Nigel Lythgoe Doesn’t “Give a Damn” Who Wins American Idol

American Idol producer, Nigel Lythgoe, sounded off on American Idol executives, rival singing competitions, why females can’t win, White Guys with Guitars,  and more in a revealing interview conducted with TV Line after Wednesday’s season finale.

Nigel was a little peeved after FOX honcho, Kevin Reilly told reporters at the recent Upfronts in New York City that Idol should have been tweaked more Season 11 in anticipation of a ratings slide:

TVLINE | Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly recently told reporters that Idol‘s Season 11 ratings dipped “more than anticipated” and that in retrospect the show should’ve made more creative tweaks to stay competitive in the crowded reality singing competition space. How did you feel about those remarks, especially considering that in many ways, Season 11 felt like a genuine creative success?
I’m shocked that he would say we didn’t anticipate that. We always stayed away from [airing] two seasons of American Idol [per calendar year], knowing that ratings would dip, and the public would get tired. It’s just the very nature of offering the audience too much [of a particular thing]. Now, if you’re going to do The X Factor on the same [network] as American Idol, that’s like two American Idols back-to-back. So, yes, I’m shocked that they thought that the ratings wouldn’t dip. Plus, The Voice is in the mix now, too. There’s just a lot more on offer today, and kids don’t always watch the television anymore. The world has changed in the 11 years that we’ve been doing this.

TVLINE | Nobody is drawing 25 million viewers per week.
They’re not. That’s a fact. So, when Kevin says we’ve got to do new things next year, what are the changes? The format is a very simple format. Kids audition for us. Their talent is what brings people in to watch the show. Do we change the format? Maybe we should do it under water while basket weaving? It surprises me that there’s some kind of challenge to the producers to make it more exciting. What do they think we do? Sit on our asses not worrying about the show? I know, let’s watch the ratings dip down, that will be fun, won’t it? I get very annoyed with people, especially executives that should know what they’re talking about, making statements like that, to be frank with you.

Nigel swears he does not care who wins year to year, however he WOULD like to take a look at the voting system next year:

TVLINE | Let’s talk about a phrase that comes up a lot with regard to Idol, a phrase that makes me sort of uncomfortable: White Guys With Guitars. There’s no denying the fact that white male contestants who play the guitar have dominated the show for several years running. So what I’m wondering is, do you stress about getting a more diverse roster of winners from the show?
The last few years, without question, it has been that way. I always get the comments — and we get it on [So You Think You Can] Dance, too –”Oh, the boys are always going to win, and the girls are going to be cut off one by one.” Season 11 of [Idol], that’s been the first year I [couldn't have told] you who’d definitely be in the finale. We never really had one person win two weeks running.

TVLINE | But is it a concern for Idol, as a franchise, to have a similar type of singer winning year after year, and to not have a female winner for five years running now?
There’s nothing you can do about it. When you say to America, you vote, the only thing that can be changed is the voting system. And I would hope that next year we would look at that.

Nigel does NOT stress about the kid’s post-idol careers, but he’s been disappointed when he felt the record label gave the kids the wrong songs–Ruben Studdard for instance:

TVLINE | Do you think and worry a lot about the contestants’ post-Idol careers? Because the one thing that really separates Idol from its competitors is that you really do launch a lot of folks who aren’t simply destined for the bargain bin a week after their albumns come out. That’s really a cornerstone, I think, for why people come back to the show every year.
Do I stress about it? No, I don’t stress about it because I’m already thinking about the next crop of kids, and they deserve our undivided attention. I do love the validation when they are successful. And I get annoyed when the record company, in my opinion, gives them the wrong music to sing. The best example I can give you of that is Ruben Studdard. I believe they just said, “Oh, you’re black, you should be singing urban music,” rather than [envisioning] this wonderful sort of crossover artist that he was. He was singing Neil Sedaka and the Bee Gees songs beautifully — in a sort of Donny Hathaway- Luther Vandross way. They just put him in this [narrow] category, which was a shame to me.

Other tidbits:

  • “The kids have got to choose their own songs, because everybody has an opinion. You can’t turn around and say, ‘Oh that’s not a good song.’ Not for you, it’s not.”
  • “The X Factor was magnificent in production. And certainly it got us to really look at our set and look at our production. What I always wanted to make sure of, though, was that we didn’t lose our contestants within the production.”
  • “We do focus on the talent. The camera shots can really help that. You know, you don’t want to just keep taking wide angles. I’m not particularly interested in the audience. I am happy that they are there, and they give a great atmosphere. But I don’t need to see them when the kid is singing.”
  • “The television producers, of which I include myself, don’t give a damn who wins this show. The only thing we’re interested in is turning out a fabulous show for people to watch. We get no money from the record companies or anything else. Thank goodness. Because, you know, there might be every reason to be swayed if that were true. We don’t care who wins. Even our favorites. Other than that,  we just want the best people to be there at the end.”

If Nigel doesn’t think there are changes to be made, will he make them anyway at the behest of FOX executives? Or will he push back? Frankly, I think the audition rounds–which haven’t been changed much since the show began in 2002–are a little tired and could use a tweak or two.

Does Nigel really not care who wins? From the perspective of an executive producing a television show, it probably does not matter much who wins, although successful winners reflect back well on the show and could goose the ratings.  It’s a tossup whether the lack of female winners since 2007 is helping or hurting the show. Personally, I think it’s the sudden influx of new shows like X Factor and The Voice that is responsible for this year’s steep downturn.  There are only so many hours in the week to watch singing competitions. There are viewers out there making decisions between the shows, I believe. Plus, Americans are watching less network television, generally.

Nigel admits that the big production values on X Factor led to Idol adding their own flash into the mix.  But please, Nigel. No more swinging chairs.  Don’t break your promise to never lose site of the kids.  Keeping the focus on the talent is what separates Idol from the imitators.

  • http://twitter.com/Fanchez318 Jessicas Street Team

    The format isn’t the reason the ratings are dipping. The ratings are dipping because the show has been crowning the same, stale, identical winners for the past 5 years. It’s like watching a movie over and over again, eventually you are going to grow tired.

    And Nigel girl, please… you know the voting system is not going to be sacrificed. Who are you trying to fool?

    I give the show 4 more seasons max.

  • Anonymous

    “Maybe we should do it under water while basket weaving?” ROFL… this one had me laughing so hard… thanks, Nigel!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dana-Sidle/100003317515727 Dana Sidle

    The television producers, of which I include myself, don’t give a damn
    who wins this show. The only thing we’re interested in is turning out a
    fabulous show for people to watch.

    in other news today, the water is wet.

  • http://twitter.com/Fanchez318 Jessicas Street Team

    I think I need to give uncle Nigel a call and tell him to come and fertilize my lawn.  Apparently he’s full of shit.

  • Valentin432

    Only two things surprised me from what he said. He admits being angry at the executive at Fox, I wouldn’t expect him to go to the media with that (altough I think I already read a declaration of his about that).
    And I’m hopefull that they will change the voting system, even tough it’s a tough thing to do with their fone sponsor being involved in all these decisions.

    As for the down ratings, anyone who has  followed their evolution knows that almost all of it came from the first episode decline from season 10 to season 11, So it’s not on Season 11 but what happened between seasons and the most blatant things that happened are X Factor and The Voice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=605898485 Jennine Nobile Keleman

    Please Nigel, how many times did u say we are gonna look into the voting system? Its FLAWED and if you dont do something, you will lose even more viewership next yr due that the voting system and lack of diversity in the winners since 2007.

  • Anonymous

    Winning the ratings battle and having sufficient ad revenue to pay the enormous salaries of the judges and everyone but the contestants is their goal.  The show hasn’t been about the kids for years, but maintaining overstuffed egos.

  • Anonymous

    FIRE NIGEL ASAP!

  • Anonymous

    NIGEL MUST BE FIRED ASAP – HE HAS RUINED IDOL

  • http://twitter.com/Fanchez318 Jessicas Street Team

     They’ve lost my viewership after this year. After Scotty won I decided to give the show one more chance to champion a female, being that Scotty was unstoppable last year, so I was fine with Lauren as runnerup last year, even though I wanted her to win. But I’ll be damned if anyone tries to tell me that Jessica Sanchez did not deserve the title. It shouldn’t have even been a question. It’s become quite clear to me that American Idol is no longer a venue of finding a POP star, but has become a venue for teenage girls and middle aged woman to fantasize and rub their bon bon scented clits to these unassuming guitar strumming white males… when in all reality these viewers don’t have a damn clue as to what is actually relevant in today’s music world.

    In a sense, Idol has been over since the winner of Season 8 was crowned.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QPQ3BY4QAQ2WBIG3EP4JBX2LHY SamC

    i think the rating dip has nothing to do with idol itself. When idol first came out it was the only singing show on the air and it was authentic and interesting. It was different from what was on tv at the time. Now there are a zillion and a half singing shows and people are just not interested in them anymore. For american idol to still be the number 1 rated show, that says a lot. 

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “There’s nothing you can do about it. When you say to America, you vote,
    the only thing that can be changed is the voting system. And I would
    hope that next year we would look at that.”

    Oh sure, Nigel. lol Anyways, it’s too late for any voting changes to change the results. Sorry, but I just don’t trust anything that Nigel has to say about the show. At all.

    As for Ruben, he did say in a chat that Clive had him record songs that he felt weren’t the kind that were the best for him, that he wanted to go in a more Luther Vandross kind of direction. I honestly think that Clive screwed up a lot of Idols’ careers while he was still in charge of them (up until Season 6).

  • http://twitter.com/Fanchez318 Jessicas Street Team

    They’ve lost my viewership after this year. After Scotty won I decided to give the show one more chance to champion a female, being that Scotty was
    unstoppable, so I was fine with Lauren as runnerup last year,
    even though I wanted her to win. But I’ll be damned if anyone tries to
    tell me that Jessica Sanchez did not deserve the title. It shouldn’t
    have even been a question. It’s become quite clear to me that American
    Idol is no longer a venue of finding a POP star, but has become a venue
    for teenage girls and middle aged woman to fantasize and rub their bon
    bon scented clits to these unassuming guitar strumming white males…
    when in all reality these viewers don’t have a damn clue as to what is
    actually relevant in today’s music world.

    In a sense, Idol has been over since the winner of Season 8 was crowned.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    At one time, I think that changing the voting system would have led to a different kind of winner. Now, I think that the viewing/voting demographic has narrowed so much that even changing the voting system won’t change the kind of winner there will be.

  • Guest

    Personally, I think it’s the sudden influx of new shows like X Factor and The Voice that is responsible for this year’s steep downturn. 

    I think so too. Also, the novelty of the new judges wore off so there wasn’t as much to be excited about. Season 10 got people excited with the new judges and tweaks.

  • Guest

    the show has been crowning the same, stale, identical winners for the past 5 years. It’s like watching a movie over and over again, eventually you are going to grow tired

    David Cook and Scotty are the same? That’s news to me. Its not like Scotty winning was like Lee or David winning all over again.

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    The swinging chairs didn’t bother me, but was it necessary to have a marching band on stage?

    Some of what Nigel has said just doesn’t ring true.  Will they make changes in the voting process?  No way!

  • Anonymous

    Some of the ratings drop is X-Factor/Voice related, but mostly because many people got tired of Idol not changing, so they jumped ship.
     
    Idol does many things well, but Nigel’s complete willingness to include large changes to this show will be it’s downfall in the end. Just my opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/efurman Ethan Furman

    the producers decide who is in the top 24. the simplest way to make sure a white guy doesnt win is  DONT PUT ANY WHITE GUYS IN THE TOP 24. that way a white guy cant win

  • http://twitter.com/raya4 raya

    Except for me, even if the show only lasts another 4 seasons that puts it at what, 15 seasons?  How many shows can say they ran even remotely that long while still drawing that sort of ratings?  I just can’t see looking at a show that runs that long as some sort of dismal failure because it failed to go on at #1 for ever and ever.  Every tv show that goes up, must also come down.  I don’t love Nigel, but I do think he has a point here.  What show is drawing 25 million viewers week to week?  Where are all these shows that are drawing ratings putting Idol to shame?  I certainly think some tweaks need to be made to the system, but to me the fact that it is still on top, however narrowly, after all these years is kind of amazing.

  • http://twitter.com/MissGolightly22 No Thanks

    Well, Nigel, when you get the same type of winner 5 years in a row, you damn well BETTER find a way to change things.  For starters, don’t let that type anywhere near the voting rounds next year and see what happens.  It not like it’s hard to spot them.  People from space could see Phillip was going to win the moment he stepped on screen.

    Maybe the reason why other shows are sucking away your ratings, is that people have a chance to see a different type of artist win.

  • too-cool-for-school

    What is he so uptight about? They would be best to take some suggestions and thoughts from the viewers they still have, before it’s too late and everyone jumps ship.

    The biggest complaint I see is not of the quality of the show, but people being tired of the monotony/pattern of winners. So if that’s the one thing Nigel doesn’t give a damn about, that’s his problem and he can blame himself if/when the ratings dip even lower next season.

  • Larc

    The voting system is set up in a way that encourages abuse.  As long as that’s the case, it will be basically unfair.  There’s no way the winner can confidently claim a mandate when the person who gets the majority of votes isn’t necessarily favored by the majority of voters.  That shouldn’t be.

  • http://twitter.com/eilonwya10 Eilonwy

    The television producers, of which I include myself, don’t give a damn who wins this show

    Well, Mr. Lythgoe, maybe you should try it some time.

    Idol is the one TV singing competition in the U.S. that has successfully launched careers. That’s what makes it different from the rival shows that are saturating the airwaves. 

    Would a final two show that showcased contemporary music and gave a serious preview of Sanchez’s and Phillips’ future sound really have been less exciting than what actually aired? Would your next season truly be less interesting if by January we were all talking about S11’s successes rather than muddling over numbers that show it’s getting harder for Idols to break in the biz?

    At the very least, isn’t it maybe good TV to have suspense over who will win each season?

  • http://twitter.com/MissGolightly22 No Thanks

    They can put a white guy in, just don’t put in any singer-songwriter types from the heartland of America who has a penchant for acoustic guitar.

    They can get an opera dude or a funky white boy or a punk rocker or a jazz/standards singer or and emo/new wave dude.  Certainly they can find more varieties of white boys to put in the show.

  • Guest

    but mostly because many people got tired of Idol not changing, so they jumped ship

    or because it’s a show that had been on for 11 seasons. Shows like Friends, CSI, ER, Survivor, Cheers, etc were all top rated shows and went through similar declines because they got old.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    Yeah, I actually think changing the voting system would harm more than help the girls. Limited votes on The Voice made that all the girls needed to be saved by their judges while guys could easily advance through popular votes.

    I believe that fans powervoting Jessica and Hollie kept them alive for so long, while the casual viewer was more voting for P2 or even the always praised Joshua.

  • djafan

    I stopped watching AI for several reasons.  The blatant manipulations, the standing O’s for poor performances, telling everyone you’re the best ever, you’re in it to win it etc…  The judging is a joke.  The non idol guests I don’t care to see or hear.  I watched the show for the contestants and if they brought them back to perform aside from the 3 of 4 they bring back every year, get some real judges, not cruel ones but some that offer honest positive critiques I’m sure many who have dumped AI might watch again.

  • http://twitter.com/MissGolightly22 No Thanks

    “There’s no way the winner can confidently claim a mandate when the
    person who gets the majority of votes isn’t necessarily favored by the
    majority of voters.  That shouldn’t be.”

    WORD.  One of these days I’d like to see the votes analyzed.  Sort the votes out by number of individual voters and see who gets more.

    Maybe they can do a weighted thing.  Each single votER counts and they every extra vote for the same contestant counts less and less. Or the simplest way – just put a friggin’ CAP on votes.

  • Anonymous

    So fire the judges AND Nigel. I was happy when he came back on season 10 because I believed that the edition got better because of him. But after this year’s auditions and Hollywood week, I realized I was wrong.

    They need someone who wants to take risks.

  • Guest

    I do think it would be dumb of Nigel not to do anything to tweak the show next year. If he isn’t willing to change anything, then him and Ken should both be fired. I want a show that I love to be improved.

  • Guest

    Don’t put Ken in charge, please.

  • Anonymous

    if they don’t make changes to the voting system, or announce they will have one male and one female winner, I’m out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=605898485 Jennine Nobile Keleman

    If a voice like Jessica Sanchez can NOT win IDOL, I have lost all hope for a female to win at all on this show. Yes, I know she mostly sang ballads all season but that is what the judges ADVISED her to do.  As for P2 in the success dept. I understand he thinks his coronation song “Home” is too pop for him and wants to have a jazz/rock sound. Yeah Phillip good luck with that genre of music hitting the Hot AC and AC waves. Not going to happen.

  • Anonymous

    I know, but at least we can feel that our votes make a difference. Not everyone can vote throughout 2 hours, and that’s why the cute guys keep winning, because their fanbase is more “dedicated”. If they win anyway, at least we will know that the majority thinks this way, and not only a select group.

    I loved me some Jessica, Elise, Joshua and Skylar  but I’m 21 years old and there’s no way I’m going to spend 2 hours of my life voting on American Idol, lol.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t say that, lol. Ken is horrible, we know that :P

  • Devin Harper

    “Nigel Lythgoe Doesn’t Give a Damn WhO Wins American Idol”

    LOL, yeah Nigel. Sure……

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    I would have no objections to “firing” at least one judge and replace him/her with a judge from “The Sing-Off.”  The charm of new judges has worn off.

  • Hazehel

    Would your next season truly be less interesting if by January we were all talking about S11’s successes rather than muddling over numbers that show it’s getting harder for Idols to break in the biz?

    Judging by the way Jessica is selling, then the last question is based on a false premise. Phillip Phillips is the kind of people viewers want, the most popular, the ones who sells. Trying to push for people who won’t sell isn’t going to help Idol. (Edited because I read it wrong first time.)

  • Anonymous

    Some changes id like to see:
    1) The voting system MUST be changed. 10 votes per line? heres why I doubt they will do anything about the voting. They pride themselves every finale “we have a record breaking ## votes this year”..they wont get that if you limit the voting. Its a shame because if they don’t fix it we wont see another female winner.
    2) All three judges need to go. None of them seem to care too much about actually judging. You know its bad when one thinks “over the top” is a good thing, and another one’s vocabulary only consist of “dawg”, “In it to win it” and “you can sing the phonebook”. I would replace them with Jimmy, Adam lambert, and Shania Twain. Jimmy might be bad at picking songs for contestants but he was the only honest one on the show this year. I think what the show really needs is a judge that knows what the singers are going thru. Thats where Adam comes in. He’s been in theyre position and def has no problem speaking his mind. and Shania twain was a great mentor and would be a great judge.

  • Lovesyesha

    I agree that the problem with the show is the lack of diversity in the winners. Each season has become predictable and predictability = boring. If things were more interested, more people would watch. For instance, I remember during the first two or three weeks of the live rounds, Hollie and Jessica (and Skylar and Elise) a little bit, got a lot of press attention, at least in my area, with people saying how there might finally be an all-female finale for the first time since season 3. Then, after Hollie and Elise repeatedly hit the bottom, and Jessica was almost kicked out, the news on idol dwindled and I feel it was because people began realizing a phillip win was almost inevitable and tuned out. The show desperately needs a different type of winner (and speaking frankly I mean a minority or a girl), or more and more people will grow bored and stop watching.

  • http://twitter.com/raya4 raya

    I’m with Slezak and Melinda in that a big fat no to seeing Jimmy Iovine on the judging panel.  I don’t mind his pithy comments, but seriously, the guy’s comments are edited within an inch of their life.  I think he would be awful if expected to give comments off the cuff.  Heck, the guy can’t even remember Jennifer’s name in taped critiques.  Basically, I feel like Jimmy just combs the internet (or the producers do) and he regurgitates the feedback.

    Am I arguing that the show shouldn’t rethink the voting? No, I think they should. I wanted to vote for Jessica finale night and maybe got in a few votes, but I had no desire to vote for hours on end. Am I arguing that Nigel shouldn’t do some tweaking in the off season? Of course he should. But more viewers are going to tune out, or at least the ratings will go down, because the show is freaking old. Ratings will trend down unless Nielsen suddenly revamps the ratings system because just about all ratings are going down. I will never believe that ratings are only down solely because of the WGWG dealio (and I hate that term!)

  • http://twitter.com/Fanchez318 Jessicas Street Team

    And if they must crown a guy next year… Please cast a Chris Brown or Justin Timberlake, someone like Johnny Keyser even. A white male with an R&B voice. No more of these rocks in their throat guitar strummers who can’t hold a single note to save their lives.

