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American Idol Discrimination

     In our world today, discrimination is something we rarely put up with.  Not many of us would enter a business that stated they only served a certain race, or waste our time supporting a cause that only helps those of a certain age.  America has come a long way since the days when segregation was common place.  Most of us teach our children that it doesn’t matter what race, age, size, or religion someone is, we treat them the same.  America is a country that allows people of all kinds to live here, and all of them have the same rights.  It is something that we should all be proud of.

     So why is it that Americans have made American Idol the number one television show when we all know that they discriminate?  Why would anyone support that?  Just in case you don’t know what I mean, you can not audition for American Idol unless you are under 29 years old.  This is not just discrimination, it’s ridiculous.  How many singing artists are there today who are over 28?  Hundreds?  Why put an age limit on giving someone a chance at fulfilling their dream?  And why does the age matter?  When you are listening to a song, don’t you focus on whether they have a good voice or not?  Who really thinks, “I wonder how old they are”?  How many great singers are there who don’t get a chance at their dream just because they are 30 or 45?  I have won contests over the past 10 years.  I made it to the state finals in one contest.  I’ve been singing for years and I love doing it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have no delusions that I will ever be a famous singer.  I know that’s not realistic thinking.  But because I’m 40 years old, I can never find out because American Idol would never let me audition. 

     The name of the show is also something I find to be ridiculous.  If you were to ask any adult who their Idol was growing up, or even today, you would get a wide variety of answers.  But chances are you won’t hear the names of many people under the age of 28.  There is no doubt that the people who win on American Idol have tremendous talent.  But to call anyone in their teens or twenties an Idol just seems like a huge overstatement.  I can see where young children might idolize a singer and dream of being like them someday.  But I think it would be best for them to idolize someone else; someone they have a better chance of following the example they set.  

     Even the auditioning for American Idol is somewhat discriminating.  The people who audition are made to do so without music to help them.  Singing is not something that’s easy to do well.  It’s even harder when you have to do it a cappella.  The reason this is unfair to the contestants is there are many artists with number one songs out there who are terrible when they sing live.  There is a local radio station here who has singing artists come in for interviews.  They have a studio where the allow singers to perform live.  I have heard bands and solo artist who have many hit songs perform live on the air.  To be honest, it was difficult to listen to many of them.  But they sound great on the radio or on their CD. But singing live, they don’t have the benefit of a recording studio employee doctoring their voice to make it sound great.  So to make these people audition without any accompaniment at all just seems unfair.  What would it hurt to let a guy play his guitar or let a woman play a piano?  If this helps them perform better, and the goal is to truly find the best talent, then I don’t see why they would deny them using an instrument.

     Overall, my point is that American Idol discriminates in many ways.  Because of this fact, I will not watch the show.  It baffles me that in a country where discrimination is frowned upon in almost any situation, that it’s citizens have made this show the most popular.  I’d like to see more people refusing to watch this show based on the fact that they do discriminate.  Put yourself into a situation where you are looking for a job.  Imagine the employer telling you they would not hire you because you are 5 years too old.  Isn’t that illegal?  Well, aren’t the people who are auditioning doing just that; looking for a career?  I would love to see a huge movement of people refusing to watch American Idol.  Let the producers know you will not put up with discrimination of any kind.  Meantime, watch America’s Got Talent.  They let anyone of any age with any talent audition.  That’s what America’s about; equal opportunity for EVERYONE.