A repeat of The Big Bang Theory got higher ratings than X Factor in the demo during its half hour. That’s sad.  The finale  was down 18 percent from Season 1, and down 37% from The Voice finale.  Entertainment Weekly predicts The Voice could topple American Idol as TV’s highest rated entertainment series when both shows go head to head next year.

VIA TV By The Numbers

On FOX, the finale of The X Factor earned a 3.1, up  from last week’s 2.4, but  down seven tenths from last year’s 3.8 adults 18-49 rating.

8:00PM

FOX The X Factor (8-10PM) 3.1 9 9.646
CBS The Big Bang Theory -R 2.8 9 10.923
NBC A White House Christmas 1.6 5 8.462
ABC I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown -R 1.4 4 5.116
CW The Vampire Diaries -R 0.3 1 0.983

8:30PM

CBS Two and a Half Men -R 2.3 7 8.73

9:00PM

CBS Person Of Interest -R 1.7 5 9.377
ABC CMA Country Christmas (9-11PM) 1.5 4 7.28
NBC The Office -R 1.0 3 3.108
CW Beauty And The Beast -R 0.3 1 0.878

9:30 PM

NBC Parks and Recreation -R 0.8 2 2.098

10:00 PM

CBS Elementary -R 1.3 4 6.753
NBC Rock Center With Brian Williams 0.8 2 3.50

Half Hour Breakdown from Marc Berman

8:00 p.m.

ABC – I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (R)
Viewers: 4.95 million (#4), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#4)

CBS – The Big Bang Theory (R)
Viewers: 10.92 million (#1), A18-49: 2.8/ 9 (#1)

NBC – White House Christmas: First Families Remember
Viewers: 8.22 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#3)

Fox – The X Factor (season finale)
Viewers: 8.46 million (#2), A18-49: 2.7/ 8 (#2)

CW – The Vampire Diaries (R)
Viewers: 1.06 million (#5), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#5)

———-

8:30 p.m.

ABC – I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (R)
Viewers: 5.28 million (#4), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#4)

CBS – Two and a Half Men (R)
Viewers: 8.73 million (#2), A18-49: 2.3/ 7 (#2)

NBC – White House Christmas: First Families Remember
Viewers: 8.71 million (#3), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#3)

Fox – The X Factor (season finale)
Viewers: 9.44 million (#1), A18-49: 3.0/ 9 (#1)

CW – The Vampire Diaries (R)
Viewers: 910,000 (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)

———-

9:00 p.m.

ABC – CMA Country Christmas
Viewers: 7.76 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#3)

CBS – Person of Interest (R)
Viewers: 9.42 million (#2), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#2)

NBC – The Office (R)
Viewers: 3.11 million (#4), A18-49: 1.0/ 3 (#4)

Fox – The X Factor (season finale)
Viewers: 9.88 million (#1), A18-49: 3.1/ 9 (#1)

CW – Beauty and the Beast (R)
Viewers: 890,000 (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)

———-

9:30 p.m.

ABC – CMA Country Christmas
Viewers: 7.37 million (#3), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#3)

CBS – Person of Interest (R)
Viewers: 9.33 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#2)

NBC – Parks and Recreation (R)
Viewers: 2.10 million (#4), A18-49: 0.8/ 2 (#4)

Fox – The X Factor (season finale)
Viewers: 10.80 million (#1), A18-49: 3.4/ 9 (#1)

CW – Beauty and the Beast (R)
Viewers: 865,000 (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)

———-

10:00 p.m.

ABC – CMA Country Christmas
Viewers: 7.26 million (#1), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#1)

CBS – Elementary (R)
Viewers: 6.99 million (#2), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#2)

NBC – Rock Center With Brian Williams
Viewers: 3.22 million (#3), A18-49: 0.8/ 2 (#3)

———-

10:30 p.m.

ABC – CMA Country Christmas
Viewers: 6.73 million (#1), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#1t)

CBS – Elementary (R)
Viewers: 6.52 million (#2), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#1t)

NBC – Rock Center With Brian Williams
Viewers: 3.78 million (#3), A18-49: 0.9/ 3 (#3)

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

 
  • samuelgrant

    I don’t believe for a second that The Voice will top Idol. Idol will be well into the live shows by the time The Voice premiers. Plus, both of the new coaches look TERRIBLE, especially Usher.

  • Klaine

    Good riddance to one awful season.  Simon seems to have lost his touch…Not sure if hes smart enough (or gotten too cocky) to save this show.  (I expected him to tell Fifth Harmony that 1D came in third and look at them; I wonder if he will sign them or if hes better off promoting Little Mix internationally at this point…)  Im curious at which UK acts get the US promotion.  Theyre few and far between. Even though Rebecca and Olly eventually got some releases here, they really werent pushed like 1D and Cher Lloyd.  But also social marketing is huge these days, esp since those young girls are the ones who seem to buy the most music.  THey couldnt care less if 1D could sing or not (and they seem to be able to)…Its funny in a comment yesterday someone said 5H wasnt really singing as all we heard were the background singers and I Noticed that big time this week…but also doing 2 repeat songs was stupid. I was disappointed that finale didnt have som eof hte finalists doing their own songs like Idol does.  But they had many finalists (yes Paige you are one of them) who couldnt sign on tune.  I was also disappointed by the Carly/Tate duet as it seemed they were just singing separately.  I remember last year Melanie and Josh really singing to and with each other and really showing their bond.  But that might be hard for a 37 year old and a girl whose young enough to be his daughter 

  • Larc

    NBC is being greedy by adding a second outing of The Voice within a single season.  If they get what they deserve, it will fail miserably.