  • http://twitter.com/Fanchez318 Jessicas Street Team

    And Jessica is selling fine. Her single is not burning up the charts because Idol practically advertised it as utter trash. Her contemplation album spent most of the past week in the top 10.

  • Anonymous

    Fox has 10 hours of prime-time to fill every week. Nigel just gave his bosses the 3 most expensive, non-sports, hours of advertising on television. And he did it for months.

     All of the non-stop, never ending, 5 in a row (cause I can’t tell Phil and Scotty apart, can you?) bitching and moaning in the world doesn’t change that.

  • Anonymous

    I am of the unpopular opinion that I do not care if anything gets changed. I’ve loved the show from day one and will watch ’til the last. I don’t NEED a girl to win again ever. But, I also don’t NEED a boy to win ever again. If it’s six more boys or six more girls as the next six winners, so be it. I do have favorites every season, but in the end, I honestly don’t care who wins, male or female. I don’t think one ever deserves it over another because I just think those who make it to the end have worked hard to show us what they’ve got so let the votes fall where they may.

    I don’t think that Idol will ever drastically change the voting system. In fact, I think that is the worst thing they could do. 

    Uncle Nige gives me the creeps and I think he’s an ass most of the time, but I do agree with him about Ruben and how the record companies give them the absolute wrong crap to sing. I also agree that their focus is on putting on a good show. Haven’t we all said that before? It’s a TV show for entertainment first, a show about musical artists second (or third or fourth.)

    Finally, I think the ratings drop is mostly due to the age of the show and really not much else.

    For what it’s worth, I think the X Factor production pretty much sucked and frankly I am leery of giving it another shot, but I probably will. I’m a glutton for punishment. Having watched two seasons of The Voice is proof.

  • http://twitter.com/Fanchez318 Jessicas Street Team

     Girl Bye… Jessica is selling fine. Her contemplation album was in the top 10 for most of this week. Her single did not move units because the idol judges made sure the public viewed it as garbage. Phillips single is only selling because of win hype and the judges creaming their panties over it claiming it the best thing since sliced bread.

  • Anonymous

    Say what you want about Nigel, but he puts on a fantastic television show.

  • http://twitter.com/Fanchez318 Jessicas Street Team

     The hell did he want Rueben to record for his album? Luther covers? Yeah, lets give Nigel the steering wheel.

  • Anonymous

    How about casting some viable black, Asian, hispanic, etc… contenders… male and female. Josh, DeAndre, and Jessica were a great mix for this season. But Jacob, Lil, Big Mike, HeeJun, Stefano, Jermaine Sellers, and many more had 0 chance of winning their respective seasons. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarolH222 Carol Howard

    I have some thoughts for Nygel, really the only thing that can make the show more exciting are the contestants.  Take the emphasis away from spotlighting the judges and their many projects, quit letting them become the show. Most people don’t give a rats hind end about the judges. When did Simon, Paula, or Randy perform with the contestants or by themselves?  Get mentors that really want to mentor and not just showcase their often worn out talent. Let the contestants do their thing without so much help. They used to develop as the season progessed and you saw which ones had the ability to develop on their own and which ones did not. Now they seem like a Broadway staged production from practically day one. A little less emphasis on the instruments and more on the singing/performing. 
    The show will be as exciting as the contestants are and actually there are not that many exciting entertainers around. Good talented singers yes but not all that exciting. Been a few years since I remember an exciting contestant.
    And tell the judges to get real and quit acting like every other performance is the greatest since sliced bread. Cause they’re not.
    And bring back the more crazy auditions where folks just wanted to get on camera. Quit worrying about if someone feelings are hurt. If they are that easily hurt they shouldn’t be there. The crazy auditions are what drew folks to the show in the first place.

  • shell29

    Phillip Phillips is the kind of people viewers want

    He’s definitely the kind that Idol viewers/voters want, that’s for sure.  That’s why we’ve had five white male winners in a row.

    Judging by the way Jessica is selling, then the last question is based on a false premise.

    Let’s see how Jessica sells when she releases new music later this year, not cover tunes or what everyone seems to agree was a crummy coronation single (whether she chose or Jimmy chose it-it doesn’t matter).  I’m betting the story will be much different later on this summer/fall.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SYFK77IYLRQIVATQ2MJKSW2J7Y Pam

    I can see where Nigel is coming from for the most part, but successful winners do make the show look more legitimate and boost its credibility.  I think the show could stand a few changes such as shortening the length of the results shows (less filler), fewer audition episodes, and maybe replace a judge or two but even with all of that, I still love the show and I am addicted.  lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharilbus Sharil Brown

    Well Nigel I like you and I don’t care if no one else does. lol

    Maybe our white guys keep winning because america is tired of half naked girls screaming their songs.  For me personally Jessica hurts my ears when she sang with all her high notes that sounded like screams.   The pop music world seems to be flooded with girls anyway. 

  • shell29

    How about casting some viable black, Asian, hispanic, etc… contenders… male and female.

    IMO they have!  But if you have one prototypical WGWG in the mix, the game might as well be over.  They can’t compete against that-Phil Phillips is proof of that.  I thought maybe, just maybe, someone like Jessica or Josh might have a chance but after the coronation of Phillip I officially give up.  I’ll look to X Factor for some diversity (I know The Voice has had to BG winners in a row but I still think Jermaine winning was a fluke).

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    I actually sort of agree with him in that I think this show has an idoit proof format. Something about it doesn’t fail to get people interested in and then connected to the contestants, so much so they will keep watching no matter what kind of annoying craziness goes on around the singers.

    As for the down ratings, anyone who has  followed their evolution knows
    that almost all of it came from the first episode decline from season 10
    to season 11, So it’s not on Season 11 but what happened between
    seasons and the most blatant things that happened are X Factor and The
    Voice.

    Agreed. This year’s drop had nothing to do with this year. This year actually held the interest of people who tuned in at the start at a fairly normal level despite a bumpy patch.

    On the other hand, they have oodles of singing show competition now, and the same winner problem could really bite them in the ass *next* year. They need to 1. encourage new people to watch (or old watchers to return) AND 2. expand the number of people who actually vote to make any dent in that problem.

  • Karen C

    I believe that fans powervoting Jessica and Hollie kept them alive for so long, while the casual viewer was more voting for P2 or even the always praised Joshua.

     
    This could very well be true, and I think the Itunes sales being higher for P2 means he did have an audience.   That’s why I think the effects of power voting are minimal, because the winner almost always has the highest itunes sales. 

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/AdorablyHooked Gwen

    I’m interested in those voting tweaks, for sure. The voting is fun, and an intricate part of the show. Otherwise, I don’t know that there is much to be done.

  • Karen C

    If they didn’t cast a WGWG, being that is the type that a big enough segment of the audience likes enough to vote for the past few years, it might be that the ratings would go down further.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with every point you made. 

    Seasons 1-5 =  New, fresh, entertaining, real, authentic and talented. 
    Seasons 6-11 = Dull, same, repetative, manufactured & manipulative.

