American Idol is a television show that claims to find talent and a unique singer out of a pool of contestants. In reality, the show is designed to find someone who can sing at least decently and then throws them to the record labels where their creative control is sapped away. Most of the time, winners are not successful in their careers. The show is generally aimed at young people who have the opportunity to vote for the singer they think has the most talent. Oftentimes, these people will vote for the contestant who they think is the "hottest" as opposed to someone with actual talent, thereby throwing the whole concept out the window. Over the course of the last few seasons, the show has become more about ratings than singing as indicated by showing more of the "bad" singers for the sake of audience entertainment. Contestants are also led to believe they have talent when they actually have no talent at all, making their elimination all the more devastating to them, much to the audience's delight. The show has slipped into pointless redundancy as each subsequent winner after the first season has not achieved any commercial success. Also questionable is the choice of judges. Randy Jackson has only released one album and Paula Abdul's albums have been rated by critics as mediocre at best. Simon Cowell's only appearant role is to garner some sort of response from the contestant through the use of overly harsh critisism, yet again for audience response. Rarely does he give any constructive critisism and most of the time, downrights insults the contestant ("You look the like The Incredible Hulk's wife"). All in all, a successful attempt to exploit the teenage generation by providing the "entertainment" of the contest leading up to the winner, and the promise of a new and "talented" pop singer.
An excellent example is Kelly Clarkson, the first winner of American Idol. She was carved from a talented singer on the show to a whorish, teenybopper favorite with a synthesized voice. All subsequent winners after Clarkson have not achieved any commerical success.