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Popular Culture and TV Shows. Analysis of American Idol Essay

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Updated: Apr 3rd, 2022


Popular culture happens to be a stable source of fun, desires, excitement, and social controversies. Pop culture is essential in propagating sub-cultural and cultural texts and images. Based on this aspect, it helps to create communal affiliations and identities regarding the support or criticism made by people. This may bring people together and split groups of people due to prejudices and divisions. Daily, people engage in popular culture based on the things they do or practice for purposes of finding pleasure (Fiske, 2010). A good example of this is TV shows that people find a lot of pleasure in watching.

Analysis of American Idol

The American Idol is a perfect example of a program excellently qualifying to fit in the popular culture context. This highly reputed TV show has successfully managed to attract the attention of many people from all over the world. The show has been launched at a time when the music industry is experiencing tremendous improvements. This program has helped to develop many artists hence creating a force of attraction to the outside world. The setting of the American Idol show has been structured in a unique way, which has positioned it among the most successful shows in America. Recently, the show has been named as the best American TV show everybody should watch. The main concept practiced in this show is to come up with the best solo artist chosen from several competitors.

The American Idol is a real setting that involves direct video coverage. The singing competitions are done live and each episode is aired live for the benefit of the viewers. The setup and events revolving around the show are very interesting, thus catching the attention of many viewers. This show has qualified to fit in the popular culture based on various strategies employed. Highly trained and skilled musicians and record producers conduct the show. There is also a panel of judges whose duty is to analyze the performance of the contestants. The critique part does not go well with some contestants and audiences who sometimes tend to disagree with the judges’ decisions. This happens to be the most amazing aspect of the show as people try to find out why some decisions are made. The positive aspect of the show is the interactive aspect that is essential in all popular cultures. This is because popular cultures involve a group of people who come together for a common interest (Martin & Nakayama, 2004).

The American Idol show involves the participation of three groups of people. The first group is comprised of the judges who guide and monitor the performance of the contestants. Secondly, we have contestants who engage in heated competitions for purpose of emerging as a successful solo recording artists. The third group comprises viewers or the audience. These three groups form a very strong relationship with a common reason for choosing the best contestant. Apart from the grand prize, there are also other presents given to the runners-up and the second runners-up contestants. This is a very interesting aspect that attracts more viewers to help their contestants to acquire the stated presents.

The show is perfect proof that Americans love reality shows more than any other show, considering the high numbers of people who turn up for the live coverage. The interactive aspect of this show is observable where viewers are allowed to choose the winner through various forms. For instance, people can vote for their favorite contestants using the internet, telephone, and short message services. Viewers are thus directly involved in the creation of the show because their decisions are vital.

The biggest population of viewers comprises American youngsters who cannot afford to miss an episode (Kaufman, Evans & Baer, 2010). This reality show has helped to develop some of the most famous musicians in the US such as Jordin Sparks and David Cook, among others. Based on this aspect, it has been well accommodated in society, thus achieving its success with ease. Based on its suitability in the modern popular culture, American idol has been termed as a very impactful show in the history of TV shows. The text of the show has been skillfully put together for purpose of attracting more viewers. This aspect has made it easy to form a stable cultural group of people who love music and competition. Moreover, the show has managed to create a culture comprising of music lovers who devote themselves to help in choosing the best contestants.

Popular culture is good at bringing people together for purposes of attaining similar objectives. This aspect is responsible for strengthening different groups of people to the extent of achieving their goals. This reality show has managed to expose all the features of popular culture, probably owing to the nature of its setting. These aspects include perspectives, ideas, images, and themes. According to Grossberg (2006), western culture has been influenced by the mass media improvements, which have strengthened it. Popular culture can therefore be termed as a contemporary lifestyle that tends to be well accepted by people in a certain community. This aspect has been achieved by the American idol show that has already become the best reality show in America.

The layout of the stage is very interesting and attractive because of the creativity involved. For example, there is the use of a blue-colored platform and the words American idol, which act as the show’s signature identification. One major unifying factor is the high number of contestants who turn up during the auditions to try their luck. This aspect brings in more people who come to support them, thus enhancing the culture of togetherness. Many Americans are interested in seeing their fellow friends rise to stardom by participating in the idol show. The uniqueness of this show has influenced the creation of many other shows that aspire to rise to fame just like it. This has been the trend as the show has also influenced the creation of similar shows in other countries.

The program employs a high use of technology as far as voting for the contestant is involved. Social media is a trending issue globally at the moment, something which mostly revolves around the young generation. The setup of the program has managed to attract the full attention of many people in the modern world. The American population wants to watch real things and not just science and fiction movies. The music contests are good at gathering people together for purpose of witnessing the one who emerges as the overall winner. The duration taken from the auditions to the final day is long enough to facilitate the existence of an existing culture. Based on this aspect, the show is aired once each year because of the public demand it faces.


Contestants must do their best if they want to emerge as winners. A failure of this leads to a situation where poor performers are eliminated from the system. To remain in the contest a lot of discipline and skills have to be applied. Based on all these aspects, the American idol show has been able to fit in the popular culture thus helping to bring people together through the way of entertainment.


Fiske, J. (2010). Understanding popular culture. UK: Routledge.

Grossberg, L. (2006). Mediamaking: Mass media in a popular culture. New York: Sage Publishers.

Kaufman, J., Evans, M., & Baer, J. (2010). The American Idol Effect: Are students good judges of their creativity across domains? Empirical Studies of the Arts, 28(1), 3-17.

Martin, J. & Nakayama, T. (2004). Intercultural communication in contexts. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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