'American Idol' is Okay, But Should Katy Perry Be Cancelled?
    • FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2018

    • Posted by: Emma Dugas

    American Idol is back in our lives. The show was so popular in 2012, more people probably voted for the season finale than the most recent presidential election. So it's safe to say the show was pretty important to anyone who considered themselves to be a pop culture-obsessed American. The show was a staple in households before it went off the air, and then the world took a bit of a singing competition show hiatus... Until of course The Voice came into play. Then everyone was obsessed with that.

    However now, after an unexpected turn of events, American Idol is surprisingly back, this time on ABC and with new judges. Now we have Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan along with the original host, Ryan Seacrest (amidst sexual abuse allegations). So already, we are off to a good start, folks. I'm kidding. But this isn't about Seacrest's behavior, this is all about Katy Perry and if she is helping or hurting the show.

    First off before we even get into the show, let's talk about Perry's most recent career moves. Many people considered her most recent album, 2017's Witness, to be a flop. With singles like "Swish Swish" and "Hey Hey Hey" that seem gimmicky and disorganized, I personally questioned what Perry was trying to accomplish. In "Swish Swish," which is supposedly about rival Taylor Swift (I know, this feud still exists), she was totally out shined by Nicki Minaj. The song features a silly chorus with nothing to offer but immature, head-tilting lyrics.

    This is not to say Perry doesn't have talent, because she does - and that might be what is so sad. She just seems to become too self aware and it comes across as awkward. It's known fact that artists take on judge spots when they're trying to save their career and stay relevant. Take Miley Cyrus - yes she's killing it right now, but her latest album Younger Now, which she released around the same time as The Voice, was a flop. Same thing with Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Steven Tyler... You get the idea.

    On the bright side though, Katy Perry is the highest paid person on the show, which is actually cool considering she's the only female judge. She's being paid 25 million dollars, meanwhile, Richie and Bryan are making 7 million and Seacrest is making about 15 million. In a world where males get higher salaries than females, that's a pretty nice feat.

    One particularly cringe-worthy moment - amongst a sea of cringe-worthy moments - was during Benjamin Glaze's audition. Perry tricked him in giving her a kiss, which was Glaze's first kiss ever. If the genders were reversed and it was a male judge who tricked a female contestant into kissing them, that would not go down smoothly in the new #MeToo world we are currently living in. According to Glaze, he doesn't view it as assault, but he isn't the only one Perry has flirted with.

    The show has also been dropping in ratings as well. According to Newsweek, the March 11th episode had 10.3 million views, then March 12th had 8.4 million, and then this past Sunday the show decreased even more to 7.7 million views. Meanwhile, The Voice is doing well with 11.7 million views on March 12th. So Perry, who is probably acting extra outlandish due to producers' demands, could be hurting ratings. Makes for great TV, huh?

    Perry was recently on Jimmy Kimmel, and she spoke about the music industry and why shows like American Idol are helpful to young musicians, "I think in the music industry now, as I see it from my own experiences, it's very crowded. So you really have to kind of like light yourself on fire on Instagram to get a like these days, while singing, and still you don't get a record deal."

    It sounds like she wants to send a good message, so I wish American Idol and ABC would do a better job of getting that across. You know, don't continue working with Seacrest after sexual assault accusations, don't have Perry be extra weird just for the camera, and don't embarrass the contestants who are trying so hard to be seen in such a crowded industry. This is a great way for musicians to get noticed. Basically, we just hope that Perry stops being so awkward. She's got a good message, and she's paving the way for females fighting for higher salaries, but she ruins the world she builds with borderline sexual harassment and her major ego.

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