American Idol just wrapped up its seventh season and I was one of the many millions of viewers, and yes, one of the 12 million who helped David Cook defeat David Archuleta in the “biggest upset in American Idol history!”   Oh the drama!

Now that the show has wrapped up, and I have to think of something new to do with my Tuesday and Wednesday nights, I began thinking about all of the many things I enjoy and dislike about American Idol.  I quickly realized...the show may not be as “family friendly” as Fox makes it out to be.

·         Simon’s comments.   Yes, they are often true, and they make Simon the person he is famous for. They are also entertaining(when not unnecessarily mean) but they are by no means communication methods for children to be influenced by.

·         The performances by the contestants and guests seem to have reached a new level with being largely over sexualized.  The outfits, the moves and the looks seem to be focused on “sex sells” which may be true, but it is not something I want my children, or any children buying in to.

·         The constant banter back and forth between Simon and Ryan Seacrest is not always kid friendly and leaves for questionable moments when kids are present.

·   Paula’s low cut outfits, they are cute but not exactly wardrobe choices that leave much to the imagination...especially teen and  pre-teen imaginations. 

·         The guests on the show!  What kid wants to watch Bryan Adams, Andrew Lloyd Weber, George Michael and Donna Summers? Maybe I am dating myself here, but not even I enjoyed most of these performances.

·         Jason Castro, whom, I enjoyed, but I am not convinced he represented the “idol material” that kids should be influenced by.   Whether or not he smokes pot is up for debate, but his attitude about the show seemed like one that did not take his chance at success very seriously.   (I do love his voice though…).

To be fair, American Idol has positive influences too

·         The contestants are legitimately talented, for the most part, and easy to want to see do well.

·          Watching the young "idols" reach their dream is inspiring and brings a "feel good" emotion to the show.

·          “Idol Gives Back” has me in tears every season, and encourages me to take a different look at my life and how my family can give back.  What they are doing with the money and fame from the show is powerful in building compassion.

But… there are many other ways we can teach our kids to reach for their dreams, and to give back to our communities.   So, for now, American Idol does not fit in my “Family Friendly” category.  My little loved ones in my life are much too impressionable for me to want to add to the messages that TV and other influences create in their beautiful little minds.


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