  • Anonymous

    Who watches tv in the traditional way anymore–on a television, on the day and at the time that a program is aired?  This is not a show that works served cold.  Only those who watch in real time can vote.  I don’t think they can do anything to change their downward spiral except  reward  families and friends who gather for viewings,  play up the family entertainment bit.  They could also change it to world idol to dilute the southern vote.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MJAJM4DY7IOJQBI2LVYIAXJK5M Mick

    I can’t see myself tuning in next year unless they get someone like Ben Folds on the judges panel, or I hear amazing things about the cast. 

    I feel like a lot of the fun has been sucked out of the show. The competition aspect has faded and it’s about who will come in second to this season’s WGWG. I hope the people who enjoy those singers keep on enjoying them and the show, but I’m going to look elsewhere for my singing show entertainment.

  • Larc

    Nigel:

    We never really had one person win two weeks running.

    That’s very interesting, but hard to believe.  If true, though, it means Jessica got the most votes in Top 3.  Since I doubt Joshua’s fans voted en masse for P2 on Top 2 night, it also seems likely the combination of Jessica’s poor song choices and P2’s “Home” tilted the balance.  Maybe P2 wasn’t the predestined winner after all.

  • http://twitter.com/therocprince Cory ??

    Nigel is full of you know what…

  • Anonymous

     You seem to have, wisely, purged the sight of Paula’s train wreck performance pandering her dance single.  I wish I could . . .

  • Anonymous

    I know a lot of people that no longer watch Idol, and when I mention the show to them not one of them has said they stopped because of the similarities in recent winners. Some have switched to The Voice and some say they just lost interest in it after so long. The longevity of the show as well as the glut of singing competitions are what’s really hurting the ratings.
    BTW if PP sells a gazillion records should Idol still try to prevent another WGWG from winning? Things to ponder…….

  • Larc

    I can’t see myself tuning in next year unless they get someone like Ben
    Folds on the judges panel, or I hear amazing things about the cast.

    I could definitely live with Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman judging.  Add a qualified new female (not Sara Bareilles) to complete the set.

  • Chris

    I would argue that P2 wasn’t even the most talented white guy from S11. Going back to the Hollywood rounds, there were better voices.

  • Hazehel

    That’s very interesting, but hard to believe.  If true, though, it means Jessica got the most votes in Top 3.  

    I think Nigel meant no one won two weeks running leading to the finale (which is why he couldn’t predict who’d get to the finale).  Jessica wasn’t likely to have the most votes in Top 3, because she was likely the top vote-getting in Top 4 (she got the pimp spot with a big song).   Phillip was likely to have been the top vote-getter on Top 3 and Top 2.

  • koshka

    Don’t worry Nigel…I’m not sure I care who wins either. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=34307244 Shana Collier

    I totally agree.  I was beginning to think I ONLY liked WGWGs.  And though they are still some of my favorites, I LOVED Josh and Deandre this year.  Apparently, my taste is alot more diverse when there are actually diverse contenders! 

  • http://twitter.com/therocprince Cory ??

    He could be telling the truth, and the bottom 2 or 3 hasn’t been the actual bottom 2 or 3. I believe they did that a few times, just like I believe Jessica’s elimination was a pre-discussed fraud and attempt for a ratings increase for the following week after the SHOCKER.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=34307244 Shana Collier

    No denying that Season 5 was probably the best.  However, I personally thought Seasons 7 & 8 were among the top.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=34307244 Shana Collier

    Good point.  I’m about as obsessed with American Idol as they come, but I would get home at 11pm Wednesday nights right when the voting was closed.

  • TheOther

    A girl winning would only mean anything if they can sell.  And Scotty scored a platinum album.

    The ITunes sales are a somber reality of that.  Phillip’s songs have done very well, without him doing a lot of promo.  I can see a song like Home being very popular. 

    He’s selling because he has a more diverse library of songs; instead of the same old numbers that have been performed and performed on Idol.

     

  • DragonFly

    Don’t trust any of the voting results &, if I did, of course those voting all night are making it happen their way, so a single vote or 2 from the rest of Americans are worthless.  Who wins—the ones “Happy Fingers” make win. 

  • Anonymous

    The biggest problem with the show is the screwed up voting system. They should have fixed this years ago to not allow unlimited voting.

    Other changes :

    (1) allow contestants to sing their original material at least one week (the coronation songs should also be allowed to be material written or co-written by the contestant themselves)
    (2) clear more songs and eliminate the ones that have been covered too death
    (3) get rid of the save; if someone is voted off, too bad
    (4) make the performance shows one hour and the results shows 1/2 hour. WAY too much filler (the finale can stay 2 hours)
    (5) get younger judges who are connected to the current music scene; these can be songwriters, artists, producers, label execs, music journalists, radio djs, whatever; I don’t care, as long as they are youngish (say 45 or younger) & are truly connected to what’s going on in music
    (6) keep the focus on the contestants & away from the judges

  • chili1000

    American Idol is still the best show out there in my opinion.  The only changes I would like to see are:

    1.  I wouldn’t mind it if they got rid of the save
    2.  Limit the voting
    3.  More and more current song choices.

    But I love that the focus is on the contestants and not on the judges.  That should NOT change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Li-Wright/100001622678180 Li Wright

    Valentin, I for one am sick of learning about how FOX intercepts decisions and takes control of a show and tells them what to do.  Nigel is right.  Fox needs to butt out and let Nigel do the show the best he can.  He’s the producer, not Fox.  As for the ratings, he’s right again.  And we read today there’s yet ANOTHER singing show coming on board!  Oy vay!  Stop it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Li-Wright/100001622678180 Li Wright

    The Great XL:  I didn’t get tired of it.  I think it improved — except when it tried to stage like XF.  There’s nothing wrong with Idol….what’s wrong is that there are a zillion singing shows on TV and how long do you think the new ones will last?  Not 11 seasons.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WIHKL34XDORTS2UZP4SWUUTG3U randi

     

    David Cook and Scotty are the same? That’s news to me. Its not like
    Scotty winning was like Lee or David winning all over again.

    why does this concept of WGWG seem so difficult for some people to grasp?  It doesn’t matter if musically they are completely different.  To the average Idol viewer they are the same.  They are young, cute, white and they strum a guitar, be it acoustic or electric, same difference. 

    The average idol viewer doesn’t buy the music after the show is over so they have no clue what kind of artist most of these contestants turn out to be nor do they care.  What they see is the same “winner” five years running and I think they are bored, even if they are the ones who keep voting for him. 

    I’ve been a viewer since Season 1 and I can promise Nigel I won’t be watching Season 12 because I have no desire to see another season that’s so predictable that I can pick the winner right out of the top 30/24 which is what I did two years in a row. 

    Kris winning was a fluke and had really nothing to do with the WGWG other than he was a convenient alternative to the more subversive choice.  Lee winning set the stage for the mess that this show has become IMO.  Once a singer who couldn’t stay on key won it was all downhill for the show. 

    Scotty got lucky because he’s country and country sells.  Philip won’t be that lucky and we’ll see Kris/Lee sales again and all credibility the show thought the recaptured with Scotty will be lost. 

