The Pros and Cons of Reality TV: A Look at American Idol

1. Introduction

The 21st century is an era of advanced technology, where people can access anything they want with just a click of a button. The invention of satellite television has given rise to a new genre of entertainment, known as reality TV. Reality TV involves unscripted situations and real-life people, instead of actors or actresses. It usually provides a fly-on-the-wall perspective of the life of common people, celebrities, or anyone who is put in front of the camera.

Reality TV has become one of the most popular genres in recent years, with various talk shows, documentaries, and even game shows being classified as reality TV. American Idol is one such reality show that has managed to captivate the attention of young viewers all over the world.

2. What is Reality TV?

Reality television is a genre of unscripted programming that features “real” people instead of actors or actresses, who are often placed in dramatic or funny situations (Casper & Cocozza, 2003). Reality TV can be classified into various subgenres, such as makeover shows, dating shows, talent competitions, and even business-oriented shows.

The firstreality show is often considered to be An American Family, which was aired in 1973 on PBS. The show followed the daily life of the Loud family for 12 episodes. Since then, reality TV has come a long way, with various other shows such as Big Brother, Survivor, and The Apprentice being aired on different channels.

3. American Idol – One of the most popular Reality Shows

American Idol is one of the most popular reality shows that have emerged in recent years. The show is a talent competition that aims to find the best singer in America. It first aired in 2002 and was an instant hit among viewers. The show consists of several rounds, where contestants are eliminated until only two or three remain. The final round is a public vote, where viewers can vote for their favorite contestant through text messages or phone calls.

The winner of each season is given a record contract and gets a chance to release their own album. The show has helped to launch the careers of many successful singers such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson. Thanks to its popularity, American Idol has been adapted in many other countries such as Britain and Australia.

4. The show – An Escape from Reality?

For some people, American Idol provides an escape from their daily lives and problems. It is a chance to forget about their troubles and believe in the power of dreams coming true. The show allows viewers to feel emotions that they otherwise would not experience in their everyday lives.

It also gives them a sense of vicarious satisfaction when their favorite contestant wins or achieves something great on the show. Moreover, American Idol offers insight into the process of how celebrities are created. For many young viewers, it is interesting to see howcommon people can be turned into celebrities through hard work and talent.

5. Creating celebrities – The Process behind American Idol

Many people argue that American Idol creates more harm than good because it gives false hope to contestants who are not truly talented. Some have even criticized the show for manipulating emotions and exploiting vulnerable people for entertainment purposes. While there may be some truth to these claims, it is also important to remember that the show is just entertainment and should not be taken too seriously.

At the end of the day, American Idol is just a TV show, and its primary purpose is to entertain viewers. It is not responsible for the success or failure of any contestant. The only thing that the show can be criticized for is its role in creating celebrities.

The process of how celebrities are created on American Idol is quite simple. First, a group of people with no experience in the entertainment industry are selected to be contestants on the show. These people are then put in front of the camera and exposed to a large audience.

If they manage to perform well and gain the approval of viewers, they will progress further in the competition. This exposure and approval from viewers can eventually lead to these contestants becoming celebrities. While this process may seem unfair to some, it is important to remember that these people have chosen to be on the show and they are aware of the risks involved.

6. Criticism of the show

Despite its popularity, American Idol has been criticized by many people for various reasons. One of the most common criticisms is that the show is fixed and that contestants are predetermined before the competition even begins. This claim is often made by viewers who are disappointed when their favorite contestant gets eliminated.

Another criticism of American Idol is that it creates false hope for contestants who are not truly talented. These people may believe that they have a chance at becoming a successful singer even though they do not have the necessary talent or skill. This can lead to frustration and disappointment when they realize that they do not stand a chance against other contestants.

7. Conclusion

American Idol is one of the most popular reality shows that have emerged in recent years. The show has been praised for its ability to entertain viewers and give them a break from their everyday lives. However, it has also been criticized for manipulating emotions and exploiting vulnerable people.

Despite its flaws, American Idol remains a popular show among young viewers all over the world. It provides insight into the process of how celebrities are created and gives hope to those who dream of becoming a singer someday.


American Idol uses narratives to engage viewers by telling stories about the contestants' lives and journeys on the show.

Reality TV shows typically tell stories about ordinary people in extraordinary situations.

These stories differ from those found in traditional television programming because they are unscripted and often unpredictable.

These narratives have a positive effect on viewers' perceptions of reality by providing them with an escape from their everyday lives.

There are some risks associated with viewing reality TV programs, such as desensitization to violence or graphic content.

These risks can be mitigated by choosing to watch only those programs that are appropriate for one's age group and maturity level.