Bits and Pieces

Gone but not forgotten?

Remember April Walsh and Brooke Barrettsmith from the Top 44? Stevie Scott from the Top 24? Fellow blogger JD Matthews has recently posted interviews with  April and Stevie and posted an update on Brooke Barrettsmith.  JD keeps up with past Idol contestants so I don’t have to! Heh.


American Idol Extra

I’ve finally located a reliable torrent of the American Idol Extra show broadcast on the Fox Reality channel (which my damb cable company, besides losing all my channels once a week, does not carry.  Dish is looking better every day).  I watched yesterday, and here are a few highlights:

The weekly show features a long interview with the bootee.  Ace Young’s answers to host Ty Treadway’s questions have been covered in the interviews I posted last week.  However, there were a couple of factoids not yet mentioned:

  • The High Rollers, Ace’s fan group,  raised $2000 in Ace’s name for Denver’s Children’s Hospital. And now, accroding to Kim over $5000.  Way to go High Rollers. 
  • Ace is going to meet John Elway of the Denver Broncos next week.

Host Ty Treadway also  interviewed Nigel Lythgoe.  Here are some notable comments:

  • Here’s why Idol is and continues to be popular, according to Nigel: America gets to choose.  Folks are entertained by the “dysfunctional family” of Randy, Simon, Paula and Ryan.  The show brings the entire family together.
  • Also,  since Bo Bice and Constantine Maroulis introduced the “rock” element – the show isn’t considered cheesy any more.  I beg to diffah.  Nigel thinks Bo and Constantine opened the door for Taylor and Chris.
  • Furthermore, extending the age group made the show more diverse. I agree.
  • Nigel is still trying to get Paul McCartney and the Beatles songbook on the show. Hey, while yer at it, Van Morrison would be nice, too.
  • They almost had Prince, but he couldn’t work with the kids.  Nigel feels that it’s important for the guests to work with the kids. Like shakira?
  • Nigel believes there haven’t been any “wow” performances this year because the kids aren’t “hitting those last notes…the notes that make you want to stand up and applaud them.”  He goes on to say, “The great singers know there is a little trick at the end of it that forces you to stand on your feet and applaud.  This year’s singers aren’t being as clever as seasons past.”  I think glory notes are overrated.  In other words, the beginning of Taylor’s “You Send Me” was just as great as the end.
  • Regarding song selection, Nigel also thinks the songs should show off a singer’s vocals AND be recognizable.
  • Nigel said that when Simon said “I didn’t sing the song” when Ryan asked Simon if he was going to take the blame for Chris being in the bottom 3 since Simon wanted to take the credit for his song choice Tuesday night–Simon should have shouldered the responsibility.  And Nigel thinks Simon should offer more constructive criticism rather than just “shrugging his shoulders.”
  • About love songs, Nigel said one of the greatest love songs of all time is “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” recorded by the Righteous Brothers in the 1960’s.

Two additional notes:

  • Simon’s man-boobs skeer me.
  • The idols are asked–What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Rod Stewart?  Paris’s answer? “The 50’s.”  Har.


Ratings News

I didn’t post ratings news last week, because wire news articles trumpeting Idol’s ratings dominance were not to be found.  Hmmmm.  So I did a little research and discovered that Idol’s ratings have been sliding the last couple of weeks.  Oh, the show is still #1 and #2 (except for two weeks that CSI came in #2 ahead of that week’s results show) but the ratings have slid.  

Here are the numbers for this week:  Tuesday’s show had  27.5 million viewers and an 11.0 rating/31 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary ratings estimates from Nielsen Media Research.    Wednesday’s show, averaged 26.9 million viewers and an 11.0/29 in the key demo.

Here’s how the ratings have shaped up during the competition (leaving out the auditions and Hollywood).  The numbers are millions of viewers.

Season 5

                Perf      Perf     Results

Top 24    30.2     31.7    23.4
Top 20    30.0     29.6    27.8
Top 16    30.1     30.3    27.1 (CSI came in #2 for the week)
Top 12    32.7                28.1
Top 11    33.3                27.6
Top 10    31.7                27.8
Top 9      28.8                26.2
Top 8      29.6                22.6 (CSI came in #2 for the week)

Starting with the Top 10-9, there is a noticeable drop in performance show ratings. And a big drop for results show numbers Top 8, though they came back up for Top 7 (Top 7 numbers are only preliminary).  Notice the ratings gap between the performance and results shows.

Now, just for fun, let’s check out the numbers for Season 4.

Season 4 (Competition Top 12)

               Perf      Results

Top 12    28.4       24.6
Top 11    27.6       20.8  20.1 (wrong #’s posted Tue., recap and re-vote on Wed., results Thur.)
Top 10    26.3       24.9
Top 9      24.4       24.1
Top 8      25.6       24.9
Top 7      24.1       22.6
Top 6      25.5       24.4
Top 5      24.4       25.3
Top 4      24.7       26.6
Top 3      24.9       27.9
Top 2      28.0       30.2

The numbers began to drop immediately from a Top 12 high.  But, unlike Season 5, there wasn’t a marked difference between performance and results show numbers.  And in fact, after the Top 6, the results shows pulled in more viewers than performance nights!  Could that have had something to do with Constantine Maroulis’s Shocking! Shocking! boot and subsequent Pauler meltdown during the Top 6 results show?  No wonder the producers crave those Shocking! boots, eh?

So, kids, what can we expect this week? MJ dons her tinfoil hat….



I had a lot mail to sift through this week!  And again–thanks so much for your feedback and comments.  Your input totally rawks <rawkhands>.  And of course, I can’t say it enough–thank you all so much for your kudos, criticisms and suggestions.  And a giant thank you to folks who leave links and shoot me information found elsewhere on the net.  Y’all help me keep the blog current. 

Down to the Wire

The posting became a little intense here on the blog this week. It’s to be expected as we move closer to the finale and favorites are eliminated.  Oh yeah, I was banned from TWOP for getting testy with a poster who didn’t like my favorite, ohyesIwas… Impressively,  though, you guys knew when to dial it back.  And you did without any intervention from moi.  Thanks for that. I haven’t deleted one comment yet–which is totally awesome.  I have no desire to interfere with the conversations that go on here.  As long as opinions are expressed without y’all gettin’ all “Jane, you ignorant slut” on your fellow posters, all will be cool.  Ha–ancient SNL reference.  So carry on!  And again, anybody who drops by here…make sure to check out the groovy comments section.

Two themes that ran consistently throughout the comments this week.

  • When is Kellie Pickler going to bite the dust?  Why is she still here, especially after her horrible performance Tuesday?
  • Who will be Shockingly! eliminated this coming week?

As far as the first–I think that we’re all getting used to the idea that Kellie isn’t leaving our TV’s soon, and will probably knock out favorites like Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin.  I’m training myself not to hurl things at my TV when that happens.  As far as the second–many of you think Katharine will be next week’s surprise boot.

Some history: Season 3 had Jennifer Hudson Shockingly! booted at 7, with poor John Stevens playing the role of spoiler.  Season 4 had Constantine Maroulis Shockingly! booted at 6, with Scott Savol playing the spoiler.

Will there be a Shocking! boot this year?  In my opinion, only a Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks, Kellie Pickler or Katharine McPhee boot this week would be shocking.  And Katharine?  Maybe not so much. She’s been in the Bottom 3 before, and I think her competition, sans Kellie, is up to snuff.  Elliott has been gaining ground, but only recently.  Paris’s performances have been inconsistent, and I’m not convinced she has a strong fan base like the others.

Stay tuned.

Ace Young

Lots of comments on the departure of Ace Young.  Some of you love him and some of you don’t.  But,  I do believe that any contestant who makes it to the Top 12 has talent. Yes, even Kellie.  And those who struggle in the competition can do well once they become ex-idols.  Josh Gracin,  Season 2’s what-is-he-still-doing-here contestant, is an excellent example.  I’ll bet his current success as a country artist has made lots of folks forget that his continued presence all the way to 4th place Season 2 was controversial.  Lucky, lucky Josh.  Now that he’s off Idol,  he never has to sing disco again!

CT Communications

CT Communications is the North Carolina communications company that is sponsoring the wireless phone banks in Albermarle for Kellie Pickler on Tuesday nights.  These phone banks feature 40 cell phones that can be used to text votes to Kellie’s phone line–for free.  I mentioned that CT Communications was not affiliated with Cingular Wireless.  Some of you wrote to disagree and left a link to their website as proof that they are somehow affiliated with Cingular.  I stand by my statement that that CT Communications and Cingular are two separate companies.  You can read a history of CT Communications here.  The company sells a wide array of telecommunication services, including wireless service.  They sell Cingular service as a reseller.  But as far as I can tell, the two companies are completely separate entities.

A Couple of Questions…

A commenter asked why I refer to Paula Abdul as “Pauler”.  Well, that’s Paula as pronounced by Simon–with an English accent…

And,  Jena asked in the comments section why I put quotes around “girlfriend” in Friday’s post recapping Simon’s weekly Extra interview.  The quotes really belong around the words “Host”.  There is no way Simon’s girlfriend, Terri Seymour,  would be employed as a TV host otherwise.  Her scratchy voice is like nails on a blackboard.