  • alonzo7

    I am not looking forward to a second Vocie show so soon after this one-takes the anticipation out of it plus the show is changing two of the judges-too much of a good thing.  I only want one singing competition at a time-not counting XFactor as I’ve taken that of my watch list-just too painfull.

  • Klaine

    I think Simon really shot  himself in the foot by doing the weekly rankings.  It left very little suspense (although 5H beating E3 was a bit surprise, but Simon is going to push the boys more regardless as he already said theyd be signed)…With Carly and Tate being 1/2 every week it was pretty obvious who would be the 2 finalists, esp with FH being down further.  And Tate seemed to have the momentum- winning over Carly lately…Tate had to go into the favorite even though carly had a slight chance…I kinda figured Tate would win. The suspense just wasnt there.  And it happened week to week- We always knew the 3 acts or so that would be likely to go…and the top people would be safe – except for Vino who I still think shouldve been saved but it seemed Simon/Demi had something against him…I thought he was great.  I really like that a 37 year old won…if he can have some success, it will really show that ‘anything can happen’ an dthat older people can still try.  Susan Boyle proved that too.  Its nice to think talent will win over midriffs and cleavage (yes again you Paige and autotune could give you a career).  Also interesting that Britney didnt sing (she doesnt sing live anyway) but they could have had her and will.i.am there…or had her duet with Carly…apparently LeAnn trashed her a bit but I really didnt think carly did well on the song…It almost fell like she was being sabotaged by TPTB to make sure Tate won.  (I even have to wonder if Simon knew ahead who would win…It doesnt look like he separates his mentor role from his EP/creator of the show role

  • http://twitter.com/happylittlefish Amy Beth

    I don’t see the Voice beating AI head to head. AI still seems like the tried and true. OTOH, both shows will have new judging panels and it sounds like AI will have a modified format. Even S1 let the public choose the Top 10.

    AI will have 2.5 months to get into its new groove before the Voice 4 premieres. I guess it depends if both Mariah and Nicki make it to March in one piece!

  • Kitwana

    So America’s Got Talent beat X-Factor in total viewers and 18-49 this year. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/12/03/howard-stern-to-return-for-second-season-as-judge-on-nbcs-summer-hit-americas-got-talent/159988/ I’m sure Simon did not expect that! I say Simon should use Howard Stern to host X-Factor and move the show to New York. As a host, Howard would be way better than Mario and Khloe. Do it Simon. We need you and Howard on the same show!

  • elliegrll

    I think that the bigger worry is that the X Factor will cause viewers to skip American Idol.  Most people don’t follow the behind the scenes stuff, so they just see the XF as the fall edition of American Idol, since they are on the same channel, and because of Simon Cowell’s presence.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000075236182 Diana Adams Tyler

    NBC is putting money into Voice whereas Idol has been scaled back.  Fresh songs and a finale that made Idols look sick might give Idol a much needed hint.

  • girlygirltoo

    Were The Voice’s ratings from its recently completed season  close to what Idol put up last year? If not, I can’t see it beating AI when the 2 shows go head-to-head.

  • sabbia

    With the thread heading, I thought the XF came in last or something.

    I’m not certain about what makes networks happy in terms of ratings, but I would think coming in first in both # of viewers and coveted demographic at any point w/in a show’s airing is nothing to scoff at.

    What amazes me is that each one of these singing competitions have all ranked in first place at some point during their time slots. That certainly means that there are many people whose appetite for these shows is not yet satiated and that there remains a very viable audience for them. (it’s beyond me how others are not utterly tired of them)

  • http://twitter.com/eilonwya10 Eilonwy

    Were The Voice’s ratings from its recently completed season close to what Idol put up last year?

    The Voice S3′s high point on ratings is below the lowest week for Idol S11.

    Somebody else can do the math on the necessary conditions for Voice to pass Idol.

  • ellen8

    I am betting on The Voice to top Idol.   The difference for me is with the judges.
    Compared to The Voice, the Idol judges seem so disconnected from the contestants.   On The Voice the compassion and interaction between the coaches and the contestants is the draw for me.  I can’t imagine Mariah taking a contestant on tour with her.   The Voice coaches continue their relationships with their team and work with them to advance their careers after the show ends.   I doubt that the Idol judges have any interaction with the contestants beyond what we hear from them on the show. 

    As for X Factor, it’s comic relief and that’s about all. I wish Carly Rose had been on The Voice or even Idol would have been better for her (do they take them that young now?)

  • calliebeckett

    I think FOX would be relieved that the show finally hit a 3+ in the 18-49 demo. It hasn’t happened since baseball playoffs.

