American Idol Will Be Renewed For a 14th Season (Report)

The spoilers at Idol Pad are reporting that American Idol will come back for season 14, but in a scaled back version.

“A more compact version of Idol as it enters its golden years.”  Apparently, experts believe that the key to stabilization is decreasing the time commitment expected of viewers.  “At this point, ‘less is more’ is where its headed.”  Plans are already in order to scale back season 14 by about a month as well as consolidate the show into one-night-per-week, rather than the traditional two-night format.

I’m sure there are heated discussions going on behind the scenes right now, as the ratings for American Idol drop lower than they have ever been. But it’s important to note, that at this stage of the game, it’s likely that no final decisions have been made.

Having said that, I feel pretty certain Idol will be back for at least one more season, but with budget cuts. It could mean scaling back on expensive talent (Bye Jlo. See ya later expensive producers who didn’t help the bottom line.), cutting back to one night a week, eliminating rounds, etc.

For instance, they could cut down the audition process to just three or 4 cities–East, West, Midwest and South and only air auditions for a week or so.

Or to shorten the season, there could be double eliminations during the live rounds, (which are lower rated than the auditions) bringing the show to the finale in half the time (I would hate this. Live rounds are my favorite. But economically, it makes sense).

It’s hard to imagine the mighty Idol being gutted like this. If airing a tepid version of the show is what it will take to bring it back next season, maybe it’s time to pull the plug entirely.

Via The Idol Pad

  • Pat H

    OFC! You don’t cancel a show pulling in 10 million viewers and that is mostly in the Top 10 shows each week!
    However, I don’t think one night a week would work for Idol! And if it only has one more season left, then really why make big changes at all besides getting rid of over paid judges!

  • Tinawina

    I can see eliminating the results show because no one watches it anyway.

    I can also see cutting back on the 2 hour shows as we get down to less contestants, like it used to be.

    But honestly I would prefer they just end it this year, or come back with next year announced ahead of time as definitely the last. They they can bring back the original cast and idols past as guests for a proper send off.

  • maymirabella

    I am not fond of the auditions, so I would be fine if they would cut the audition episodes down a lot. And having it be one night a week would be great as I have started only watching the last 10 minutes of the results show live to see who is going home and if the save is used. The reason is I would rather watch other shows on Thursday nights as that is one of the best nights of TV,I think with a lot of competition. And I used to never miss a minute of any Idol show but I am starting to watch less and less especially results shows.

  • maymirabella

    I have a feeling Idol will be around through Season 15 at least because the show still draws in between 8 to 10 million viewers which a lot of shows would love to have…most shows would love to have those numbers. …but they are losing the covet demographic which ultimately might mean more than the actual numbers. But I think the show will first try to cut back the hours and also cut back on expenses and episodes and more to try to keep it on the air for another 2 years at least.

  • Mateja Praznik

    Oh how the mighty have fallen.

    Anyway, I think if the plan is for season 14 to be last, it would be better to keep the results shows and have three guest performers every week: at least one non Idol artist and 1 or 2 former Idols.

    It would make sense to cut down on the audition episodes. Just showcase the 24 semifinalists from the start of their journey through Hollywood and then cut 24-16-10. Start the finals with 10 and eliminate 1 per week until there are only 3 contestants left. Have three finalists in the grand final for a change.

  • Chicagolaw

    Give it one more year, but bring back Idol alums as the judges–the whole panel. They could bring new ones in every week. It could be a lot of fun for a final season.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    I think this is a trial balloon and likely — as when this same balloon went up with XFUSA just a few months ago — a precursor to just canceling it because there isn’t enough applause for how amazing it would all be.

    Had this rumor not been floated, I would have assumed that negotiations were ongoing and the show was probably safe for another season.

  • Larc

    I’m surprised FOX/Idol can’t see what they’re doing wrong. It seems clear to almost everybody else. Now it sounds as if they may have decided the cure is doing the show cheaper. Paying less for something shabby does nothing to improve its quality.

  • Chicagolaw

    Give it one more year, but use Idol alums as the judging panel. They could even bring in new ones every week. This could actually be fun.

  • RCormier

    My suggestion is to start season 14 during the summer where there is less competition. Idol could knock America’s Got Talent off the top of the summer ratings perch and that would be a victory of sorts. As the number one summer show, Idol may not have to cut costs as much. AGT manages to film in New York, run auditions across the country and pay Stern’s purported $10 million to $15 million salary.

  • Mateja Praznik

    IMO, I think FOX would be willing to give X Factor another season, but Simon wanted to return to X Factor UK and didn’t see the point in doing a shortened season of X Factor USA. It was bad enough having to eliminate 2 finalists every week and being interrupted by baseball games.

    Simon knows that if you want to produce a successful show, you have to invest something into it and reducing the number of episodes like that just isn’t it. Also, the audience needs some time to connect with the cast. Extra short seasons just aren’t a good platform for the contestants, but I guess TV network doesn’t care about that.

  • Darko_5

    Maybe they could just find a more interesting top 10 and a sound system that adds rather then subtracts from the performance.

  • Lynn Di Resto

    You are so right. Jennifer Lopez is so overpaid. She brings nothing to the table. Get someone that can give constructive criticism. Harry is the only on now. I also think the public should pick out the contestants. They will do a lot better job

  • Whatiswrongwithus

    I don’t understand why Survivor and Amazing Race can last 10 000 seasons and even the horrid The Bachelor can, but Idol can’t survive and have to have budget cuts. That’s just embarrassing for a show that used to be a juggernaut. Can’t they just take a hiatus for a few seasons, say 2 or 3 and come back with a huge bang! I think that would make people nostalgic and eager for Idol again.
    Unless…viewers overall are just sick of singing competitions…in which case The Voice would probably only have a few more years shelf life.

  • Montavilla

    I don’t think I’m going to mind cutting the results show out, but that does mean that the guest performances will disappear, leaving less incentive for star mentors.

