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Worst TV Show of the Week

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Worst TV Show of the Week

 

American Idol on Fox

 

Last week, this column took ABC to task for broadcasting Rihanna’s tawdry opening number for the song “S&M” at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. Just a few days later, Fox did essentially the same thing by airing a salacious dance number by Lady Gaga during one of the most-watched television events of the year, the May 25th American Idol finale. For airing a sexually provocative live performance during what should have been a family-friendly show, American Idol has been named Worst TV Show of the Week.

Perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that Gaga’s performance of her single “The Edge of Glory” would have sent Idol over the cliff. For the entire season, the reality-show juggernaut had been flirting with the edge of good taste, primarily at the hands (or rather the mouth) of first-time judge Steven Tyler, whose penchant for profanity shocked even his fellow judges.

Gaga’s performance, however, differs from Tyler’s spontaneous vulgarity because her lurid dancing was well-rehearsed, staged atop a massive precipice built specifically for this number. During her performance she stripped to studded black bra and panties as she straddled the organ set next to her. Later, a bare-chested male dancer joined her and their highly suggestive moves included bending Gaga forward while grabbing her from behind, then mounting her as she writhed on the floor.

The blatant sexuality appeared even more alarming given the fact that the two finalists – Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina – are both still teenagers in high school, and producers took great care to project them as squeaky-clean, All-American kids. It’s a shame they didn’t extend that standard to the entire show.

The season proved to be a huge ratings success for Idol after four straight seasons of declining viewership. This season’s two-hour finale saw a 21% increase over last year’s, averaging a whopping 29 million viewers. A sizeable portion of those viewers was made up of families who were under the impression Idol was one of the view shows they can watch together. Sadly, they were wrong.  

For deliberately airing racy content when millions of families tune in, American Idol has been named Worst TV Show of the Week.


Worst TV Show of the Week

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