American Idol might lower age requirements

by Bob Sassone, posted May 9th 2008 3:23PM

Simon CowellJust when some people are saying that American Idol should shake things up a bit comes this bit of news from one of the judges: they might lower the age for contestants.

Right now the youngest a performer can be on the show is 16 (fan favorite David Archuleta is 17) and the highest limit is 30, which is really old in pop music terms I guess. But judge Simon Cowell tells Extra that the FOX show might drop the lowest age from 16 to 14. Then, if that works out well, the plan is to eventually have contestants audition directly from their mother's womb. That would be fantastic television, having fetuses go up against 25 year-olds.

Cowell also suggests that potential contestants, especially the girls, cry a lot more to get sympathy and get more votes from viewers. FOX should get ready for some phone calls from the L.A. chapter of NOW.

[via TV Tattle]

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:


July 17 2008 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hope M.

I think that anyone who is a good singer should audition. Even 11 year olds. I mean I know a lot of them, and they are pretty good. Especially a girl named Shannon Mohr. She is the best singer ever. And she is eleven years old.

Who ever wants to audition for American Idol should be able to. They should at least narrow the lowest age limit down to 11 or 12. Anyway. Please post a comment.
-Hope M.

July 12 2008 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that would be a big mistake! That requires dealing with a lot more parents, and possibly parents like David Archuleta's dad! I say raise it to 18 and have the upper limit set at 28. That's just my opinion.

May 27 2008 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they should make it to 15 and older to 28. There are tons of 15 year olds who have amazing talent and can't wait to perform. It would be nice to see young talent being showed and not only older talent. Also the songs shouldnt always be pop songs. It would be interesting if they could let people sing in different languages or songs from musicals so that every kind of singing voice could be showed off!!! That would be a great american idol show. I hope that people of the age of 15 are allowed to audition because i hope to audition and show a different kind of talent one that doesnt sound the same as everyone elses and only sings pop. SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!!!!

May 24 2008 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
roseann morelli

Hi from staten island, newyork. I tried so hard to get through to the phone line. I had some advise for Simon that he should wear a pink shirt before the end of idol. He's so handsome why only white, black or gray. So boring of him. So tonite, how odd that Paula wears pink. Oh well i needed to tell someone. Thanks for listening.

May 21 2008 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Honestly, I can't understand what purpose this would have. I'd much rather see it raised to 18-32 instead of lowered like that. The better singers are almost always older and more mature and more able to understand music. Do we really want this show to be about finding Tween stars? Why would anyone want to watch that crap?

May 13 2008 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's sad to see that Simon will do anything for money. He was initially the person who was most strongly opposed to anyone younger than 18 and gave them a hard time, now that he's seeing talent, he's ready to drop the age to 14!! That would be a mistake for many reasons especially because of their lack of maturity. I love David Archuletta's voice, presentation, talent, etc., but as someone pointed out he is terrible in the interviews. This week was probably the worst I've seen with him unable to answer a simple question. It was probably just nerves but that just proves the point. Anything under 16 is way too young to thrust into that sort of limelight and expose to the intense pressure of American Idol.

May 10 2008 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is not a solution...unless they change the concept of the show to America's Next Teen Pop Star (ala Britney a few years back etc).

Idol needs a shakeup - it needs to get out of its cycle of being lazy. The judges need to step it up on commentary. Randy needs to stop with his cliched remarks and then sipping his soda. Paula - well, sometimes it is comic relief - yet, I rarely understand what it is she is trying to say or why she feels the need to try and find something nice to say. Simon is often still on the mark - yet, for the most part I've felt he has been watching the clock. The judges are the key to how the show falls into place.

While I didn't watch the early seasons, the judges were on tv often enough as well as the show being critiqued. It seems the buzz came from disagreeing with Simon (at times) or what the audience felt than what the judges did.

After thinking about it, I realized what is missing is enthusiasm and real criticism from the judges. To a certain measure, from the audienced, it will come to a popularity contest - yet, with the routine becoming mechanical - dullness and boredom set in - and viewers who want to hear the "professional critics" vs. their own opinions etc. will find the show lacklastering and boring. This in turn becomes reflected on the contestants.

If they lower the age requirements, I sense they will lose more than they will gain... unless they revamp the entire show in a more youthful manner - then, it will no longer be American Idol or American Idol as we knew it.

May 10 2008 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Linda's comment

Lowering the age means more parents hanging around. So Simon wants more stage moms/dads? I'm sure that's a great idea with the news FOX had to finally ban that crazy one. :)

May 10 2008 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thats just silly. How can you tell if a fetus is crying?

May 10 2008 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy Fungus

Instead of lowering or raising the age requirements, why not just do away with age requirements altogether. If someone is 35, and looks young and hip enough to be "American Idol", why should they be kicked out? Or if they are 14 and are mature enough, why should they be sent home? Personally, I think only focusing on bringing in younger contestants will turn the show into American Juniors. There are some new good ideas to spice up the show here:

May 10 2008 at 2:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners