American Idol Season 9 Ratings: A Couple of Drops

American Idol is still #1, but its ratings dropped this week from last. Idol averaged 24.2 million viewers, 13.5/21 households last night.

Last Tuesday, it averaged 26.05 million viewers and a 9.9 rating/27 share among adults 18-49. The episode had shown a big increase from Season 8’s comparable episode, 22.77 million; A18-49: 9.0/22.

But, there was no increase this week over last year’s comparable episode. Idol had 25 million, 9.6/24 households on Tuesday, 1/27/09.

I hope the audience isn’t beginning to turn away. These audition episodes have been pretty boring, quite frankly.

About mj santilli 33694 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

18 Comments

  1. I think people are not digging the auditions this year. Most of my coworkers (casual AI viewers) are just skipping the auditions. Other than Pants on the Ground guy, they haven’t really offered much of anything. The talent is just ok, and the crazies are getting old, imo.

    I think Ellen coming on board (next week?) will bring in higher ratings – a lot of interest out there in seeing how she will work out on the panel.

  2. Last night they spent a huge chunk of time on the first audition and it was horrible. A guy who was not interesting, just delusional (he happened to be from my town). Why oh why did he get all that face time? It was lazy of the producers and just plain bad TV. Starting off with a snoozer probably made a lot of people turn the dial. I stuck with the show but was only watching half heartedly at that point. Katy Perry was interesting but it seemed a little scripted to me, maybe not but it came off that way.

  3. I do agree the auditions are dragging on and it is no longer even funny. Unfortunately, it is unlikely lost audience will return as they see it as the tone for the entire season. Major changes are needed for Season 10.

    Ellen is still 2 weeks away, unfortunately. Still more auditions next week – uggggghhhhh…

  4. I’m not sure audition ratings really mean a lot. Ratings once the show moves into finals will tell the real tale of whether AI grows, holds its own or continues its trend of losing viewers. Frankly, I’m expecting the last situation. Especially if the competition is as unexciting as I’m afraid it’s going to be this year.

  5. Last night, the percentage of the Hollywood people that got zero airtime singing: a pathetic 76.2%. (16 of 21 that are shown in the Hollywood section) No wonder it is hard to get attached to anyone!!!

  6. I agree, boring and tedious. One of these years the Idol execs will figure out that a good thing goes south when it’s on the plate too many times. Seeing the same things over and over, bleeping pissed off wannabees all up in the camera’s face, or balling blubbering contestants acting like it’s the end of the world declaring it was their dream, or horrible ones that can’t sing and aren’t even funny getting way too much airtime going on and on.

    The backstories of some are interesting, and the good singers are welcomed. But the schmaltz and the gratuitous irritating warblers get on ones nerves after four or five episodes. I know why they stretch this out so long, more shows, more ad money. But they should be consolidated into a couple shows with more emphasis on the singers, not the attention goons that tire so fast.

  7. I hope the audience isn’t beginning to turn away. These audition episodes have been pretty boring, quite frankly.

    After the first week, very much so … even for a diehard fan.

  8. Put it another way, if you got 23.8% in school (the percentage that were shown singing for any amount of time), you’d be laughed out of class with a miserable failure.

  9. I hope the producers get the message ENOUGH WITH THE SOB STORIES AND FREAKS. Just show us some singers who got a gold ticket. This has been the worst audition season. There isn’t anyone that stands out for me. That’s the first time that’s ever happened.

  10. I previously posted this on Idol Forums and I am wondering if anyone here would agree with all this. I’m going through all the audition shows and seeing so many great people not shown. Also the judges seem to be less meaningful than ever. I have come up with an idea on how to change the audition process.

    The cattle calls

    Instead of holding it in a handful of cities, auditions start in over 100 cities (or more if local contests want to branch out in the early rounds). That enables more people to be able to come out in more manageable sizes. The main judges do not appear at all until the Hollywood round, and Ryan could come and go to different cities on his own. All of these auditions are operated and produced by local Fox stations with locally-set judging panels.

    Otherwise, the operations are fairly similar to how it is now. Generally, it would take 1 or 2 rounds to get down to the regional finals, which would be capped at 200 and could have as few as 50 depending on venue and operational requirements.

    The regional finals

    These are filmed on a stage with between 50 and 150 people allowed to enter, except in the largest cities which up to 200 could reach. This is somewhat a combination of rounds 2 and 3 now, except that it is to be live filmed. This can either air as a special show on local Fox stations, or streamed online (which should be required, in their entirety, for Idol fans). Once again, local judges are in control. All auditions are taped, and could be used in the program. It could be in front of an audience as well.