    Also, there would no longer be room for the alumni performances. Oh! But maybe they could do an all-stars week (ala SYTYCD), where they bring back alumni to duet with a contestant. I would love that.

    I’m all for cutting down audition weeks to two. I’m of two minds about cutting down HW. I think it’s a mistake. I think cutting down those rounds hurt the contestants this year. But maybe they could come up with a different transition from auditions to live rounds? I loved the alumni mentor sessions and could happily watch more backstage footage.

    Maybe they could do some genre-based semi-final eliminations — whether voted on or by judge decision, with mentors workshops, and some edumacation. Perhaps starting with a top thirty, and winnowing it down to 12 in three weeks? So you have ten contestants that are in the same general area (country/bluegrass/soul), give ten full performances with backstage footage, and advance four of them.

    Then you have your final 12.

  • Mateja Praznik

    I don’t think going on a hiatus is an option. Pop Idol is an archaic TV format now, already off the air in most countries. Once it goes off the air in the USA, there would be no point to bring it back.

  • Karen C

    I think it would be a mistake to cut the results show. Would be better to keep it and have more alumn back. I would even say to have a reunion of sorts every week during an hour results show, and bring back a different season each week.
    I also think it’s a mistake to cut down on the number of shows, because that doesn’t give contestants fan bases.
    What I would do is:
    1. Get contestants with much more experience, that can do amazing covers of different genres. And don’t cut them at voting rounds.
    2. Allow as many voting weeks as possible, building fanbases early on.
    3. Encourage people to vote, and make fan groups, this makes for more passionate fans.
    I feel the judging is probably the best they’ve had in years, but the contestants this year aren’t as experienced. And now that I see how this season is progressing, I think some of the cuts during Rush week were more experienced contestants.

  • Tess Herself

    Forcing a girl winner didn’t bring viewers back, singing top 40 songs seems to be a big bust, advancing “sing in the shower” singers instead of peeps that have some performance experience just isn’t cutting it, doing away with the old fashioned theme nights has resulted in a singer sounding totally the same every week and not in a good way, elimination of “INTERESTING” (not the sobby, sobby ones) backstories in favor of not getting to know a contestant at all has back fired big time. I don’t think the vocal Idol fandom has done the show any favors.

  • Tinawina

    The auditions are still the highest rated part, I doubt they’d cut those back more. Maybe shorten Hollywood and especially the voting rounds, since the middle of the voting rounds typically sags.

  • LeahKittyS

    I was willing to bet money that the show would only make it to Season 15 at most. Now it seems like a good bet. I wouldn’t mind cutting it down to one night; I’m really busy but I still feel the need to watch it when it’s on. It is kind of sad; this used to be the big unifier in our house and now I’m the only one who still watches it. But all good things must come to an end. I am just happy that the show gave me the ones I call my Magic 8: Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, and Phillip Phillips.

  • Amy Beth

    Except that the results show has been under 10 million for several weeks running and the performance show came in under that mark this past week.

    There’s nothing to indicate the ratings will be going up, so who knows how many people will be watching in the final few weeks.

  • Karen C

    I think the difference between Idol and shows like Survivor and Amazing Race is that viewers of those shows more or less watch for the concept. Same with Big Brother. The cast changes every season, but the concept is the same.

    The difference with Idol and other signing competitions is that liking the cast is more subjective because it’s based on if someone likes the music being represented. Someone could not like a season because their favorite genre isn’t being represented, or love a season based on liking one or two contestant. Also, people compare to their snowflakes, so they can have their absolute favorite but then no one else measures up to them in subsequent seasons. So even though the format of the show is basically the same, a person can like or dislike the show based on it’s cast.

    I kind of dont think bringing it back after a few years would work, it is likely that the signing competions are at the end of their life. The only thing I can see maybe working after a few years is an Idol reuinion of past cast members but not a new season once it’s finally cancelled.

  • Dianne

    Swan song?

  • Jae

    I would be fine with the one night two hour format if the did the results at the end of the show as the do with SYTYCD. That nights performance would be the sing for your life performance and then the judges could decide whether or not to use the save or go with america’s vote. I actually also wouldn’t mind if AI became a special event show. like the olympics. DOit huge every 3 or 4 years.

  • Karen C

    Oh, I don’t think they should shorten auditions, but glad they got rid of the joke auditions. I think they could shorten Hollywood week. I would actually cut the group rounds which do nothing except provide drama.

    I think the more voting rounds the better because that is when fanbases are created.

  • Mateja Praznik

    I think the show has to be careful with the number of voting rounds and the number of performances the TOP finishers give in the season.

    For example, season 7 finalists were totally exhausted by the time of the finale. First 3 weeks of the semifinals, then TOP 12-TOP 2 finals with 3 competitive performances in the last two weeks. Overkill.

    At the same time there has to be a certain number of voting weeks so the audience can build a connection.

  • Tess Herself

    The peeps I know (who have fallen by the wayside) who watched AI and got caught up in the show loved the joke auditions. It was fun for us all the see to what lengths peeps would go for their 5 minutes of fame even if it meant totally embarassing themselves. And for the “JOKES” who made it into the final dozen it was fun to laugh at the TV fandom who put them through and to marvel at how silly the viewers could be. All the “fun” has gone out of Idol…and even with that “fun” as part of the show Idol discovered some nice lasting talent. It’s a shame that all that is in the past.

  • bridgette12

    I’ve been expecting this since season 9, it was the beginning of the end for Idol.

  • Tinawina

    Well I think talent shows will always be around. I do think at some point the current talent show boom will end. But after a few years of none on the air it will be time for the cycle to restart itself and that’s when we will get a new one. And it might be an Idol reboot if people are feeling nostalgic.

  • lola

    Keep Harry, maybe Keith, get rid of JLO and her huge salary. Idol is still my favorite singing reality show. Really dislike the Voice. Bunch of phony stuff going on there IMO.

