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Should American Idol raise the minimum age for contestants and place restrictions?


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I believe that kids shouldn't be competing. According to this website, the singing voice isn't fully developed until around ages 18 and 21. This is because the voice stabilizes since the vocal folds and larynx have reached full growth. The current minimum age is 15. Around that age (especially for boys), the voice starts to change due to hormones. With boys, the larynx and vocal folds grow larger, which causes the voice to become deeper. My choir director told me that she has seen some boys who were tenors as freshmen change to basses as juniors.  There are also some girls who are "late bloomers." My director told me that I was one of them as I noticed changes from ages 16-17 and again around age 18. I started to develop vibrato in my middle range around my 18th birthday.

 

A high school diploma or GED should also be required, and a college degree should be preferred. This would mean that the contestant would be finished with the required education and would not be missing too much class time (especially during Lives) to compete. Also, there should be a ban on contestants who have a degree in vocal performance, musical theater, choral music education, or other related fields or who made All-State choir within three years of their audition. These contestants would have received extensive vocal training and would be unfair to amateurs who only had training as a child in choir, theater, and/or private vocal lessons or who are self-taught. 

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While this is very interesting... And musically appropriate...

It's not realistic. 

 

We've seen what Idol promotes as far as "Oh gosh you are ONLY 15???" or "You can play how many instruments?" or "You WROTE that song?"

They will let talent fall by the wayside if the contestant's STORY is good... I've seen it since I started watching 14 years ago...

The only benefit that would be would be to allow adults and younger adults make the show... Personally I think they should UP the age limit to 31-34 range.

Who says you can't be discovered in your 30's? Plenty of talented undiscovered singers are out their busking their butts off!

In the end... Banning ANY level of talent is BS. Idol has had kids of "stars" make the show. Who CARES if they have the required training and/or education? If that were me with just my high school diploma (Which is all I have...) I would UP my game to better compete with a variety of talent!

Your music based heart is in the right place with this post but there's so much wrong with what you want Idol to change! :/ 

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3 hours ago, abigailcoasters said:

 

I believe that kids shouldn't be competing. According to this website, the singing voice isn't fully developed until around ages 18 and 21. This is because the voice stabilizes since the vocal folds and larynx have reached full growth. The current minimum age is 15. Around that age (especially for boys), the voice starts to change due to hormones. With boys, the larynx and vocal folds grow larger, which causes the voice to become deeper. My choir director told me that she has seen some boys who were tenors as freshmen change to basses as juniors.  There are also some girls who are "late bloomers." My director told me that I was one of them as I noticed changes from ages 16-17 and again around age 18. I started to develop vibrato in my middle range around my 18th birthday.

 

A high school diploma or GED should also be required, and a college degree should be preferred. This would mean that the contestant would be finished with the required education and would not be missing too much class time (especially during Lives) to compete. Also, there should be a ban on contestants who have a degree in vocal performance, musical theater, choral music education, or other related fields or who made All-State choir within three years of their audition. These contestants would have received extensive vocal training and would be unfair to amateurs who only had training as a child in choir, theater, and/or private vocal lessons or who are self-taught. 

 

I am generally in agreement that kids should not be competing on American Idol, and for many of the reasons you just listed. :yes:  Even though in the very first season, one of the original judges' favorites (Natalie Burge) was 16, they didn't harp on her young age, and America never voted her through to the finals anyway.  And a major harsh reality is, once you make the semifinals on AI, you are not allowed to ever compete on the show again (unless they explicitly make exceptions, like they did for some of the COVID season contestants), and I believe the contract the semifinalists sign will not allow you to compete on any other reality show for at least a few years following their appearance on Idol.

 

 

I think parents should think long and hard about whether they want to audition their child, because that may be the "peak" of their reality TV career, and then they will have to actually spend time gaining experience with gigs or performing in clubs, etc almost as a "has-been" who is still really young.  Whereas, they could've gained the experience first, grown as an authentic artist, and then auditioned more as an adult.  This would generally make for better, more seasoned contestants that give more heartfelt, connected performances.

 

Heck, one of my favorite vocalists, Richard Page of Mr. Mister, reached the peak of his career at 32/33 years of age.  I think the producers of AI, which are mainly British :rolleyes:, have always desired to grab the "teeny-bopper" fanbase with a young pop star that can be "marketable" (i.e. sold as a product), not just with their music, but can be on magazines, movies, merchandise, etc.  They were NOT expecting Kelly Clarkson to become the star of the first season when they first gathered their Top 30 semifinalists. They thought America was going to want what the British producers and Simon Cowell envisioned them wanting. In any case, they still go after what they want, and that is still to have child contestants audition and make the semifinals to hopefully grab "maximum viewership" among that age group and potentially, a naive, young, marketable product they can make maximum money off of. ;)

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22 hours ago, KelseyW said:

Who says you can't be discovered in your 30's? Plenty of talented undiscovered singers are out their busking their butts off!

 

The Voice season 18 winner was in his 40s when he was discovered. The maximum age needs to go, but the minimum age needs to be raised to 18 with either a high school diploma or a GED (proof of school completion).

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