Say What? – John Rich, Part III

Via The 9513, I learned that John Rich has some problems with American Idol:

“The reason their ratings are going into the toilet right now is because the American public cannot stand when it comes to reality,” Rich said. “You can tell when somebody’s comment was scripted. You can tell when they told an artist, ‘Wear this, and sing that, and do that.’ That’s not the way it’s going to work on this show,” he said of “Nashville Star.”

Rich was on a panel promoting the NBC show during the network’s summer programming event for the press. He is a judge and mentor on the upcoming sixth season of the show, which has moved from USA Network to NBC this year.

“We have to respect the fans’ ears and eyes and give them something that’s for real,” he added. “Don’t try to con them. And I think that’s why ‘American Idol,’ in my opinion, is just dive-bombing. I can’t stand watching it. I wouldn’t want to be on that show now if you gave me a $100 bill.”

American Idol has produced legitimate country stars in Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler and Bucky Covington, along with a respectable showing by Josh Gracin. Certainly a stronger cabal than Nashville Star can claim, a show that hasn’t produced a star since Season 1 gave us Miranda Lambert and the long gone Buddy Jewell.

But I find it especially ludicrous for Rich to claim the high ground on reality talent competitions, after overseeing the train wreck that was Gone Country. Rich has a problem with artists being told “Wear this, do this and sing that?” After he made artists shovel manure and cook for his grandma so they could understand what it means to be country? It may have been the highest-rated show in CMT history, but it was because of the spectacle, not the music. Or did winner Julio Iglesias, Jr. score a big radio hit when I wasn’t looking?

And the train wreck is sure to be bigger and better this summer, when Season 2 of Gone Country launches in August. I’m sure he can show Jermaine Jackson and Sebastian Bach how to be serious country artists. There must be some horrible country stereotype he hasn’t exploited yet. Maybe he’ll have them make out with their cousins?


  1. Geez Kevin, you really need to tell us how you really feel. All this sugar coating doesn’t let us know your opinion!

    Heh! :-o

  2. Well this is a controversy isn’t it. I respect John Rich for his willingness to seak out. I respected the Dixie Chicks for the smae thing.

    However with him on Nashville Star and Gone Country I don’t think he is the one to tell this stuff. AMerican Idol is losing out because it is fake and everyone knows it. I know quite a few people who have auditioned and I was considering it myself until they told me the truth. Of course it was obvious, but there are at least three minor audition segments before even getting close to the three judges who are only reading off the comments of the ones the contestants auditioned for before.

    Yes a lot of the show is staged and the more people audition the more they relize this, but John is not the one to speak out on this issue considering his reputation and the fact that he could be critisized for trying to glorify his own reality shows. Nashville star is reality, no weeding out just pure talent, American idol however is staged in many aspects of it. They brings out some great singer and all, but once your in your soul is signed to them and thats not how a singer should be.

  3. American Idol has tried to do things to keep getting ratings, but they are backfiring this season. American Idol does need to be more genuine, less staged, and more performance focused. The voting is becoming more of who’s cuter or who’s more popular when it should always be about who’s the best. AI needs to make a lot of changes. Yes, John Rich has noticed this, and he has the right to speak, but should he really? I agree that someone from outside the show should bring these things up, not someone so tightly associated with the show.

  4. Everything seems to be becoming fake and a popularity contest!! It’s just getting tiresome watching TV or listening to the radio these days! I could go on and on, but no need! I have no use for John Rich or his music or for his show! I made the mistake of watching the first show, but I learned a lesson!

  5. John Rich was very out of place to speak out about a show he doesn’t really have anything to do with. The song by Julio Ignasius Jr. was absolutely ridiculous. I think it’s fine that he has an opinion, but after Gone Country, I don’t think he is the one to say this.

  6. American Idol has seen its day, true, but I agree that John Rich is not well-suited to point it out.

    I’m amazed that Nashville Star is still on the air given its complete lack of impact on the actual country music industry. I guess it must have decent ratings. I’ve never followed the show but I did really love Chris Young’s debut single; too bad he couldn’t have found some other way to break into the business.

  7. The more John Rich talks, the less I like him. American Idol is by far the #1 show in TV. Compared to other top shows like Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, Desperate Housewives, etc, it has lost less audience this year. TV ratings across the board are down. If Rich thinks putting down other shows is the way to build up his own, he’s wrong. That’s just like someone who insults others to make them feel better about their own miserable self. No way I would watch any show this guy is on.

  8. What is going to happen when John Rich finds out that some people in show business, outside of his very little world, are gay, or Jewish, or black, or liberal, etc., and different from the hillbillies he hangs out with?

  9. john rich is a jerk, a hypocrite, and an all around NOT NICE person.
    he doesnt know ANYTHING about music…
    he just stuck it out long enough, and puts his hand in EVERYTHING,
    (sometimes he gets lucky, sometimes he doesnt) hoping to make a buck!
    on a side note, big kenny is awesome!

  10. American Idol experienced a bump in the road. Nashville Star is a disaster. This season has the worst talent I’ve seen yet, and of the 5 major networks, this show
    is in fifth place.

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