  • blackberryharvest

    Even with the inflated massive superbowl ratings, the Voice still didn’t beat idol last year. Even for Season 3, I don’t think it got to a 5 in the demos. All idol needs to do is have a 5 or above. They predicted it would top idol last year, and it didn’t. People are just waiting for idol to fail, the media is in love with the Voice right now. If only they realized the difference of the post show success…

  • irockhard

    I don’t think TV will top AI but the lack of diversity in AI’s S12 cast, plus the removal of the beloved WGWG archeotype might mean Idol will experience bigger ratings drops than last season. Yes AI is debuting new judges but so is TV. The buzz around the new judges will only last so long, if TV’s contestant pool for S4 is more interesting and diverse, that’s gonna hurt AI.

  • jcabby

    With the addition of new judges, and the success of Phillip and Scotty, people know Idol is a proven winner. Plus, it has viewers returning each year, like a sporting event. Seeing the ads and how each of the new judges seem to be opinionated and fun, I bet Idol will win in the ratings.

  • blackberryharvest

    That is because the Voice is about their judges and idol is about their contestants. Two different formats.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NO4G73GL7KDSP4K3ERYEZJ5FYY Joseph

     HUH?!

    “I am betting on The Voice to top Idol.   The difference for me is with the judges.”

    You haven’t seen the judges yet. 3 out of 4 of them are brand new.

    “The Voice coaches continue their relationships with their team and work with them to advance their careers after the show ends.”

    WHAT CAREERS?!! When will “The Voice” fans finally see the light. The show has had THREE seasons and there is not even ONE kind of even close success story. Javier debuted selling only 9,974 records. And Jermaine Paul?! Not even Voice fans can even remember his name half the time! It infuriates me, as a fan of Idol, to hear that the show “destined” to take Idol’s crown is a reality singing program that has absolutely NO track record of success other than marginally above average ratings that stand out because they were on a sinking ship like NBC.

    Enjoy whatever show you like… but there is only one singing program out there that has actual success stories. It’s American Idol. Boom. Lawyered.

  • Sara M

     If people refuse to watch because there aren’t wgwg on one single season, that is sad for them that they are so narrow minded, and I think idol would be well served to lose a portion of their audience that refuses to expand past their very limited preferences.

    I am going to make a very bold prediction. Season 3 of X Factor will beat Season 5 of The Voice in the fall. I will be back in December of 2013 to gloat.

  • Montavilla

    NBC is putting money into Voice whereas Idol has been scaled back.  Fresh songs and a finale that made Idols look sick might give Idol a much needed hint.

    Last season’s Idol finale was weirdly anemic (for Idol), but I put it down to Philips’ ill-health.  It seemed like Interscope had used up all their big names in the Season 10 finale.  Even so, the stand-out finale of the year belonged to Idol:  Jennifer Holliday’s duet with Jessica Sanchez.  

    Did X-Factor move their finale into a big theater?  I couldn’t really tell.  The Voice seemed to hold theirs in the same studio they were in all season.  My impression of all The Voice shows (production-wise) is that they seem very dark compared to Idol’s.  Which makes the performances seem smaller to me. The finale was no exception to that.

    Which is my long-winded way of saying that, regardless of the low-rent feel for Season 11, Idol generally puts on the best graduation party.  :)  

    But maybe I wasn’t getting how cool and hip The Voice finale was.  Or something.  

  • blackberryharvest

    From what I have seen from the top 40, it is ethnically diverse(African-American, Asian, Indian, White, Latino, Pacific Islander, etc) and musically diverse(pop, r&b, gospel, soul, country, singer-songwriter types). There’s actually a few WGWG still in the top 40.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IDXVM7NCMXZVHX4M2RFBYOTYDA Robert

    Totally agree.

    The Voice will never find a Kelly or Carrie.

    As you said their first two winners haven’t done anything.

  • Montavilla

    The buzz around the new judges will only last so long, if TV’s contestant pool for S4 is more interesting and diverse, that’s gonna hurt AI.

    Hmm.  I definitely agree about the buzz of new judges being temporary.  What’s more important is the chemistry in the panel.  What’s most important (for AI anyway) is whether or not the judge’s panel can deliver honest, sharp, constructive critiques.  

    TV casts interesting singers, but I honestly don’t think the performances end up being any more interesting than AI’s.  

  • irockhard

    Ethnic diversity is good. But musical diversity? S10 had more musical diversity, and that will become apparent when the live shows start and we get into those overdone themes and songs again.

  • blackberryharvest

    Even Lee Dewyze(Idol’s lowest selling winner) has done way better than any contestant from The Voice. That should tell you something.

  • irockhard

    I’m not a fan of the WGWG myself and don’t miss it but it’s a very risky ratings move to remove it. There are a crapload of viewers who love that archeotype. Perhaps enough for the ratings to really suffer if these viewers decide to tune out.

  • Sara M

     My guess is the viewers who refuse to watch unless there are wgwg are in the upper age ranges, and are probably viewers the show would be fine shedding for the overall health of the franchise.