  • Ringo

    I kind of agree — it’s curious that Nigel appears to be so open to change on his dance show but appear to be so unwilling to change on AI.  I think a change in voting to eliminate power voting, and to introduce a form of vote with your pocket book on ITunes would be smart.  I also hate the extended Vegas rounds and prefer the round by round elimination of talent pre-top 12/13.
     
    But the judges are the one part of the show that causes me not to watch the show live.  As I understood it, the idea of the show’s judges was to have record executives or producers give performers feedback as if we were sitting behind the scenes at the record company.  At least that’s how I understood Randy (producer) and Simon’s (producer/promotor) roles and later Kara’s (a song-writer)  — insiders with experience in evaluating talent.  Paula was for entertainment, I guess. 

    Randy has proved himself to be a fool and completely uselss.  Simon/Paula/Kara have been replaced by two Paulas — Jlo and Steven.  I would love to replace all of them with some smarter, relevant insiders who have no ulterior agenda — like promoting their own careers outside of the show.  Jimmy would be a nice start, even if I disagree with him.  Or, if you go with entertainers, pick some bright ones with an edge — not bobbleheads too weak to critique or too much into self promoting to critique. 

  • Kurt Samuels

    The ratings have dipped for many of the reasons mentioned, however I believe the chief reason is that too many of us with years and years of experience realize who is going to win very early on in the competition (one of the best looking white males whether he’s the best singing talent or not).  As a result, why even attempt to follow the show regularly and/or develop contestant loyalty.  It’s been a forgone conclusion that a female no longer stands a chance of winning based on the voting system.  So that is perfectly clear, it means that the overwhelming percentage of young male voters are NOT going to spend hours and hours voting for their favorites.  Whereas the females will and do week in and week out.  This year and its results are a perfect example!  Phillips, based on real singing talent, didn’t even belong in the finals.  His pitch throughout the competition was terrible (something the esteemed judging panel never really call him on … not that it would have mattered), he possesses absolutely no vocal range whatsoever, and he sang every song exactly the same … with the same goofy expressions, same leg lifts, same type changes to the melody, etc., etc., etc.   Every year the execs talk about changes probably need to be made to the voting system, but they never do and probably won’t.  Regardless of the ratings dips, the show is still highly successful and profitable.

  • Anonymous

    You seem to be making two different points here. Is it the fact that similar types have won five years in a row that is affecting the show, or is it that the last few winners (excepting Scotty) have underperformed post show?
    As I asked upthread, if PP sells a boatload of records, does the show keep the credibility it regained with Scotty (your words, not mine)?
    It seems if Phillip does well then people will have voted with their wallets as well as their phones. If some viewers don’t like it well there are certainly plenty of other singing shows to go to.

  • Karen C

      why does this concept of WGWG seem so difficult for some people to grasp? It doesn’t matter if musically they are completely different. To the average Idol viewer they are the same. They are young, cute, white and they strum a guitar, be it acoustic or electric, same difference.

    Saying they are all alike even though they did different styles of music is like saying Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, and Jordin Sparks are all alike because they did R&B on the show.

    The average idol viewer doesn’t buy the music after the show is over so they have no clue what kind of artist most of these contestants turn out to be nor do they care.

    Scotty got lucky because he’s country and country sells. Philip won’t be that lucky and we’ll see Kris/Lee sales again and all credibility the show thought the recaptured with Scotty will be lost.

    But if the average viewer doesn’t follow the show afterwards as you said, they won’t base their credibility on how much the post idol albums sell.  They will base their credibility on if they enjoy the show or not. 

  • too-cool-for-school

    we’ll see Kris/Lee sales again and all credibility the show thought the recaptured with Scotty will be lost.

    I respect that if that is your opinion, but it’s kinda early to make such an absolute statement, no? We don’t have much (or any) insight on exactly what music Phillip will wind up doing, how he will be promoted, etc. Maybe he will succeed, maybe he will flop. We just don’t know.

    Interscope has been supportive of Scotty and done pretty well jumpstarting his career, more than I feel like Jive ever was with Kris, or RCA with Lee. Times have changed in that way. I really don’t think it’s fair to write off P2 so quickly. This is one area where we can’t lump him in with the other WGWGs because we simply don’t know how he will really sell.

    For all we know, the credibility the show regained with Scotty’s success could continue with Phillip, which is my hope and I feel more confident in it happening than I did for Lee and even Kris, sadly.

  • Larc

    Phillip was likely to have been the top vote-getter on Top 3 and Top 2.

    If so, it would mean he got the most votes two weeks running.  Nigel claims that didn’t happen.

  • http://twitter.com/Fanchez318 Jessicas Street Team

     Nigel is a filthy liar. I don’t believe a word that comes out of the trolls mouth.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ACMLXLYSSX73RNYQOUZWSO2I4U Enough already!

    Just the sort of candid remarks these millionaires make when their future is assured.    It’s like Jlo saying she is not sure she is returning.   Sure she be in that seat if they beat the price X Factor paid Britney.   What’s so sad as most of these artists are struggling as the reality sing shows releases more people into the field.   This is beyond over kill these days and still more networks are jumping on the talent bandwagon.   Where does it stop?

  • Guest

    why does this concept of WGWG seem so difficult for some people to grasp?  It doesn’t matter if musically they are completely different.  To the average Idol viewer they are the same.  They are young, cute, white and they strum a guitar, be it acoustic or electric, same difference. 

    the average idol viewer doesn’t even know what a “WGWG” is. So the average idol viewer doesn’t think they are anything like each other. It’s like saying Carrie Underwood and Carly Smithson are the same.

    Bedsides, I wouldn’t even classify Scotty as a “guitar strummer.” He only played a few times and never used it to “flip” a song like the other 4 did.

    I’ve been a viewer since Season 1 and I can promise Nigel I won’t be watching Season 12

    Don’t make promises you can’t keep! :) People always say they aren’t watching, then they actually end up watching. Including myself :)

  • Anonymous

    “And I would  hope that next year we would take a look at that” (the voting system).  Yeah, right.  Any change there could upset the whole applecart. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2VARGQIN24JU2O3ZA5M4BVFKR4 Rudy Cruz

    I agree with you.  By the way, to Nigel, how do you explain when I call the line after half an hour it changes the recording.  When I re-dial and listen to the recording it says contestant #2 for Phillip and I dial 5701?  You can fool many but you can’t fool me.  I listen to th recording before redialing to make sure.  I am computer literate and it can be done by hackers or even you guys.   Thanks for Playing people.   Did Philip really win a good battle?  MMMMMM  I hope so….

  • Anonymous

    I agree. And Nigel always promises “HUGE changes”, then all we get is split up group performances.
     
    Which I enjoy, but he’s missing the bigger issues, lol.

  • milwlovesadam

    1) Change the voting

    2) Have judges judge. Not just praise. Critique. Give constructive advice. Not over-praise. Have judges actually know the songs in the original format so that they can judge if the contestant did anything new or unique.