  • Jason Gorny

    I agree, but I want to point out that JLo really stepped up this year and I appreciate that a lot. And she seems to care for the contestants like Paula did. I’m sure she will not be back next year, but I’m glad she did come back this year.

  • Jason Gorny

    I’m all for it! Keep Keith and Harry, hire a rotating judge to come in each week like on SYTYCD. I think that would be cool. Some of the rotating judges can be Idol alums and maybe some well known singers like Kristin Chenoweth or Sara Barellies. End Idol after season 15 and have all 14 winners on stage together.

  • Larc

    Engineering gender specific outcomes, singing current music, and telling irrelevant stories are not valid substitutes for top-notch talent. I think that’s the key. Contestants that can keep viewers entertained and interested with their performances will do far more than all the imaginative “Band-Aids” FOX/Idol can devise, IMO.

  • Dakota

    Idol ratings are still higher than other shows that get renewed. The key is cutting the budget and remaining profitable. THe huge JLO pay check never made sense – neither did keeping Randy on board which certainly is still a few more millions. When does Ryan’s contract end? I thought this was the last season and he’s probably the only one that still deserves a large paycheck as I can’t imagine them continuing the show without him at this point – that would be a t rue jump the shark moment. It doesnt matter which judges they hire so there should definitely be a salary cap…but the key is finding good contestants even if they have to do a little Voice-ish and go recruit some people. Idol just isn’t cool anymore…Maybe they can go to clubs and bars and scout some people and ‘surprise’ them with the chance to audition. Better singers, and desperate need of some viral moments, even if it is a nun. But JLO admitted without being too blunt that the performances so far are mediocre at best; I don’t know that Id blame it on no Vegas round. Theres just no stars and contestants who think they are waaaay better than they actually are

  • Dakota

    I think she does fine (except for lip syncing on a live singing show) but she’s not worth the paycheck and I don’t know what Fox was thinking. She didnt boost ratings last time so why would she now. (Interesting to hear Enrique Iglesias in interviews lately saying he was offered both Voice and Idol positions).

  • Wfish88

    If DWTS can scale back and get decent ratings, I think IDOL can too

  • Dakota

    Well results will be down to half hour. I don’t think having the judges bring in obscure bands helped at all; people don’t tune in to see Harry and JLOs up and comers. Don’t know that Idol alumni bring in viewers but at least it can help the faithful tune in – I much rather have seen Jessica, Pia or Allison perform (I read she’s part of the backup singers???)… The voting changes suck too as it encourages people not to watch and still vote. The key is making it profitable and it could go a couple more seasons. Its amazing airing 2 seasons a year that The Voice hasn’t dropped more, but they probably will get a boost in the Fall with a new judge. (What are the Voice salaries? JLO may make more than 3 or even 4 of them put together…I always read that Christina earned more than Blake+Adam)

  • b_james

    Yes and amen. Plain and simple. ^

  • Larc

    I think there are enough truly good contestants who audition. The problem is that so many of them get tossed aside because they don’t fit Idol’s casting ideas. If Idol started constructing their season plans around the available talent instead of casting to fit their preconceived notions, the results would probably be far better.

  • Larc

    JLo pulled up from F+ to about a D. She’s better than she was, but still below average.

  • thirdtime

    Scaling back is fine with me, since one of the things I don’t like about Idol now is the feeling of over-production that has developed over the years.

  • tommy

    I know be a little contrived, but why not do an all-star version of Idol? I mean, the other shows do it, like DWTS. Bring back old favorites from years past that didn’t win and make it more about revisiting former alumni. No tour or recording contracts but just see if any would do it. Then retire the show while it’s still relatively popular. Maybe for season 15.

  • EmmaCT

    Sigh. Singing competitions have been around since television began; and like all things, throughout the decades they change. Essentially, they are “musical variety shows” (which we don’t have any more but were a staple in the 1950s and 1960s). “Idol” revolutionized singing competitions in a new millennium – but somehow, they haven’t reached “today” – they stayed rooted in a previous decade as technology and the music industry morphed into a new-rules 2014. “The Voice” has one-upped both X-Factor and Idol in a contemporary feel, chemistry of the judges, and a diverse cast of contestants who can do one thing – sing. If there was no “Voice” the market for Idol would be bigger – there is only so much time per week that you have the luxury to invest, and right now “The Voice” is a lot more fun. Ratings don’t include “on demand” and dvr, which kills your advertisers. We’re in an era of binge-watching, “I’ll watch it when I want to” – shows with live components and “votes” are getting hammered.

    I’m trying to figure out why I’m not invested in anyone this season – and that’s what Idol needs to survive. Previous seasons, everyone was consistently good, and it was an entertaining hour of “musical variety” despite the themes that kept us musically in the 1990s (or 1980s). There are few to zero water cooler moments any more. I was hooked on David Cook when he sang “The Music of the Night” (who knew…). I couldn’t breathe when Kris Allen announced he was doing “Heartless” (HUH?). I couldn’t get enough of Alison Irhahita singing “Somone to Watch Over Me.” And so many more. There have been shockingly bad performances this season, in the Top 13 (and especially last week). Age is irrelevant; what the show needs are 10 people with the “it” factor and mad talent. People will watch.

  • Mel432

    What I don’t like about rotating judges is that they won’t know the history of the contestants. I think judges can be more helpful if they are seeing the contestants every week.

    IMO, what’s wrong with having only the winners on is that in some seasons, the non-winners were more successful and noteworthy.

  • Tom22

    haha Emma.. you sounded like my own words and thoughts I keep writing here and other places.. but … you have better grammar than I do! Good job ; )

  • tigervixxxen

    The end is near

  • sue

    So happy that it is coming back for another season! :) Yes to cutting the audition shows down a bit. They could definitely scale the whole show down a bit however I don’t want them to cut Hollywood week. Don’t know if I want a double elimination for the top 10 but if they have more competing in the live rounds that could work. Hire idol alums, I’m sure they will be cheaper. But I would like them to keep Keith or Harry somehow. JLO is too expensive so goodbye to her. Randy needs to go asap. Ryan has to stay on board. They could also hire alums to mentor each week and then perform at the beginning of the show to kick off the show if they have a single or something to plug. If not they could do a medley with the contestants. Whatever happens I hope idol keeps going and going forever. lols I love the show too much to see it go.

