American Idol says farewell after 15 seasons

American Idol has been entertaining and electrifying audiences for 15 years.

Every season, viewers would be introduced to contestants from cities across the country with the same goal: to become the next Idol.

Idol was a cultural phenomenon. It dominated primetime TV with fast paced theme music, electric blue lights and a panel of judges that each had eccentric personalities.

It’s hard to overstate the influence that Idol had on television and culture at large.

When American Idol was at the top of the ratings, it popularized the fan vote, through calling and texting, as a way of deciding what happens on TV.

Idol also popularized the dream that anyone with enough raw talent is a TV show appearance away from stardom.

In a way, Idol was a victim of its own influence.

Idol lost viewers to newer shows with similar formats. such as The Voice and America’s Got Talent.

The threat of all these new shows, combined with the departure of the three original judges, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, seemed to mark the end of Idol’s dominance.

After 2011, the ratings for American Idol seemed to keep going down, which is why this year is the season finale.

To most fans who’ve been keeping up with the show, it’s heartbreaking for them that this is the last season.

“I stopped watching the show because I lost interest, the charisma from the original three judges was lost after the first one left; but, it makes me feel old and sad that this is the final season.” senior Aaron Boyd pointed out.

That seems to be the common theme among students, after a while they stopped watching the show that once used to be so popular.

“I don’t watch it anymore, it got lame,”  senior Sarah Deible said.

However, when it comes to memorable moments, American Idol doesn’t fall short of the mantle.

Some great moments captured on show were when Lee Dewyze sang “Hallelujah,” and when Katharine Mcphee sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

One of the most memorable contestants was Sanjaya Malakar, who the judges did not think of as the best singer, but was consistently saved by the power of the fan vote.

And of course, the audition rounds at the beginning of each season helped to provide comedic relief to the show.

“My favorite moment was when a guy showed up basically naked in a speedo and started singing,”  Deible said.

Idol also did a good job of producing legitimate singing superstars. Winners used their victory as a stepping stone to take off their careers. Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson all got their start on American Idol, and have 11 Grammys between the three of them.

Though it may not be the same as it used to be, American Idol will go down in history as one of the most influential TV programs of all time.

So do yourself a favor and catch the season finale of American Idol which premiered on Jan. 7 and will conclude this March.