  • SullyD

     But how do you know the judges are disconnected from the contestants if idol haven’t even started yet?

  • calliebeckett

    Seems like that will hit their total viewers numbers but if the demo stays in the high 4′s and 5′s, it’s a success.

    However I do see rumblings about southern, country, but FEMALE who may keep the above audience watching.

  • milwlovesadam

    These shows are over-produced. I’ve been saying this for a couple of seasons. IMHO.

    When Idol started, the contestants were alone on a stage, singing without much musical back-up or staging and costuming or back up singers until they got into almost the finale. The Idol grand finale was a great show for that reason, it was big and grand and sent out the year in style.

    The last couple of seasons of every show have been big, bold and OTT from day one. You can barely get past bad vocals because of all the glitz and glam and little girls almost falling off their way too high heels.

    I’m turned off because of this. Don’t get me wrong, one look at my name and avatar and you know I love me some glitz and glam, but, when and where it’s appropriate.

    I’m going to say this, not to start a fan war, please. But, the reason why someone like Adam stood out, or David Cook, or Kris Allen , was because they knew how to be clever, how to make song choices that made sense, how to flip a song on it’s side and do the unexpected, how to work the system and play the game. They stood out because they knew how to do it well. True talent helps too, of course.

    XFactor and The Voice are so over-cooked that the audience is sick of and bored by the finalists. When the show is so over the top, it’s no wonder WGWG wins and sells music.  People need a rest. Honestly. These shows are in over-kill and need to get back to the basics.

    Put contestants on a stage and just let them sing. Let them pick better songs in their own comfort zone. Don’t bring out all the glam and glitz and staging and those big gigantic light shows until they deserve it. They have nowhere to go but down when you start them up on top.

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

    If only television ratings were more about lasting music careers than live entertainment.  If that were the case, I would say The Voice could never top Idol.  But….

  • girlygirltoo

    We don’t know for sure whether there aren’t any WGWGs. Right now, that’s just a rumor. For all we know, everyone will start breaking out guitars once they make Top 20 or Top 10. Just because they don’t play guitar during Hollywood Week doesn’t mean they won’t do so later on.

  • Larc

    I definitely agree about the buzz of new judges being temporary.

    Viewers who tune in mainly to see the judges don’t qualify as more than lukewarm fans of Idol, IMO.  The judges aren’t — or at least shouldn’t be — the main course.  Contestants are the meat and potatoes of the show.  They’re who the genuine fans tune in to see.  Judges are merely gravy at best.

  • annie12120

    I am of the opinion that it’s the balladeers killing these shows, not the “guitar” playing artists.

    Excessive ballads performed by girls in 80s prom dresses and boys in bow ties is just not current. Nor is over the top staging and a plethora of distracting dancers that has nothing to do with the song

    I will assume that artists like Rhianna, Kesha, Gaga etc all put a lot of time and effort in planning and staging their floor shows – no way can X Factor have the time to do this staging in a few days and make it look professional -its nothing but cheesy and very amateur looking

    Give me some Rock/metal/alternative/hip hop/rap/folk/jazz/dance/angst(sob stories) that is currently what is hot in the market and get rid of 3/4 of the ballads.

  • windmills

    millovesadam: These shows are over-produced. I’ve been saying this for a couple of seasons. IMHO.
    When Idol started, the contestants were alone on a stage, singing without much musical back-up or staging and costuming or back up singers until they got into almost the finale. The Idol grand finale was a great show for that reason, it was big and grand and sent out the year in style.
    …..
    Put contestants on a stage and just let them sing. Let them pick better songs in their own comfort zone. Don’t bring out all the glam and glitz and staging and those big gigantic light shows until they deserve it. They have nowhere to go but down when you start them up on top.

    I wanna quote this whole post, you hit the nail on the head IMO. I remember watching a Voice performance from this season, and the reverb slathered on the vocal was so obvious. It bugged me. I still remember a time on Idol when people had a problem with Blake Lewis on s6 getting some reverb to make his voice sound fuller than it actually was! 

    That’s just the live performances. XFactor may as well be Glee before the live performance rounds with the way vocals are enhanced and autotuned into perfection. It doesn’t sound real or immediate.

    I’m looking for a growth arc and ITA that starting out simple, going from a cappella to group to a few band accompaniments to the big stage is a good way to try to convey that growth. That’s why Idol has the most appeal to me but even Idol has gotten overproduced. ITA that on these shows, there’s too much of making these people look like stars before they’re ready – saving that stuff for the finale or at most the last few weeks makes sense. I get why these shows feel like they have to do that – it’s about convincing the audience they’re looking at stars in the making. But, the trappings of the star look are often more than what the contestants (on any of these shows) are ready to handle at that point in their lives. 

    As far as The Voice possibly topping Idol, I can’t rule it out. The Voice will be coming in with a lot of momentum after a very successful season and the buzz of a winner who is perceived as being more marketable than her predecessors on the show. Shakira and Usher aren’t likely to upset the chemistry on The Voice either, and the show retained its 2 biggest TV stars in Adam & Blake. A lot will depend on whether Idol can successfully establish that it has the kind of talent that’ll keep people interested by the time The Voice comes back and also whether people like the chemistry on the judges panel too.