  • Mateja Praznik

    I’m sorry, I’m not the biggest JLO fan, but of the current judging panel she is still the best judge. Yes, she is expensive, but I would ditch the two dudes first.

  • Tom22

    Season 10 was my favorite ever, and I enjoyed season 11 as much as any others before 10 albeit the judging that season reached it’s all time worse in terms of being the most cloying ever.. I couldn’t watch anyomore (really that had started years before but just got to a tipping point) without being behind on my DVR and fast forwarding as soon as the judges opened their mouths.

    This year, I’ve actually been enjoying the judges and all the backstoreis (no sob stories etc)… even though I still have my DVR remote in hand I’m watching closer to live…catching up with live and actually watching many of the commercials even while behind…I really like the coke campaign and even some of the cheesy ones (is it Kohls?) are colorful and upbeat…haha. that’s a lesson for adversisers too.. they can get us empowed viewers to watch their ads when the ads entertain with positive images or humor or both. (allstate ads are fun too even while rarely wandering from the direct message about their product)..

    But.. damn.. how’d they forget about the musical entertainment aspect ?!!!

  • Spencer Cron

    I love this idea

  • carola99

    It might be better to pull the plug already.
    Why bring it back in such a scale down way? It would never be the same show anyway. The end is definitely almost here..

  • chillj

    That could work. Good idea!

  • JTN

    The talent is bad this year. That’s why no one is watching and viewership continues to drop each week. These contestants aren’t stepping it up. Had we gotten a stronger cast, the ratings wouldn’t have been down as much.

  • Porfivor Nixon

    Well, I don’t think it’s the show so much as the contestants. They need to shake up the audition process and get people in who they would normally not manage to bring into the mix.

  • sue

    Great post. I think Alex’s “A Beautiful Mess” as well as “Story of My Life” was a moment for me at least. Jena’s performance of “Decode” was pretty stellar too. Oh and Jessica’s “The Crow the Butterfly” also impressed me. There are a few more but I see your point. Alex is my favorite this season and I am invested in seeing what he does each week. I am also waiting for Sam to break out of his shell and surprise us. CJ started with so much promise and he has been inconsistent as well as the rest of the cast. I am still enjoying this crop of contestant regardless of all the ups and downs. That’s one thing I can say about idol they keep me invested somehow. The Voice did that last season for me with a stellar group of performers but this season is not cutting it. Regardless I am so happy that idol is going to be renewed.

  • LeahKittyS

    They tried to do it. Nobody agreed to it.

  • gclay

    JLO is certainly over paid, but she is seriously my favorite judge. If the talent isn’t good next year and the panel is HCJ, Keith, and some boring girl I probs wont tune in

  • sue

    No I want idol to go on forever! :(

  • gclay

    Christina gets paid like 15-20 about the same as JLo, I remember when Britney was on X-Factor she became the highest paid judge in singing competition history with $20, but that may be different now

  • gclay

    I’ve always imagined that when Idol does their Final Season it will be a big deal all season long with many returning Idols. I bet there’s two/three more seasons with Season 15/16 being like American Idol: The Final Season with like rotating judges (Simon, Nicki, Kelly, Carrie, Daughtry, Steven Tyler) and mentors and like classic themes (Bon Jovi night again) with tons of performances on results shows

  • Tom22

    those were good peformances except, I think both of them could have been more enjoyable if the band arrangment was better (staying out of the singers way yet giving more support of the song and their voices in a less is more way…not just less… more support in echoing the particular habits of phrasing of the unique contestant’s style but without sounding like the band had it’s own agend that the singer had to keep up with. The camera work was shotty compared to the high standards of the past. While the TV peformances on all these shows sound better on my headphones than on my TV . Even with an external soundbar I just can’t seem to figure out how to get settings right and end up back on the TV speaker only set up, which is moderately ok but somehow misses.

    While much of that is probably my TV and perhaps, my unwillingness to have the volume on my TV load enough to really hear all the music…. I do think it could be bad mixing on their end that doesn’t adjust the mic feed of the singer as the song goes on or turn it up as the band begins to over power etc..

    If it sounds better on YouTube and on my headphones it probably is that my headphones have higher fideltity…but still even there, I think the guy in the live mixing booth could do better… I wonder if they also have soemthing stupid like the “loudness war’ going on compressing the sound so we can’t hear the nuances of tone etc.

  • Tom22

    there were some good joke auditions…really fun ones…. they just needed to keep using some taste.. “you are my brother” was one of the highligts of the entire series for me (well, on a list of 100 high points over 10 years of watching). It still brings me a smile “simon, you are a great man” ..and , guilty pleasure or not, I still like the “your are my brother song”

  • sue

    I think the awkward stage this season could be screwing up the sound a bit. The staging was so much better before. Rickey Minor has been with idol for a long time so he knows what he is doing. They should have the band on stage with the contestants more often especially the ones that don’t know how to move around on stage. It just makes for a more complete feel. :) Maybe the sound guys at The Voice can give the idol guys some tips. lols

  • LarryS

    Swedish Idol went on hiatus and came back.

  • Tom22

    Mark Burnett makes Survivor work….or perhaps I should say the Team that he has brought in and renews. Survivor would be nothing without the post production. People underestimate the value of their theme music. The beautiful camera shots in exotic locations help.

    If it were a matter of concept itself, Survivor would have failed quickly.

    Nigel got lost in the extreme of character development and story-line when he decided in a single story line upfront rather than having multiple scenarios for twists in the story as voters showed interests in different performers…as voters liked performances he should have kept with those performers in ways that made all the performers look good.