    3) No more judges performances. No more self-pimping. It’s embarrassing. If the judges need to perform on TV to sell their own stuff, have a second show. Call it ” So You Think You Still Have A Career.”

    4) Have more former Idols back to mentor and perform. That’s who Idol audiences want to see more of. IMHO.

  • http://twitter.com/cheeseE1 EH

    I agree that it’s too soon to tell if Phillip’s win spells doom and gloom for Idol. We have no idea how much effort the label will put into him, what type of album he will make, etc. Cook and Kris might be struggling now, but I don’t think Phillip is really like either of them. Cook’s style of HAC music is pretty much gone from the airwaves and Kris’s style is overcrowded, so their problems are understandable. 

    If Interscope believes that  P2 has no talent, they can let him produce his pre-Idol songs for cheap, give him his minimum payoff, give him no promo, and dump him, while treating Jessica as the “real winner.”   However, since he’s only the second “WGWG” they’re getting to work with and he’s not in the same genre as Scotty, I think they’ll make a go of it (although if they don’t give ‘Home’ an adds date, I’ll start to wonder)

    This was the first season that I’ve really enjoyed since season 8.  I didn’t have a favorite for most of the season, but most of them (except Colton) grew on me a bit, and I even might go to the tour. I liked that the number of guys and girls stayed pretty equal and the diversity in the Top 3. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/galaga6846 Leah Hoffman

    I agree that a WGWG is symbolic of a rebellion of the average person again popular culture. Most people are tired of the female dominated, sexed up pop music that is shoved down our throats. That being said, JLo needs to go.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000487285329 Willis Dunlow

    It has crossed my mind that the REAL votes are not even used on Idol!?…Just a thought-you know, it has happened on game shows in  history where things were “rigged”. I just ponder cause tons of folks(even tv celebs) have said they could not believe Jessica did not win?(Kelly Ripa  said something like that even just today about could not believe she did not win)…and just in my personal life almost EVERYONE says it I come in contact with concerning Jessica?…again, just a weird thought I had….but think about past years also! Adam lost out…big success now!…Kat lost out-still very in the “now”…Clay had and still does have huge following..Jennifer made it big!..Daughtry?….ALL these “losers” to IDOL “winners” that don’t get half the attention they do???…SO-who REALLY is THE AMERICAN IDOLS????????????

  • revcat

    “So You Think You Can Still Have a Career” lol :)

  • Anonymous

    But please, Nigel. No more swinging chairs.  Don’t break your promise to never lose site of the kids.  Keeping the focus on the talent is what separates Idol from the imitators.

    I couldn’t agree more and I too hope it stays that way…it’s the kids that keep me tuning in, it is neither the judges nor the production that do that.

  • Anonymous

    I think Nigel must at least care who wins (and who stays week-per-week) American Idol cause it might help the show improve in different aspects like the following:

    1. Why do gravelly type female singers (like Haley, Elise, Allison) always have a hard type pulling the votes after performing and just barely survive week-per-week? What can he do to attract voters that like those kind of performers?
    2. Why do big voiced female singers are usually called robotic? Can he suggest mentors to make sure those kind of singers pick a song that they can let loose and show their strengths at the same time (but then again these are the people who gave Jessica songs that probably led to her demise and gave Phillip “Stand By Me” and let contestants sing songs that have been sung n-times already and even had a Whitney week when they say that DON’T. SING. WHITNEY.).
    3. Why do they let R&B/Soul/Gospel artist give more current songs than the old classics (even though they give “moments” in the contest), and why do they usually end up in 3rd place (Joshua, Melinda(I think, never watched S6)) even though they performed significally better than their other contestants? 
    4. Why do female “singer-songwriter, artist” types usually don’t fare better in the votes than their male counterparts? What kind of things they can do to make them “connect” more to the Idol audience?
    5. Why do male “singer-songwriter, artist” types usually get the core voting demo and what ways can they do to attract other demos to vote and at the same time feel that their votes do count? 

    Knowing who goes and who stays does help the show and thinking of ways to change it so that patterns that emerges every year (it is a TV show after all, and seeing a contestant similar to Cook and Lee – a gravelly sounding alt-rocker – and knowing that he is already a lock at the finale at the start, can be quite boring to the viewing experience) will not emerge.

  • Anonymous

    What they need to do is learn how to present young female singers properly and give them appropriate music to sing/move to – tired of seeing teenagers singing music made popular by women more than a decade older than they are, dressed in clothes their mothers would look good in. 

    Lots of young celebrity females out there who have millions of female fans – AI needs to channel these types and get up to date.

    The girls may need more TLC than the boys but Idol should seriously look at providing it…a female winner may not be guaranteed in any case but they would at least have a fighting chance. To be honest, I don’t see any woman over 25 yrs old max winning, with or without a WGWG.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarolH222 Carol Howard

    There was one other thing I wanted to add to my previous comment. And maybe the most important. People watch this show and vote , I think more than any other reason because they care who wins. Or at least they used to care.
    MAKE WINNING SPECIAL!  When the producers or whoever decide to give more push and attention to someone other than the winner, they degrade the whole idea of the show. Promote whoever they want but don’t neglect the winner. Winning has to be special or I just don’t care to watch or vote.

  • Anonymous

    It should not be a surprise that WGWGs win because covers always sound better with a guitar. Just go to your local coffeeshop. Heck, I have a guy on my street playing covers and I am sure as hell that he’d win Idol. 

    Meanwhile, straight up singers, even if they change the key, slow down songs, sing upbeat will always be called karaoke.AI’s a joke. Will still watch but won’t get invested anymore.

  • Hazehel

    If so, it would mean he got the most votes two weeks running.  Nigel claims that didn’t happen.

    As I have already explained, he probably meant no one person won two weeks running PRIOR to the finale (he was explaining why he couldn’t predict the Top 2 finalists), so that would exclude the finale.

    I actually agree with much that he said, many fans like to imagine that he is some kind of master manipulator to explain away why their favorite didn’t win, but in truth, he is just out to make good TV that people would want to watch, and he has been very successful in that as far as Idol goes.  There hasn’t been another TV show that is as successful as American Idol.

  • Anonymous

    I always laugh at people who think the show would be better with more current music. What should the contestants be singing? “Sexy & I Know It”? What’s hitting the charts right now is house inspired bubblegum music that doesn’t give a singer much to work with (and it will only be worst next year because it looks like boy bands are coming back and their songs while fun and catchy are never that deep). Songs by Usher and Chris Brown work live because they’re great performers. A shy church raised kid that trys out for Idol just doesn’t have the moves, and otherwise those songs don’t give a singer much to work with. And if the current music you’re thinking about is more alternative, well, it’s not like Mumford & Sons has had a Top Ten hit.

    American Idol has done well because many generations can watch it. In many ways, they’ve kept alive some great music and I’m glad they do it!

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    I believe Adam will be too busy with his career, making records, and touring.  I would like him to mentor next year.  Melinda Doolittle has done a good job commenting on Idol.  Maybe she would be a good judge?  At least one judge needs to go next season. She’s a former finalist and would probably be more honest than JLo has been.

