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How To Kill Off American Idol - June 16

American Idol is indeed the juggernaut that's been ruling (some people say bordering on terrorizing) the nation. This show is so popular, in fact, that this summer is overpopulated with clones, suck as Rock Star and The One. Even judge Simon Cowell has gotten into the act with America's Got Talent. Now granted, that show looks more like a clone of The Gong Show than American Idol, but the fact is that talent shows are the rage of the land.

But when is enough too much? If you are a pessimist, the answer is yes. We've seen the glut of quiz shows help kill off Millionaire, and an onslaught of talent shows, plus Dancing with the Stars 3, is certainly primed to make American Idol less amazing. It may not wipe the show out in a season, but it could start to weaken it to the point where the other networks will start putting out enough specials to weaken the show - like the did with Fear Factor in the Fall and with Survivor in the Spring. All of these talent shows now could mean the beginning of the end for Idol.

Now if you are an optimist, you can say that this isn't the first time that Idol has had to deal with shows that tried to copy its formula during the Summer. Though Nashville Star is still around, shows like Fame, Star Search and 30 Seconds to Fame came and went. Even American Juniors, a drop off of Idol, didn't last past one season, yet it didn't do any damage to the original, which has had it's best season since Ruben Vs. Clay three years ago.

So what's the answer? I think it's between the two. I think that Idol is ingrained to the point that it's become a staple of our pop culture - but at the same time, I think that a glut in any genre will water down the market. Due to the excellent array of talent that Idol has displayed this season, I don't think that they have anything to worry about, but the endless supply of talent
shows forces Idol to keep on giving us the cream of the crop, because if they don't, then they just turn into...the same shows that we watch during the Summer.

Gordon Pepper loves the summer, hates clones, and will occasionally channel Clay Aiken if you pay him enough. E-mail him at

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