    And, he got lost off the deep end when he picked unlikeable singers and assigned poor song choices to Janelle (and in my opinion didn’t do great with Kree either.. she could have been far better than she showed had she had a bigger pick of songs…lots still loved her, but I didn’t like her performances at all and I’m 100% sure that I would have loved her performances if she (Kree) had been able to pick songs that spoke to her from a broader list. I tuned out most of last season, watching many episodes , not watching judges, listening to only the first 30 seconds of some songs. High point for me was the Burt Bacharach medely. For me, the Duet portion with Amber and Candice was one of the very best Idol performances ever…they tried to redo it with Kree and Candice but that fell so far short and felt so unnatural I couldn’t watch. The camera work with Amber and Candices faces was amazing (and you could see how beautiful Candice was with the closeupson her face..and how intelligent and focused Amber was with her face (which isn’t as pretty as Ambers) without focusing on the legs (although vava voom I liked her legs in other dance orientatedsongs). That was such a moment of beauty for me…and the assignmetn of lyrics within the song fit the two girls ability to interpret lyrics perfectly…Candice enjoying more direct meanings while Amber enjoyed the mystery of individual words outside the greater context of the song.

    Unfortunately, we had a guy left in the mix that didn’t know squat about harmonies, or just wasn’t at a professional level ruining the rest of the performance even though the other girls also were strong in their parts….the start to stop 6 minutes would have been tremendous.

    I can’t even find a top quality recording of the Amber/Candice portion to edit and keep on a stand alone basis.

  • LarryS

    Yeah well, its the average that counts.

  • Stooch

    I think you can use themes as well as modern music on the show. I think the contestant should try and display who they are as artists. So when the contestants only sing one song per night, it’s contestants choice. Once the competition gets to where the contestants sing 2 songs per night, then bring in the themes. 1 song is the theme and the 2nd song is the contestants choice, this way you will always have a mix of current/fresh and older music and it will be a show that can be enjoyed by a cross-section of people.

  • Tom22

    One interesting thing about The Voice band was I thought they were terrible season 2 and 3, and I kept writing here and there in comments and tweeting producers and basically saying.. give those guys more money .. more practice time and more leeway…(as I thought they sounded better in the clips we heard in practice seassons far earlier in the polishing process). Now… I’m not trying to overestimate my personal contribution.. but if i were one of a thousand voices together saying the same thing, and if producers responded to that (and likely responded to professionals saying something similar but better as professionals know more than guys like me).. and the producers heard and responded …and perhaps the band gelled and just learned each other’s stregnths and could read the directors intention ealer….well, the complains are well worth it. Pointing out what is wrong isn’t saying, “this group is doomed”.. the Voice band is the same core playing at a vastly improved level… for probably a large number of reasons some of which must have been producer allocated resources giving them the time and tools to show their professionalism.

  • onlooker

    Someone is watching. Many “someones”. Almost 10 million of them.

  • lkingcorn

    One thing is for sure something is off this year. Perhaps it’s residual from last year, where expecting the worse became habit. This years judges are blending well together, even if at times Harry puts on his preachers hat. There are no contestants that don’t know the words to the songs they are singing. Perhaps the new stage is not a good fit with the band. Perhaps the judges has a certain concept they were going for and missed the Mark with this years group. The contestants are picking more up to date songs, while many continue to pick the wrong songs. Randy is getting heat that isn’t necessarily fair, but he’s the fall guy with Nigel gone. Perhaps Season 14 will be a banner year with a breakout star or two. Odds are it could happen. I think the Voice is here to stay for awhile regardless if they make stars or not. I believe Idol still has enough core fans to make it happen.

  • Guest

    Whenever the show ends, I hope the blog stays around, since hearing the latest news on different alumni is more fun to follow than the show itself. Whenever the show ends, the careers of the alumni won’t end.

  • J3$$!C@

    I agree, its time to say Goodnight to American Idol. I thank them for Kelly Clarkson, and Carrie Underwood, but no mas. THE VOICE is where its at right now.

    P.S. I agree with letting Jennifer Lopez go. I love Harry, though. The Aussie man can be replaced if he demands too much $$$.

  • Larc

    To be honest I think I would miss MJ’s blog more than I would miss Idol, especially with the way the show has been headed in the last couple of seasons.

  • H.A.

    If idol cuts down to one hour the show will not be the same. Some were saying it was a mistake with this judging panel because this group just caters to the same old Idol demo. They should have went with a more younger relevant panel. Another thing is the talent in the last few seasons. Instead of finding the best talent they look for contestants that they think fits their casting types. Too bad Idol can’t find their own Mark Burnett who knows how to change it up and keep his shows fresh.

  • H.A.

    The blog and the comments are the best part. Way more entertaining than the show itself. There are enough Idols to keep this blog going for a long time and there are plenty of great shows to follow.

  • Marko

    I’m someone ;)

  • bridgette12

    Idol should just leave these judges panel alone and bring in people from the outside to make the decision for them. They have been doing a shitty job and it’s affected the show.

  • shell29

    Same here. I watch Idol more out of habit (and to chat with you guys) than anything. There are still plenty of shows that MJ can cover (and there will always be Idol related news to discuss) so hopefully MJ can hang in there and we can support her.

  • Marko

    That’s what I’m talking about. All stars season. Bring back John Stevens, Kevin Covais, Jasmine Trias, Bobby Bennett, Sanjaya, Tatiana Del Toro, Haley Scarnato, Scott Savol, Lazaro…

  • Marko

    Lol. Is MJ’s blog being canceled?

  • colette

    I personally would not mind a tighter, more condensed Idol. The audition rounds do not have to go on forever and ever. Not sure about doing eliminations the same night people would perform — how does that work? Do you have to vote live? If that’s the case, than West Coasters can easily look up who’s going, and not bother to vote three hours later.

