momlogic's Melissa: I admit it, in the past, I've watched "American Idol" and laughed and made fun of the hapless, untalented oddballs auditioning for their big chance.
But this year, there's something different in the "Idol" air -- and producers seem to have thrown any semblance of common decency out the window and are allowing people who appear to have challenges to audition and be made fun of -- for ratings.
I know that in the past there have been plenty of contestants who were bizarre, eccentric attention-seekers, and let me tell you, I've loved to love them -- but those people weren't like what some of this season's contestants appear to be.
Now I don't know the rules/laws about people with mental disorders or learning disabilities being able to sign releases and make decisions for themselves -- but surely the producers, the hosts or anyone who's a human being would draw the line at having someone who is clearly challenged humiliate themselves in the name of "good" TV.
During the opening episode, we learned that one young man's mother didn't want him to be on the show -- and when he performed we saw why.
Some people are saying that they think this year is actually a "kinder, more gentle" season of Idol, and maybe it is. There do seem to be a lot more truly talented people being shown at the auditions and fewer weirdos. But maybe that's why the people who are genuinely disabled stand out so much this season.
"American Idol" used to be good, clean, (albeit a little mean) fun, but now it's turned into a truly mean spirited exploitation of people who we should be protecting, not exploiting -- and they've lost a viewer in me.