    The other big thing that AI will need to do is present performance nights with songs people consider relevant and not overdone (in RL or on these shows). The Voice was successful in mixing in overdone songs (like several of Trevin’s songs and some of Nicholas’s songs) with songs that are relatively new to reality shows.

    The Voice has a major format advantage for the casual viewer in its 1st 2 rounds and it will also have the media buzz in its favor, so AI’s producers are going to need to be on their game in a major way. It’s going to be a big test to see whether AI’s producers have a good read on their audience.

  • irockhard

    Thank you! Yes please to genres that are NOT BORING!

  • Sara M

    I am of the opinion that it’s the balladeers killing these shows, not the “guitar” playing artists.

    The balladeers are what made this show what it was in the first place.

  • girlygirltoo

    But there are far more WGWG who are actually successful in the current marketplace than there are big-voiced balladeers. I don’t know anyone who actually likes the big diva ballads anymore. I know lots of people who like singer-songwriters (if not necessarily the ones who come off reality tv shows).

    By pimping the big voiced divas (especially ones who aren’t even out of their teens yet), these shows just telegraph that they are out of touch with what is actually going on in the music industry. Very few people care nowadays if someone is a technically perfect singer. Who cares if you have a six-octave range if you are a boring performer? Kelly has been successful because she can sing AND she comes up with radio friendly, catchy stuff that isn’t old fashioned/dated. If she was trying to emulate Whitney/Mariah/Celine etc., chances are she would have faded away by now.

    If these shows want to really be in touch of the current music industry, they should start putting put more emphasis on dance/electronic music, r&b/pop, alt rock and country pop artists, because those are probably the “hottest” genres right now. Stay away from the tired theme nights and anything that screams “dated”. Let the performers choose their songs, retire from competition any song that has been covered more than 3 times on Idol/TV/XF (combined # of covers from the shows) and give them the option of performing their own original music (if they flop, well at least they flop performing something that supposedly represents who they are as musicians). Stop trying to force the contestants into genres where they clearly don’t fit. If you want a pure pop artist, well then advance one through — don’t try to turn (for example) a singer/songwriter type into a teen pop artist — 99.99% of the time, the public won’t buy in.

  • mmb

    I certainly don’t think it is wgwg or country singers or any one genre/style/male/females/old songs/new songs what have you hurting these shows.  What is hurting these shows is that they are all cannibalizing each other and it is a tired format.  Idol, xf, the Voice, AGT, Duets…its all just too much.  For the first 9 seasons Idol was the only game in town.  It was a yearly “event”.  Now, there are singing competition shows on 4 days a week, pretty much year round.  There is little that is exciting or special about them when they are always, always on.  The Voice got some buzz bc it was a little different format than Idol and the interaction between the judges, all current artists, was fun.  XF hasn’t done as well and isn’t as buzzy, maybe in part bc it is Simon lite and the format doesn’t click as much with US audiences.  But Idol is still the grand-daddy of them all and is still the only one (so far) that has created hitmakers and award nominees. 

  • Sara M

     

    If these shows want to really be in touch of the current music industry

    But these shows weren’t built on being in touch with the current music industry. They were built on giving people who aren’t famous a shot at being famous based on their great singing. This show was built on the success of people like Diana Degarmo and Clay Aiken and Vonzell Soloman and Bo Bice. The need to focus on what is relevant is what is killing the show.

  • Sara M

     

    For the first 9 seasons Idol was the only game in town.

    But the ratings were declining even before the new shows came onto the scene, so something was clearly wrong before that.

  • Montavilla

    That’s just the live performances. XFactor may as well be Glee before the live performance rounds with the way vocals are enhanced and autotuned into perfection. It doesn’t sound real or immediate.

    I just watched a video of the X-Factor Pre-Show and the insiders (including two professional pop singers) remarked that Fifth Harmony weren’t actually singing the “Ooo-oo-oo”s during “Anything Can Happen.”  Not only did they have background singers, they were using a backing track.  

    I’m actually shocked.  I knew they weren’t singing the harmonies, but using a backing track?  Isn’t that going from sort-of cheating to real cheating?  (Obviously, I’m not saying that Fifth Harmony is cheating, but the show in general.)  

    It’s like hearing that Lance Armstrong used steroids.  Or more like hearing that Lance Armstrong used steroids, but that’s okay because the rules have been changed to allow it in bike racing because then we get to see people breaking records and that’s so much more exciting than just watching guys ride their vehicles up and down the mountains for three days.

  • Incipit

    Yes please to genres that are NOT BORING!

    irockhard, if the whole entire viewership out there in TV Land could just ‘agree’ on what was or was “not boring” – you might have a valid point. But they don’t, and they can’t – so diversity in the cast is the way to shake it out – and come to some consensus at the end of the marathon run. If people care enough, they vote for what ‘they’ don’t consider boring…which may differ greatly from the next person.
     
    Over production just makes it harder – messing with the beloved “arc” and cloaking a lot of deficiencies, dishonest judging and hyperbole turn people off in a big way – and obvious manipulations are so damn obvious…even first time viewers are starting to pick them out.

    It really could be so elementary – select people who can sing, let them pick the songs, and let the public decide…and it ‘can’ happen, if TPTB would stop micro managing, far beyond their Song Book, and their Theme Weeks and their Light Shows. (And someone, put some Crazy Glue on the seats of the judges’ chairs.)

    To paraphrase something I read once – ‘I’m not sure that A. I. is a venue that leads these performers to take control of their own artistry, but ‘some’ did it, again and again.  And that’s what I want. I want a singer who knows who they are – who loses themself in a song, as they’re pulling us into it with them.  I want excellent vocals, delivered with restraint and nuance,  a musical imagination, and technique, and someone who knows how to pour heartfelt, genuine emotion into a tune. I want them to be full of surprises — the kind that surprise, and then delight.’ Whether or not they play an instrument doesn’t matter, to me.  No one has to manufacture fake drama and excitement, if ‘that’ is happening. 

    I’ll watch ‘that’ show, and I’ll vote, too. And I’ll remember their name, buy the music that they make, and follow their careers with interest, beyond an evening’s entertainment. Whichever show, whatever performer can do THAT –  wouldn’t be boring. 

    In My Opinion, Of Course.

  • mmb

    well sure…but it was already getting to be an old show.  Shows don’t last forever (except some late night shows).  There are very few shows that do not experience a ratings erosion over the years.  The best, longest running shows of all time all experienced ratings erosions.  Just the way it is…not symptomatic of something being wrong with the show. The fact that Idol is still on after 11 seasons and is still one of the top 10 shows is pretty amazing.

  • Montavilla

    I’m going to say this, not to start a fan war, please. But, the reason why someone like Adam stood out, or David Cook, or Kris Allen , was because they knew how to be clever, how to make song choices that made sense, how to flip a song on it’s side and do the unexpected, how to work the system and play the game. They stood out because they knew how to do it well. True talent helps too, of course.

    Totally agree, but that talent’s combined with experience and education.  The younger the contestants, the harder it is to find that combination.  

    Put contestants on a stage and just let them sing. Let them pick better songs in their own comfort zone.

    Unfortunately, letting contestants stay in their comfort zone won’t result in the kind of performances that Cook, Kris, and Adam gave.  It’s pushing them out of their comfort zones that brings on a performance like “Always Be my Baby,” “Ring of Fire,” or “She Works Hard for the Money.”

    Don’t bring out all the glam and glitz and staging and those big gigantic light shows until they deserve it. They have nowhere to go but down when you start them up on top.

    This.  This.  THIS.  With AI, the contestants learn to swim by starting in the shallow end and, hopefully, jumping off the high board and executing elaborate swan dives by the finale.  With XFUS, the contestants are made to walk the plank at the very beginning.  Into shark-infested waters.  During a hurricane.

  • irockhard

    For this reason, while it probably won’t happen, I am actually rooting for The Voice to beat Idol in ratings. Maybe that will finally give FOX the wake up call to FIRE Nigel and Ken and hire new YOUNGER producers for Idol.

  • Mateja Praznik

     LOL One Direction used backing tracks during their X Factor run. Look at them now. Little Mix, Union J and District3 didn’t use backing tracks, but I doubt they will ever reach 1D’s success.

  • irockhard

    Which is now an outdated concept. Most of the people topping the charts are autotuned. It’s interesting that ratings started declining about the time dance pop started to take over the charts. Idol use to be cultural phenom, a contemporary force. It’s no longer so because it created a disconnect between the show and the music buying public by overdoing all these 70s oldies. You complained about the older viewers loving their WGWGs, well guess what? The show created this viewership they now have by not keeping up with the times.

  • blackberryharvest

    How do you know if they are going to do “outdated” songs this season? Season 11 was a step in the right direction as far as more contemporary songs. We should wait until we see what they do this season.

  • http://twitter.com/BazzleFjsm Bazzle

    Well no they don’t take them that young because it’s really not a good idea to. I agree with not limiting the upper age on XF but I do not agree with lowering of the age limit to something as low as 13 years old. 

  • Sara M

     

    It’s interesting that ratings started declining about the time dance pop started to take over the charts.

    This is not true, go look at the charts again. Dance music and rap were even more dominate when idol first started.

    The show created this viewership they now have by not keeping up with the times.

    No, it created this viewership by focusing on specific genres and “artistry” at the detriment to good singing.

  • fantoo1

    People said the same thing about the Voice beating idol last year and it didn’t happen, even with superbowl in account. We saw with X Factor that new judges doesn’t guarantee anything and we saw that a successful season and winner doesn’t guarantee anything(Idol season 10). Idol had their biggest ratings drop after a successful season and winner, so nothing is guaranteed. Without the superbowl last year, it would have been no contest, idol would have beat it by a landslide(instead of a point).

  • http://twitter.com/BazzleFjsm Bazzle

    Exactly. It looks like Simon has signed 5H. I have some hope for them even though I think they would have done even better in the 90′s. They need good/great songs as well as Tate. Little Mix is doing very well with their album and their single ‘Wings’. I couldn’t have asked for a better single. Not only does it seem to be doing well with the core commercial fanbase but its also got R&B flavours that attract listeners like me who aren’t into pop melodies. 

  • SullyD

    Season 11 did have some current songs, but it had A LOT of “songs done to death” too, more than any other season I guess.
    Not only the usual suspects like “you are so beatiful”, “a change is gonna come”, “without you”, “I have nothing”, “Jesus take the wheel”, and MANY more, but we also have a song performed more than once on the season.
    Josh and Elise both It’s a Man’s world, Joshua and Lauren Gray sang I’d rather go blind and, of course, who can forget that Elise and Jen both sang “One and only” On.The.Same.Night.

    Of course, Idol did a “current songs” theme week and they did have the chance of singing some more current songs through the season, but the numbers of outdated AND overdone songs still surpass it by far.

    It’s not even a matter of being “current”, you can perform a good old song that nobody has performed it yet. But they really need to invest on it, cleaning more songs to be on the list.
    Till then, I’ll mute everybody who sings those overdone songs and I won’t even feel sorry for it.

  • Montavilla

    LOL One Direction used backing tracks during their X Factor run. Look at them now. Little Mix, Union J and District3 didn’t use backing tracks, but I doubt they will ever reach 1D’s success.

    Again.  It’s like steroids.  The performance is enhanced, but it feels wrong.  And not just because it creates an uneven playing field.  (It doesn’t, and neither would steroids if they were legal to use.) 

    It’s like… Miss USA/Universe contestants having plastic surgery.  Wait.  Bad example. Really bad example….

    :)

  • http://twitter.com/BazzleFjsm Bazzle

    The show deserves those ratings. How can you have a finale without highlighting any of the finalists but the Top3? Only 2 celebrity acts with one having been on the show already? Is XF for real? Not even a group performance? Not to mention Jason Brock and Lyric145 didn’t even appear. Such a talented group of contestants wasted on this show. 

  • irockhard

    And I honestly don’t see this situation changing till they get rid of Lythgoe and Warwick.

  • http://twitter.com/Loretta31 Loretta

    The quandry is what is current is not what the viewing public likes, gets behind and votes for. 

    The Voice has yet to produce a winner who has had a top 100 hit.

    Idol has had many.

    Personally to me a BIG voice is not the only kind of voice.  P2 and Melanie for example have unique sounding voices to me and I enjoy them.  Both wanted to be less tethered alas remained restrained.

    I would love a show where the contestants had more creative and artist control.  They could perform originals if they dared spin that wheel of fate.  TPTB seem to believe that viewers would not enjoy originals and I disagree.  With Itune sales it would be a good way for contestants to make money from originals and gain insight as to what sells and what does not.

    As for Xfactors viewership dropping, I happen to know many of E3′s fans did not watch and did not vote.  My dd and her buds swore off the blasted show.  This would account for some of the dip.

  • HKfan

    The fcat that the judges have a disconnect to the contestants on Idol is a big plus for me.
    The voice from what I have seen is all about the judges, they even say ‘Blake won’ or ‘ I want to win this year’ as opposed to the contestants names. There seems very little follow up with the contestants once the show is over.
    The Xfactor is just way over produced, too many dancers, back up singers, light shows, etc. And too much imput from the judges. They didn’t seem to know their contestants this year and made some really bad choices both in styling and song choices.
    Idol always seems the one that is more about the contestants, at least once the audition stage is over. And although each week they have a fairly small list of songs to choose from they can at least pick their own. And they seem to have more say in the musical arrangement of the song.
    And up to now viewers of Idol have had the most say on the voting process. Really don;t like the sound of people not being able to vote till top 10, thats one thing that sets it apart from the others, on X factor and the voice its down to the judges nearly all the way through.

  • mjsbigblog

    I just watched a video of the X-Factor Pre-Show and the insiders (including two professional pop singers) remarked that Fifth Harmony weren’t actually singing the “Ooo-oo-oo”s during “Anything Can Happen.”  Not only did they have background singers, they were using a backing track.

     
    It’s obvious that production used reverb and enhancements on the live vocals (which in my opinion, just made the singers sound muddled) but to pre-record parts of the vocal performance? That’s wack. 

    If Simon insists on having a groups category, then the acts have to perform like GROUPS. Not individual solo singers sharing a stage. That defeats the point.

  • milwlovesadam

    It’s going to take a lot to get me to watch XFactor again. One of the reasons is that I used to just love Simon. I actually found him to be handsome and funny and quite clever and honest and that he gave good constructive feedback. I did. Don’t hate me. I wasn’t alone in this!! But, that was several years ago.

    He was very critical of OTT and “theatrical” performances when he was with Idol.  Now, he has become the show. The staging and lighting and backup singers and costumes are OTT from day one. It’s so theatrical it takes away from being able to hear if the contestants can actually sing.

    I find this highly ironic and hypocritical. I am thinking much much less of Simon these days.

    Also, he has a hit with One Direction. Now he wants to cookie-cutter more boy bands instead of finding new and unique talent. Meh.

    I honestly wish Nicholas had won the voice, and hope he does well. Tate is just another country dude to me. Cassadee is pretty and pretty pitchy. Nicholas is a real entertainer with a wonderful vocal instrument.

    XFactor has jumped the shark.  IMHO. It’s the Honey Boo-Boo of singing shows.

  • Chris

    What’s most ironic is Simon and X Factor producers ripped this show apart, fired Paula, and the lot, gave huge salaries to the replacements and the result is…….. fewer viewers. Under 10 million, no where near the 15 to 20 million dream.

    Simon is up a creek and it’s only Season 2.

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

    5th Harmony and Emblem3 used a lot of playback tracks (and even with that Emblem3 still sucked). Me and a bunch of other people pointed it on the live blog topic.

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

    I think 5th Harmony had talent to not use these resources and even to make more intricate harmonies, but this show is so cheap that I doubt they had enough vocal coaches to work 24/7 with each one of them.

  • calliebeckett

    Anyone here thinks a major audience of all these singing show is to see good and humble acts that aren’t like what’s topping the charts? The gaga, rihannas, pitbulls aren’t appealing to them. This audience is probably older than what tptb wants however.

    They like the tate stevens, phillip phillips, scotty, etc. Humble, no over the topness, dance beats, autotune, etc

    No major international superstars but I’m not sure most of the audience are even thinking about that….

  • maymay

    If this season ratings is like last season during audition, AI will beat TV.

    TV S2 ratings took advantage of Super Bowl, but it still lost to AI. TV S3 ratings never surpassed 5 during blind audition. So AI ratings should surpass 5 during live, then it can beat TV blind audition in March.

    But AI this season audition can stay the same ratings like last season? It`s the key to beat TV.

  • windmills

    fantoo1: We saw with X Factor that new judges doesn’t guarantee anything and we saw that a successful season and winner doesn’t guarantee anything(Idol season 10). Idol had their biggest ratings drop after a successful season and winner, so nothing is guaranteed. 

    But XFactor and Idol are not The Voice and I believe The Voice’s appeal is a little different from AI’s just like AI’s appeal is different from The Voice. I think the judges’ chemistry has turned into a pretty strong selling point for The Voice and the judges have a more positive impact on The Voice ratings than the AI judges  will on AI’s ratings as the season wears on. 

    The Voice and AI are also at different points of their popularity arc. The Voice was the upstart and based on media buzz and ratings, it’s on the upswing. AI is the reigning but aging king or queen and its buzz and ratings have faded compared to where they were before. Does that mean The Voice’s arc definitely has a peak that’s higher than whatever point of its arc AI’s heading to now, or eventually? No, AI could operate at a higher level for as long as it’s on TV. I’m just saying I can’t rule out the possibility that The Voice will win out this season. 

    Then again, maybe it’ll turn out viewers have some Blake/Adam/Voice fatigue in the winter/spring (which will lead to lower Voice ratings), or overall talent competition fatigue in the spring (which will lead to lower ratings across the board). I don’t know but I do really think it’s going to be key for AI to cast a group of finalists that media buzz and fans see as superior to the finalists on The Voice. Seeing as I skipped most of The Voice this fall (I started watching performance vids once they were down to 8 people left) because I was saving myself for Keith and AI, I hope AI has a great season in all aspects. 

  • briguyx

    Number one, people get to know the contestants on Idol, not just through their bio packages, but by the way they arrange and choose their songs during those theme nights everyone seems to hate. But year after year, a lot of the highlights on AI come on those theme nights. “Benny & The Jets” and “Your Song,” anyone?

    And for those that constantly blame the producers for re-using songs, don’t you get it that a lot of the time it’s the performers who choose the songs they know (I’m talking AI now… Simon Cowell will push “Hallelujah” at every opportunity). Yes, you have the contestants who have played bars and have a varied setlist they can draw from, but other contestants grew up with religious music or country music or loving the music of one or two artists or the one big ballad they sing at talent show after talent show. So they pick the well-known songs, and frankly that’s smart. Because if you sing something most people don’t know, you better have a moment or you’re out!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NDYOWBIIPZU6PBRHGOPT2ZZJXQ sweetmm

    Idol needs to play and tweak around with its format; make it fresh to sustain old-timers like me and attract new viewers.  I don’t doubt at all Idol will sustain its highest numbers of viewers but rating wise it might be affected if it remains stagnant.

  • irockhard

    When you debut as a new artist you debut with a song no one’s heard before, and you need to be able to sell it to your target audience. The point of all these shows, especially Idol, is to find viable recording artists.

    Perhaps contestants who coast on safe song choices and refuse to take risks are not cut out for the music biz.

    If I was Iovine and I got a say in the casting I would not put a single pageantbot who auditions with a Whitney ballad through. I don’t care how well they well they sing it. You might not get another shot to show me what you can do and you choose a bland, dated, overdone and uninspiring song? Is that the extent of your talent? Being a cookie cutter Whitney mimic? No creativity, no imagination, just vocal chops and maybe good looks? Next!