Skip to comments.‘American Idol’ Should Call It Quits After Next Season: Here’s Why
Posted on 05/23/2014 9:19:46 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
I haven’t done the math, but just spitballing it, I’ve spent somewhere in the vicinity of 800+ hours watching “American Idol” over the past 13 seasons. Do you know what you can accomplish in 800 hours?! Okay, i’m terrible at math, but that’s more than a month of my life on the couch watching everyone from Kelly Clarkson to that “Pants on the Ground” guy, Phillip Phillips and everyone in between.
Bottom line is this: I know “Idol,” and so I feel perfectly comfortable saying that next season should be the show’s swan song. After 20 percent audience dips for the past three seasons and rapidly declining ratings, “Idol” has turned into that Facebook friend who keeps posting pics from high school and asking if you “remember that one time…”
Yeah, I do. Get over it.
It’s hard to kill the golden goose, but here are 4 tips how “Idol” should go 14 and done with dignity and style:
1. The Panel Is Finally Good, Don’t Blow It
When “Idol” launched in June 2002 its judge’s panel was perfect. There was the washed-up, hilariously wacky pop star (Paula Abdul), some salty British guy we didn’t know (Simon Cowell) and a catchphrase machine who used to be the bassist for Journey (Randy Jackson). And they killed it.
Fast-forward to the last few years, when the shuffling behind the desk went from bad (Ellen DeGeneres) to confusing (Steven Tyler) to awful (Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey). Inexplicably, the current combo of country star Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and jazz singer Harry Connick Jr. have a strangely alluring, dare I say charming quality.
The chemistry is great, the banter is believable, Harry’s musical nerd knowledge is off the charts and Urban’s dewy-eyed positivity is downright adorable. There’s only one problem: Harry’s references are mostly from the 1970s and the trio’s taste runs somewhere South of middle-of-the-road. Truth is, that’s fine, because the average age of “Idol” viewers is now close to 52 years-old. Give them one more season and go out on a high note, but don’t mess with a good thing… again.
2. Look At The Charts, For Once
“Idol” has never been where America comes to find out what’s hot. Hell, the majority of its winners have been so bland lately you’d have trouble picking them out of a lineup. (Quick, name last year’s winner.)
But this year they had a chance to hoist up a singer who could develop into a contemporary star in 17-year-old teen runner-up Jena Irene. Her mash-up of EDM energy and beats and Paramore pop rock instincts could easily make a dent in the charts in a way that Candice Glover can only dream of. (She was last year’s winner, BTW.)
But winner Caleb Johnson? He seems like a nice enough guy, but if we wanted to see a Whitesnake cover band we’d go down to the local sticky-floor bar on a Tuesday night. The charts are packed with female pop stars, hip-hop and pop/country hybrids, where, exactly, does throwback arena rock fit in?
The show has never come within spitting distance of giving a hip-hop artist or edgy female singer a chance (sorry Fantasia), not to mention a guy who isn’t a bland, white guitar strummer. Judges, producers, America! Go for broke on the last go-round and give us a winner that can leave a mark! Who doesn’t need another Drake, Ed Sheeran or Ariana Grande?
3. Keep It Tight
After declining ratings, “Idol” bosses clearly got the message and have decided to cut next year’s episode run nearly in half, giving us just two hours a week instead of 3-4. Wise choice. Less is more, trust us. And while you’re at it, keep your promise this time and take the focus off the judges and actually tell us more of the contestants’ compelling backstories.
After three to four hours of “Idol” every week for moths, even the most ardent fan gets JLo fatigue, so one night a week is a great move.
And speaking of tight, you seem to have already learned a lesson with the disastrous year-plus wait for Glover’s dud album by announcing that Caleb will have a debut in stores by August. Well played, now don’t forget that for next year!
4. Be Honest
For 13 seasons, “Idol” has been like one of those grade-school soccer coaches who hands out big trophies to everyone for “participation.” Not everyone is a precious jem. It’s the last hurrah, so tell the singers some truth when they tank it and don’t be afraid to let America know that they’re way, way off sometimes.
I don’t know if this is the show’s final season, but can you imagine what the buzz would be if all of a sudden “Idol” gave us some real talk that didn’t make us smack our foreheads at home and yell, “WAIT! WHAT! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THAT GUY?”
this person is pissed her choice didn’t win and that’s pretty much all you need to know.
Phew. Whatta waste of time.
I don’t watch it and don’t care for it.
But its just like any other thing. If it continues to make money, they will continue to make it.
If they stop it, a vacuum will be created in that market and ten new things will be there trying to fill it.
i agree! this panel of judges is as good as the first panel... all that junk in between made me less interested in watching on a regular basis...
Seriously, if they didn't run that extra minute into the next hour, I'd never tune into it.
Or I am confusing it with some other show I don't watch?
Oops, it's on Fox. Fox runs the local news at 10PM...
Because the American people are stupid enough already.
There are now too many shows with the same concept.
Count them — THE VOICE, X-FACTOR, and now, a new show — RISING STAR.
This was in contrast tot eh first 8 seasons of Idol when there was almost NO COMPETITION whatsoever.
People are over-saturated with this.
I say 14 seasons is a good, long run for a show.
5) We here at MTV are in development on a series that is exactly like it, but features full-frontal nudity.
Exactly my impression.
The show will not end for artistic reasons. It will end when it stops making buckets of money.
check the ratings, it has been on a downward trajectory for a while now,
Very likely true
I worked a rehearsal as a weekend PA several years ago in Charlotte. None of the real names or judges were there, just assorted production types. I was treated very well by just about all of them.
Never watched it enough to amount to anything.
For some good TV check out “Turn” on AMC Sundays. Its about George Washington’s Culper spy ring, the British Occupation, and the increasing oppression which drove loyalists to “turn” to patriot.
This Sunday will be a Turn marathon on AMC.
It is the most worthless of shows for the brain dead. I call it “Americans idle”
RE: check the ratings, it has been on a downward trajectory for a while now
Yes it has.
The 2014 finale had 11 Million Viewers at peak time. That was DOWN from 14 million last season and WAY DOWN when Ruben and Clay were competing in Season 2 ( 38 million ).
Don’t get me wrong, many shows would kill to get 11 million viewers, but this trend simply shows that viewers are moving on...
Caleb Johnson looks like a young Meatloaf.He should sing some Meatloaf songs.
Just a bunch of people screaming on stage to try to win something that’s already been decided before hand.
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