  • koshka

    A yeah.. I think you should turn the radio on. There is more out there than bubblegum pop and more of it hits the 20 top than you think.Even bubblegum pop sounds better than sung well than another theme week or Neil Diamond. Its also not just songs in the past year.. performing songs frequently from the past decade would be nice.

  • Anonymous

    I think judges critiques are difficult in a season like this one, when so many of the contestants were so talented.  If criticism had been more severe, anyone flawed at all would have taken a constant beating.  I think women are critiqued more than men, particularly older women:  I would like to see them spread the wealth.  Letting P2 off during his bad week was unconscionable.  I think the guy looked and felt terrible, but they could have noted that in saying it was not a good performance.

  • Anonymous

    Kelly Ripa should shut up; she can (aand should) praise Jessica without dissing the actual winner.  While she may be a fan, you can bet your bippee she did not spend the night power voting.

  • Anonymous

    There were very viable minority contestants this year; Joshua and Jessica  were both incredibly talented.  You can not affirmative action a talent show:  if you do, no one will watch (including me) and there will be on line brawls between races (there already are).

  • Anonymous

    The WGWG category is so broad now, that Bieber or Timberlake would be considered WGWGs.  Scotty wasn’t one, except that he was white.  It was almost an aberration that he was country.

    Oh dear, I seem to be late to the party and alone here. Oops.

  • Mateja Praznik

     Why would anyone in their right mind spend the night power voting?

  • Anonymous

    Is there any such thing as a tv show these days whose ratings are not dropping? Has there ever — ever — been an 11-year-old tv show whose ratings didn’t drop? ….

    Put those two things together and I’m not sure there’s a whole lot they *can* do. People crave something new (even if what’s old is great) and people are watching less and less tv these days. …. None of that is Nigel’s fault, I must say (even though I want to smack him a lot of the time. heh)

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    the average idol viewer doesn’t even know what a “WGWG” is. So the
    average idol viewer doesn’t think they are anything like each other.

    Not true. WGWG trended wordwide when Phillip won. LOL. There have been a slew of articles written about it. And this is purely anecdotal, but my friends and family, who do not visit message boards, talk about it whenever Idol comes up. This is not a “bubble” thing.

    You can not affirmative action a talent show:  if you do, no one will watch (including me)

    The irony of that statement is that is *exactly* the perception of what we have now. In a field of qualified candidates, one particular type seems to be granted an advantage in terms of who lands the job. And of course, if a minority or woman was ever to win this show again, there will be cries of how Idol pushed this person to win in order to be “PC” and how unfair it was to the other “better” candidate… just like it was with Ruben and Fanny, just like the rumblings around Jessica when it looked like she might actually win. LOL. Oh well.

    Anyway, it remains to be seen if people stop watching over it or if they merely become more detached from the show and give up voting.

  • Anonymous

     “The WGWG category is so broad now, that Bieber or Timberlake would be
    considered WGWGs.  Scotty wasn’t one, except that he was white.  It was
    almost an aberration that he was country.”

    LOL.

    WGWG definition: A white guy with a guitar.  So, a white guy who sings and plays the guitar is a WGWG. 

    Not sure why Scotty wasn’t a WGWG.  As you pointed out, he is white.  He is a guy.  And as far as I know, he knew how to play the guitar before auditioning for Idol and played it while in Idol.

    A woman, for example, is close, particularly if she is white and plays the guitar (like Skyler this season or Brooke White (S7?)).  But she will never be a WGWG (unless she pulls a Chaz Bono). 

    A black guy is close, particularly if he plays the guitar.  But, you guessed it, he is not white.

  • Anonymous

    It is unfortunate the dialog around winners has degenerated to the point that it has, but if the producers ever parsed contestants by race, the entire contest would become unpleasant:  I don’t really think they do that, nor do I think they should. The dialog around Jessica became unpleasant from a couple of sides, including one that said the result was discrimination against her and another that kvetched because the Phillipines voted.  I don’t seriously think it was discrimination and I do not care about the votes from abroad.

    This is a no win situation.  The producers will get creamed if they attempt to change the result; better to let the American public vote in a very flawed system.  This ain’t a presidential run, it is a dumb contest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/virginia.banker.7 Virginia Banker

    One thing about American Idol is the young girls are voting. For the last 5 seasons I was able to name the winner. What they should do is let the singers should pick there own songs. The judges should not show favors to just one person.(should not stand up like they did.)If they are going to stand up for some one then they should do it for the ones that they say great things about. If you look back at some of the weeks you will see it. Now that would be one way that person might not get a lots of votes. And I hate screaming. They should have more Idols perform then any one else.

  • Karen C

    One thing about American Idol is the young girls are voting.

    I don’t think it’s just young girls voting, because the genres that the last 5 winners represent aren’t genres that are popular now among young girls.  I think there are a lot of adults that like rock or country voting now.

  • Anonymous

    Last year there was a lot of talk about the reason for WGWGs winning wasn’t so much the teens as it was their moms.  Apparently, the WGWGs are the type of kid moms would like as a son, or as a boyfriend for their daughters, or for themselves. 
    Not sure if I believe it, as it is hard to imagine a grown woman power-texting votes, or even dialing more than 10 times for someone.  But, if they join the tweens and become another group for WGWGs, even if they only vote a few times, there is really no hope for a girl to win.

  • Anonymous

    People make the show about the judges when they talk about how the judges don’t give good critiques.  I don’t actually have the sound turned on when they start talking or I fast forward past them when I can..

    I don’t actually belive any viewer is a slave to what the judges say.  No one lookes to the judges to guide their vote.  No real person does that!

  • Kurt Samuels

    Wrong!  Star struck teenagers do, and so do many others when the seed is planted in their mind that one or two contestants are overly praised and given standing ovations when they didn’t deserve them (Phillips for example).  And, by the same token, when Hollie (for example) was constantly ridden about being a bit pitchy week after week, yet Phillips who was NEVER in tune was never called out for it … only praised.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YRZ4ZGB4QBWUETLKEZH4TFHWXY Sigh…

    Or at least make sure they actually have talent, and some semblance of range. Nobody would say boo about WGWGs if their singing ability was actually up to snuff.  I know they have their fans, but critically they have been widely panned and commercially they flop. It might also help if the judges held them up to the same standards rather than giving them a pass on poor singing.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, they’ve all gotten the exact same scores for their singing on WNTS (they haven’t) and said scores have always been poor to middling (they haven’t).  And they’ve all received the exact same critical reviews of their albums (they haven’t), and the exact same sales records (they haven’t).

    They may share some portion of a single voting block but they are not all the same contestant or the same person in the media market.

  • Anonymous

    Melinda Doolittle has done a good job commenting on Idol.  Maybe she would be a good judge?  At least one judge needs to go next season. She’s a former finalist and would probably be more honest than JLo has been.

    Just don’t expect her to keep her butt in her seat when someone sings. :)

    Melinda Doolittle watches Joshua Ledet sing

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry you feel that way.