American Idol lowers minimum age to 15, pandering to its teen audience

Teenagers who are 15 can now audition for American Idol, as the show has decreased its minimum age by one year, from 16. “A lot of young, talented people are now seeking careers and representation before they turn 16. Lowering the age limit allows us to tap into this talent pool,” executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz said in a press release.

In other words, in its desperation to retain its audience, the show is pandering to its teen audience and teen voters instead of searching for older, more experienced artists by raising its upper limit, which is 28. Do we really more Aaron Kelly and Katie Stevens-like finalists, but with even less experience? And can we find a way to blame Justin Bieber for this, even though he’s 16 now?

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.