    I don’t think that we need any more high-price divas on the show a la JLo. She’s glamorous and occasionally insightful, but I’d be just as happy with a very likable and articulate veteran performer — say someone like Queen Latifah? (I know, I know she’s got her own show — but you see what I mean…)

    The main thing, though, is picking better talent. Since we really don’t know how much the picks are from the judges or influenced by TPB, that’s a hard one to diagnose. But they need a serious brainstorming session about what went wrong this year while they were trying to “cast” the show. Were they trying to manipulate based on desired demographics (the Southern guys, the cute Eastern WGWG, the hip young black chicks, etc.)? When will they learn that ANY style of singer can win by dint of talent and stage charisma — be it Kelly Clarkson or Kris Allen or Fantasia or Philip Phillips, all in entirely different bags.

    They aren’t focusing enough on developing the talent. Get Randy outa there, and put in the best singing coach you can find and/or bring back the best celebrity coaches (I’m talking Diana Ross, Jamie Foxx, etc). Narrow down the theme nights instead of letting contestants with little awareness of the overall musical world just sing what they heard in the car on the way over, and when you do have another Beatles or Motown or whatever night make sure you don’t put songs done ad nauseum on the OK list. Stop telling the kids, and touting to the world, that they’re the best talent in the universe just because you loved their auditions, and they checked off the right box.

    Of course, if they won’t listen to an influential AI expert like MJ or Michael Slezak, they ain’t gonna hear me. I just hope they make the kind of decisions that renew the show, not destroy it further….

  • gclay

    People have been saying “The end is near” since 2004, and its 2014. You really never know

  • chillj

    Well. I watch four nights a week of singing contestants and I’m a little burned. This year I can’t concentrate on a Voice contestant for beans; other years it is Idol. There is just too much.

    Idol could have done without its results show years ago. It is boring now and it has always been boring.. They could reformat a two hour show once a week, with results at the beginning of the next weeks show, and a soft transition into the remaining talent after a final (and since rehearsed, new) song from the contestant leaving. Idol has milked the results show for far too long.

    The Voice is also pushing the envelope. Too much amateur or semi-amateur singing is too much and it hurts all of the singing shows. They should reduce both shows to two hours a week for the sake of mutual survival. Otherwise both of them are likely to fail.

  • chillj

    Most of the fun of the show for me is the blogging. It is not a show, it is an event. For me, without the event, there is no show.

  • Marko

    Actually we missed it. According to the Mayan calendar the end was on December 21st 2012 :)

  • chillj

    Maybe it will just fade away. No bang, just whimper. i kind of doubt the producers would be clever enough to make it a festival of leaving with all of the people from past seasons. It would be fun; I just don’t think power brokers would think so.

  • chillj

    Or possibly they could have contestants rehearse what they are actually going to sing, as opposed to the extraneous stuff they have them blow time on.

  • chillj

    We are in overtime.

  • Dianne

    Yes!

  • chillj

    Last year was godawful. Part of the problem this year may only be that no one has the high frustration tolerance they started out with, because they went through last year.

  • chillj

    You animal, you.

  • chillj

    I must say, though, I don’t feel anywhere near as manipulated this year as I have in past years.

  • Sue tiedemann

    I think this season of Idol is much more enjoyable than last season. I look forward to watching each of the performances whereas last year it was really bad.

  • NancP

    I would hate this….I think its time for Idol to wrap up and call it a day

  • thirdtime

    I don’t feel quite as manipulated for the voting this season, but I do feel now more than ever that the contestants that are put through for us to vote on are not necessarily the most talented ones of the thousands and thousands who auditioned for the show, but the ones who they feel fill their casting needs for one reason or another.

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    Reminder:

    Sorry. Pruning out a persistent troll again. That’s why entire convos are disappearing.

    ETA: So persistent, they are using 2 sockpuppets, and even replying to themselves. Thanks for your patience.

    Also, would prefer not to do this, but I’m getting close to posting a profile of this troll. Her likes and dislikes are very VERY clear cut. You guys could do me a favor. If you think you’re being trolled PLEASE flag the comment–AND DON’T ENGAGE. This helps me a lot.

    ETAA: Trashing The Voice is off topic to this post

  • mshepnj

    Partly I think Idol’s ratings erosion is due to aging and a changing marketplace for music. Partly it’s due to the new shiny competition in the Voice, although that also increases the saturation factor for both shows I think. Partly I think it’s due to the different way that people watch TV.

    That being said, this season has been strange because it started off with so much promise and has really been a disappointment in certain respects. I really like the judges panel although I don’t think it needs an overpriced popstar to make the show a success. I’d be happy with HCJr and Keith Urban and some other less costly female judge. These contestants have don’t have the hugest amount of charisma, but the kind of music that most of them perform is consistent with what’s popular on the radio right now.

    The things I like about Idol are the human moments, seeing the contestants grow through the process, developing an emotional attachment to one or more. I think part of what made Idol fun in previous seasons for the home audience over the years was the ability to feel like we have a role in a contestant’s success on the show and possibly afterwards, in a way that’s been reduced in recent years to give the judges/producers/whoever more control over the outcome.

    The changes that have been made to the format in order to increase “drama”, in my opinion, have been at the expense of audience interest. When the PTB try to manipulate a certain outcome (e.g., a female winner last season), and tell us we have 30 semifinalists this season when we only got to see 20 of them sing (bait and switch), it takes some of the enjoyment out of the process.

    Personally, I wish they’d go back to 24 semifinalists and let the audience choose, instead of the sudden death semifinal with a few wild cards. I think it gives the audience a chance to be more invested early and is more interesting than the contrived drama of the sudden death round.

    Also:
    Fewer audition episodes
    No longer than 30 minute elimination rou

  • Axxxel

    Yeah agree, bring back the rotating judge…Sometimes there is a need for judges who only judge the performance they see that night, so they are not influenced by what the contestant already did in previous weeks or even during dressed rehearsal… or what is their potential in the future(what might have been)…this will raise the bar for the contestant and will challenge them to give it all on performance night and not rely on a judge who e.g.might have pity on them…

  • Axxxel

    Same with Indonesian Idol

  • Blueknight24

    Why not create a show that could showcase Idol alum. That could be awesome. lol

  • Axxxel

    or several alumns

  • Aly Welch

    Getting rid of the strict theme nights now isn’t the problem. Not doing it sooner was. Broader themes is one of the few things they got right this season, but it was too little too late.

  • chillj

    But if a range of genres is not covered, their audience leaves with its favorite genre. I think they need to do some of it to keep the audience interested, although I think the are heavy in some areas (country?) because they think that genre is a viewer draw. They could cut that out and I wouldn’t mind.

  • Tess Herself

    Interesting and rather funny (as in weird) concept. The Idolettes from season 1 are in their mid 30s…Moms and Pops with kids trying out for Idol. And the Idols that do have a career in music, no matter how minor, are not about to do a reality TV show that would further tie them to Idol when they have spent a decade untying those apron strings.

  • ladymctech

    It’s fun to see the alums, but I don’t think they have brought in ratings, either. Even the more popular ones. Last season, Phillip Phillips and Bon Jovi performed on the same results night, and I remember it didn’t give the show a boost at all.

  • milwlovesadam

    I’m thinking Idol should go out with a bang, not a whimper.

    Reducing it, changing it again, I think it doesn’t need to shoot itself in the foot.

    I would love to see Idol have “specials” after it ends. Where they can showcase talent from the show. There are tons of fans who don’t blog or follow Idols other than what glimpses are shown on TV.

    I’m not sure how I feel about another season of Idol.

  • CB40

    Idol will end for good at Season 15, gracefully.

  • hayes

    They should just put together a farewell concert. I want all 13 idols there damnit! And get as much alums as they can. Just celebrate the 13 years they’ve had, the impact they left in the entertainment industry, and all the good things.

  • Niall

    Idol started out small so I guess I see some symmetry in the show ending its run as it began.

    I’ve been frustrated with the media spin on Idol’s decline. To me an aging show is going to have a smaller audience. It’s not realistic to expect the show to spend every season at #1 with 20 million viewers. I guess I always expected the stories to take a gentler approach, something along the lines of “Idol marches gracefully into its sunset years.” Instead I’ve read a lot of mainstream articles where it seems as if journalists, bloggers, and fans are practically jumping up and down, peeing their pants with excitement every time the show hits a ratings low.

  • Niall

    Whether it’s season 14 or 15 I definitely want a proper send off. The show should get a season long victory lap with perhaps a couple specials on FOX, maybe “Where are they Now” type things with idols from years past. What I don’t want is to hear AFTER the season that the show isn’t coming back. No biggie with X Factor but intolerable for an institution like AI.

  • Niall

    You know, I think AI started as a summer show. It’s not the worst idea in the world to return it to summer status. It’s logistically not feasible for season 14 but it would be if they planned that in advance for season 15,

  • sue

    lols

  • sue

    :) See how invested we are that we even remember the mediocre contestants. Long live idol!

  • LeahKittyS

    You’d be surprised how many of those people have legitimate singles, EP, and albums on iTunes.

  • thirdtime

    I agree! So many people have been hoping for Idol’s death for so long, I think they get frustrated that it just keeps hanging on and that 10 million people still like the show, lol.

  • Grace

    get rid of Harry, keep Keith and JLo. They make more sense judging mainstream talent which is what idol needs to produce superstars. Harry is too technical and doesn’t know how to judge other styles of music except the standards (which works for the oldies). I don’t like his judging style, if you look at the other blogs many others don’t too and even find him cocky – why does he come off like he’s a know it all? JLo and Keith make more practical sense, I hope that aside form judging producers also give them a hand at mentoring so they can show contestants how to fix what they judge as needs fixing

  • JTN

    I agree. Harry is a bad judge for a television singing show. The fact that he thinks that this is the best cast of Idol ever is enough to send him packing. I really like Keith but I’m starting to question his ability to find talent also. Jennifer has stepped it up this season but she’s not worth her salary.

  • Karen C

    I agree, I think more voting rounds builds fanbases, and this had been reduced in recent years. And the less fans feel involved in the outcome, the less likely they are to support contestants and eventual winner.

  • Guest

    That’s what I’ve been thinking about professor Harry all along. He lectures like I’m in an advance music course. Who cares Harry! I want whatever you are saying in simple layman’s terms. Keith is ho hum and J.LO is not worth the money they are paying her. I say get rid of ALL the judges. Bring in 3 idol alums like Melinda Doolittle, J.Hud, Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks or whatever.

  • HKfan

    I don’t like the sound of these changes…I like Idol as it is. But if it has to change, I would cut out most of the audition rounds. Just show the top 30 or 24 or whatever, going through from audition to the finals, a bit like they do on ANTM….they could spend at least a couple of weeks on that. If its a top 24, eliminate 2 each week until top. Then 1 a week.
    That would give them plenty of time to develop their performing skills, we wouldn’t get pissed off so much as we wouldn’t see all the potentionally great singers that don’t make it.
    I like Keith as a judge, he’s cute, always looks like he’s enjoying himself, seems to know a lot of music outside his wheelhouse, unlike Harry, who whilst I don’t dislike him, does come across as a bit cocky. I don’t mind JLO, she’s much better this year, and is very beautiful…but no way should she be earning what she does. They should cap their salaries at say $5m…..still pretty good for a few weeks work.
    I don’t know how once a week would work…..how would people in different time zones vote??
    I love the concept if Idol, I think the production has been much better this year.
    I didn’t even mind the theme nights, just the limited choice of songs, although I’m loving having the newer music this year (and yes I’m nearing the 50 mark, so outside the demo!!)
    The biggest problem I have with the show, is the contestants they’ve chosen for the last few years…And it seems to tie in with allowing so many instruments, is that all the contestants seem very similar, mostly very bland and vanilla, no one exciting. no one with the X factor, no one with the full package.. Hardly any that I would want to find out after the show what they were up to, what music they were putting out, would want to see in concert…..this has been true for me for the last 3 or 4 years.

