, Adam Levin, Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera serve as the shows judges and I laugh every time I watch. I don't know who is funnier, Blake or Cee Lo. Blake has even brought in wife Miranda Lambert and Kelly Clarkson to help mentor his team. And the icing on the cake, it's hosted by Carson Daly. Tune in NBC Monday nights at 8.
The Sing Off premiered in 2009 as an a cappella competition. The show, hosted by Nich Lachey, is for groups from around the country and they can only use their voices. No instruments. Three groups have been crowned winners since the show began. There's no word if the show will be back in the fall for a fourth season on NBC.
Simon Cowell left American Idol to focus on bringing his UK show, The X-Factor to the US. Melanie Amaro was crowned the first winner and even appeared in the Pepsi Super Bowl commercial after her win. The X-Factor didn't have the ratings Cowell wanted last fall, but they were good enough to bring it back for a second season, with a few changes. Judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger won't be back. They were let go after just 1 season. We'll have to tune into Fox this fall to see who will join Simon and LA Reid at the judges table.
Nashville Star ran for 5 season on the USA network starting in 2003, making it the longest-running competition series on cable television. Not many country winners have gone on to do anything. Buddy Jewel won the first season but he's since lost his record deal. Miranda Lambert came in third that year and is one of the hottest in country music. Chris Young is the only other contestant on the show who has gone on to be successful. He was crowned the winner in 2006.
Can You Duet has only been around for two seasons on CMT. The first winners haven't been heard from since. But Joey & Rory are still trying to hit it big in Nashville. Season 2 was a little more successful with Steel Magnolia being crowned the winners. They were doing well in country music but drug and alcohol problems forced the duo to split just recently. No word on if the show will be back for a third time.
Celebrity Duets is a new show on ABC this summer. Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland will join Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke for the reality competition. Singing hopefuls will be teamed up with the pros to sing on live TV each week. Will it last or get lost in the singing competition shuffle.
Speaking of new shows. John Rich will join the new CW show The Star Next Door where celebrities will search for talent in their hometowns to represent them in Hollywood.The difference from Idol is contestants have to try out in the town they are from. No word on when the new show will air.
America's Got Talent may be a show for all talent, but it's had a number of singers win. In fact the only season a singer didn't win was the second year, when Terry Fator beat singer Cas Haley. All other 5 seasons have had singers win. The show will be back for a 7th time and premiere May 14th. Howard Stern will replace Piers Morgan at the judging table. He'll join Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandell.