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American Idol, Buzz Poll, Reality Show, Simon Cowell, TV, Kristy Lee Cook

Do Contestants With Experience Ruin American Idol?

We're only two cities in to the seventh season of American Idol and, as if on cue, a small bit of controversy is bubbling up. Several of the contestants making it through to Hollywood have some pretty substantial professional singing experience already — and we're talking signed record deals, not Bat Mitzvah performances. Philadelphia contestant Kristy Lee Cook was previously represented by LeAnn Rimes' former manager, and another auditioner may have already produced an album.

I think it's a little early to get too outraged by Idol, but since I know a lot of you are really into these early audition episodes, I'm curious: What's your stance on Idol contestants with professional experience?

Photo courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
sofi sofi 9 years
my hubby and I were rolling on the floor laughing at the Paula Stalker guy- anyone remember him from the other night? He is also a comedian and has a record out. The other one we found funny was that Milo guy with "No sex allowed"- he has an album and has been on Jimmy Kimmel. What better advertising for these guys than American Idol and getting themselves and their name on you tube basically.
katie_c katie_c 9 years
i must say that although i don't watch american idol, i'm leaning more toward it being an amateur show used to discover talent rather than stroke what already has been noticed. however, a little bit of professionalism does keep it interesting. but if you've already got a record or have had a meeting with a manager, leave american idol be, for crying out loud.
kissmesteph kissmesteph 9 years
I'd personally rather see people who are really struggling to break into the industry, or who just a love of singing and a real talent that they need to showcase.
gigill gigill 9 years
The raw talent being discovered is going downhill imho, so I'm all in favour of putting in some singers with past experience.
Im-with-tha-Dj Im-with-tha-Dj 9 years
I just want to see good singers. I dont care if they were trying to make it before
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i don't think that it makes a difference to be honest with you. everyone's out for their break one way our another...and if someone has experience and chooses to compete - then that's up to them
yaliyah yaliyah 9 years
Chris Daughtry just said in an interview that he was struggling for a decade before getting "discovered" on AI. That was a great platform for him and it could be good for other folks who have actually developed their craft for a a while before they get exposed to a wider US audience.
Daisie Daisie 9 years
I think having the crazies on TV and pushing for them to be on-screen during these weeks where we see the "auditions" really sullies the potential for a quality show. There actually are many quality singers who have never been signed and who don't ever make it on-screen because their backstory is blah. On one hand it's sort of fun to watch the actual competition and see how the singers grow. Then again, knowing they push them to this way or that way on each show to boost ratings is a bummer.
The-Pickle The-Pickle 9 years
La, la, la, American Idol! I think if you analyze any aspect of this freak show too much it's going to crumble -- can't we just enjoy it for what it is? A platform for Senior NutJob Paula to shine and some fame-hungry kids to vocally duke it out karaoke-style.
fadedblue fadedblue 9 years
i guess on one hand, i can see why it should be an even playing's only fair to those who don't have experience. on the other hand, i don't think that people should be penalized for having had some experiences in the industry...i mean isn't that what most of these people have been doing? trying to make it as a singer? and sometimes there are successes and sometimes there are failures, thus they try to give it a shot on idol. i think that if you just want a talent contest to discover unknown amateurs, then you might as well just do america's got talent.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
the auditions are SO embarassing! i agree that it should be an equal playing field, if some of the contestants have to sign off that they are mot currently, and have never been rep'd it should be the same for all of them.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
Honestly, the only bit of this show I've ever watched was the audition portion to see the crazies. Because otherwise, I can barely stand this show.
dannysf dannysf 9 years
After the mess with Sanjaya last season, AI could do with some professional talent!
Princesskitty22 Princesskitty22 9 years
I don't really mind, mostly because either way, they obviously weren't getting anywhere before and the show lets them get the exposure they need. I just want good singers on the show; I don't care where they came from.
Community-Manager Community-Manager 9 years
I think it's more exciting to see someone who has not yet been discovered but if you got talent and you want to flaunt it, have at it.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Of course. If they already have a freaking record deal then WTF get off the show.
GiggleSugar GiggleSugar 9 years
Honestly, I only watch for the train wrecks! It's a nice treat when there's a really great singer, but I find them a distraction! :nerdgirl:
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I don't see why that's a problem. There are a lot of people who get signed and even put out albums but never get the kind of promotion really necessary to launch. They need the exposure just as much as Joe Blow who has never so much as sang in public.
MicrochipJoel MicrochipJoel 9 years
I still think it will never get better than William Hung. Gives us all hope :-)
Kaysnowboarder Kaysnowboarder 9 years
I agree with you Brittfish!
Brittfish Brittfish 9 years
Here's the thing. Idol contestants who show up off the street at the stadium entrance with a dream and not much else are required to sign a piece of paper saying they have never had a record contract and were never signed by a label. So something is amiss. I don't care who they let in, but everyone should have to play by the same rules.
Meggz Meggz 9 years
At first I was annoyed by the fact that they already have labels, etc. But it'd be wrong to tell people they can't try to become the next Kelly Clarkson just because they previously busted their butt to get labels to work with them or produced albums before resorting to reality TV. Gotta keep up with the game!
MicrochipJoel MicrochipJoel 9 years
Listen Kay, this is reality television. If you haven't realized by now that MOST television is scripted (dating back to some of the earliest game shows) then you obviously are living under a rock. Personally, I don't watch the show because television rots the brain. If it weren't for HBO there wouldn't be any reason to own a HDTV. J
Kaysnowboarder Kaysnowboarder 9 years
when you watch American idol and see who they have on tv - they are obviously bringing in these no talents so they can have a season. I think it is quite mean to put these people that obviously have no talent on TV. Especially, acting like these people have a shot when they obviously do not. It is the biggest hoax on TV. The contestants that are making it through have been scouted out before they ever showed up to make it through to the finals. But I will watch when they get to the talent contest - I can not help it. This is a talent contest - not amateur hour like they try to make it out to be. Thanks Buzz for bringing this issue out and exposing Idol.
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