  • JustJam

    Maybe they should just focus on a Top 30 rather than a Top 10-13. The more contestants the merrier.

  • Grace

    Why only question Keith’s ability? It’s not just his call. 3 judges chose this batch of contestants (last year 4 judges) so why question only Keith? If he likes someone but the other 2 don’t agree with him or even if 2 judges agree (say Keith+JLo or Keith+Harry) but 1 doesn’t — that decision is taken away from him. Plus there are producers who also have input in the final list of contestants to go through (I think) That’s why I really feel that a mentoring role is where we’ll see these judges “walk their talk”

  • shell29

    That sort of thing is going to happen. There were just as many folks hoping for and celebrating the demise of X Factor so I wouldn’t think that Idol would be immune to it. Just as there were those who couldn’t stand Simon and X Factor and wanted it to fail, there are those that feel the same way about Idol (for whatever reason). I’m sure there is no shortage of folks who want to see The Voice fail too.

  • Robert Anton

    I agree Tina. These things work in cycles and Idol has had a very very long cycle. maybe it’s just winding down now.

  • Robert Anton

    Group night is to see how well the contestants can work within a group for the group performances that will come up during the Live shows. There’s a purpose in each step of the process and it all leads up to who will best be able to handle being on a live show.

  • Robert Anton

    I agree. I LOVED the joke auditions tho they could cut back to say 2 an hour. Not too many. They even had a fun guy in Mumfarid Zaidi who could actually sing and they cut him. Not a good idea. I guess they realized it and brought him back for a one-off.

  • Robert Anton

    The Voice flubs it quite a bit too. It’s probably hard having to set for so many voices so quickly; but it’s their job and all these shows should be paying for the best out there.

  • Robert Anton

    Time is probably THE controlling factor. The band has dozens of songs to learn, arrange, rehearse, and perform every single week. The contestants generally have to learn only 1 song (or two on results night) and they havent been doing a lot of production numbers so far this season.

  • Robert Anton

    I’m also watching and the talent is not “bad”; they are just mostly inexperienced.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Previous seasons, everyone was consistently good, and it was an entertaining hour of “musical variety” despite the themes that kept us musically in the 1990s (or 1980s).

    If Idol’s themes had been predominantly in the 1980s or 1990s, I don’t think it’d be in the trouble it’s in today. People who were teens in that era are young adults or parents-with-midsized-to-teen-kids today. So emphasis in that era would have been consistent with being a family show that multiple generations in the 18-49 demo could relate to.

    Instead, the show focused intensely on music of the 1960s and early 1970s. That’s grandparents’ music for an 18-year-old today, so it’s not even what got played in the minivan on long car trips. It might be “what Mom and Dad played on 8-track in the car” for people now in their late 40s, but people were more radio-bound back then, so it might be completely forgotten.

    Big “surprise” moments were usually late-ish in the season, as contestants had to establish their identities first. I can think of some early ones, but damn, in the old days, we waded through plenty of fodder, trainwrecks, limited “it” factor, and questionable talent.

  • Niall

    In years past we would get “ringers,” people who had extensive performing experience or one time record deals and people lamented the loss of the amateur aspect of AI. Fast forward to this year when we have a return to earlier seasons via less experienced contestants and now the complaint is people aren’t experienced enough.

    I remember seasons 1-6 very well. Well enough to remember suffering through numerous bad performances by those who are remembered fondly now. The ratings were great then and only average now. It’s NOT the contestants. We could have the hottest group of performers in years and the ratings would barely budge. Idol is old. I hate seeing the kids get the blame when in the past “growth arcs” and bad performances never hurt the show, those things were PART of the show.

  • Robert Anton

    I’m sure ppl will remember this crop more fondly once they hit their stride also.

  • Goodvibes27

    I think nothing can really revive Idol to its former glory. Once you downsize there is no turning back. I thing Fox is just trying to squeeze the last little bit of profit out this once-great show.

  • Shannon Ryan

    Well your wish won’t come true, because there is no way they will pay JLO a $15 million + salary for a season 14, especially when she didn’t bring or even stabilize ratings the way that they expected her to. I think they should keep Harry, Keith and the third judge be an Idol alumni that changes every other week. Maybe even bring back Paula as a fourth judge to celebrate idol’s best years.

  • Shannon Ryan

    This may sound like blasphemy to some Idol fans, but what if they made the live shows not live? Then you could make the singers actually sound good because they wouldn’t be as anxious, and the show would move in a faster, more professional manner.

  • Dianne

    Idol is like the cool kid in school who grows up to live a humdrum life always yearning for his/her glory days.

  • Shannon Ryan

    As a lot of FOX’s lineup is rating terribly, they will be hanging onto American Idol for I predict two more years. FOX will be hard-pressed to ink a new deal with Ryan Seacrest, otherwise the show is done. Perhaps he could also narrate an Idol documentary segment that could be incorporated into the two-hour format, highlighting former Idols’ achievements.

    I doubt the number of audition episodes will be reduced – instead I think that they will be doing double eliminations, which gives the results show more purpose. And keeping the performances to Idol alumni for these shows would be great as it celebrates Idol’s legacy.

  • Steven Paul

    Oh man why not? It use to bring in 30 million and last week it hit under 9 for the first time. Why embarrass themselves by going out the way X-Factor did. Bow out with grace already, the show is almost dead!

  • Steven Paul

    The show will never last another two seasons, next years ratings will be equal to the X-Factors final year and that will be the end of it!

  • Shannon Ryan

    I don’t think so, at the beginning at least. If Idol premiered to a 4.7 when it was averaging a 2.6 towards the end of last season, it could easily premiere to at least a 3.5 when it is averaging a 2.1 towards the end of this current season. Then in its fifteenth season, it premieres to a 2.8 so FOX just simply would not cancel it.

  • Shannon Ryan

    Maybe do a spin off – Idol All-Stars? There has been so many contestants that are actually familiar with that environment and have talent. Plus already having a fanbase would surely breathe new life into an aging show.