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Should American Idol Make Contestants Do 50′s and 60′s Music?

american idol judges and ryan seacrest
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

I sat down to watch American Idol last night and was already questioning why the contestants were being asked to be in groups again. Most, if not all, are solo artists, so I wonder why Idol asks them to perform in groups. I imagine it might have something to do with the sheer number of contestants they have to get through in a limited time, but I still think it makes no sense. Then I find out they are singing 50′s and 60′s music.

I get the fact that the contestants need to be versatile, but Idol is asking these singers to perform arguably the most important audition of their life with people they’ve never met, and also asking them to sing a song that may take them far from their individual strengths.

You certainly can make the argument that those challenges really separate the truly talented singers from the rest of the pack. I agree with that to a point, but I’d like to see that challenge come up a little later in the competition when the judges know them a little better. For me, at this stage, I’d rather let these contestants sing the songs they feel will show their strengths. If given the choice, I’m betting most wouldn’t choose 55 year old songs.


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