    The winner is chosen that same night, who automatically goes to Hollywood. It could be via an online vote, an audience vote or a judges’ decision. In some cities, the top runners-up could also be allowed to go to Hollywood.

    If the producers are desperate to air bad auditions, they could grab the worst tapes from all the 100+ cities, and compile them for an episode or two. It would be missing the main judges though.

    Hollywood week

    Hollywood would be capped at 200-250 people. That means every local winner is guaranteed a golden ticket to Hollywood, and some runners-up would also be allowed especially in the larger cities. The main judges make their DEBUT here, which makes the early stage more exciting as they meet the contestants for the first time (as they were all sent to Hollywood via different sets of judges). Otherwise, the general concept is unchanged.

    If this was done for X-Factor, the numbers and groupings would be different, but the general thoughts the same

  11. I don’t think lower numbers for auditions necessarily mean a real dip for the rest of the season. Too many people know this show well enough to decide what parts they want to watch, or not. Some don’t watch till after the 24 are decided – to many that’s when the real competition begins. I used to never watch the auditions (and this year I’m reminded why – lol).

  12. Last night, the percentage of the Hollywood people that got zero airtime singing: a pathetic 76.2%. (16 of 21 that are shown in the Hollywood section) No wonder it is hard to get attached to anyone!!!

    ITA – last night was the worst yet – SOOO much time spent on people who weren’t only not good, but not interesting to watch either. The first guy, the “touch myself guy”, so not amusing.

    Either show many more good auditions (please!) or at least show ENTERTAINING trainwrecks. Out of 11,000+ auditioners, that shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do. Maybe the screeners just really suck.

    Last year, amidst the actual good auditions, we also had people like Tatiana and Normal Gentle – joke contestants who were nevertheless kinda half amusing to watch (my mom LOVED Norman – lol).

  13. Either show many more good auditions (please!) or at least show ENTERTAINING trainwrecks. Out of 11,000+ auditioners, that shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do. Maybe the screeners just really suck

    If my idea came true, there wouldn’t be one set of screeners, there would be over 100. But even among the 21 that were chosen, you’d probably find great stuff if you searched them up on YouTube – it was bad editing and production more than anything.

  14. Idol is getting old…damn old. And who do you put through into the hollywood round that is “new and fresh” and not a retread of past Idol champions or successful runner-ups.

    So far Idol has produced a pop princess, a mature R&B crooner, a “Jim Nabors”, a black Diva, a blond country farm girl, a Southern rocker, and season 5 isn’t worth mentioning, a black teen, a club kid, a soft rocker w/ a band (twice), the golden child, some folksy singers, a singer/songwriter, and a gay glam guy, a country star wannabe and an underaged female rocker. What’s left? What hasn’t America seen and heard? Truthfully, when I watch the auditions I have an immediate antipathy to so many of the kids because they are “just like” what we have seen before. Jim Ranger was just a better version of Sarver last night and the list goes on and on.

    So how does AI make this process interesting when it’s same old same old. And AI isn’t picking up new viewer blood…they are going elsewhere. The kids have their Miley and their Beiber and their Jonas Bros. They don’t need another David Archuleta who gets his start on AI.

    It will be interesting to me to see if the show can produce enough drama to keep people interested. If this is another season 6 then it will be the swan song of American Idol. If they can build drama like they did last year with the good boys, bad boy saga then it might survive. I just don’t see it happening.

  15. idol missed an opportunity, and failed to capitalize on broadening their appeal to the teen viewers, many who were glued to their sets watching david a in s7… he may be the last in a while that can appeal to and bring them in, and have them continue to show support two seasons past his tenure… .. it’s not like the ptb weren’t seeing the data, the numbers that showed a steady aging out of the idol demographic, year by year – they just didn’t act in a way to try to do anything about it… the question is how smart has the decision been to continue catering to a demographic watching the show that may not be the demographic needed to purchase the material the winner/runner up will release in the real music world – against established artists in genres and styles many american idol viewers express dislike for, and have no clue about… if the idol ship sinks, it may sink under this weight…

  16. ive always found the audition episodes boring and after a couple of seasons, extremely cliché. and producers missed the mark by casting random celebs for the rotating chair rather than trying to find a good personality/judge. what have posh or avril brought to the table? nada…not one single thing. plus, you waste sooooo much time w. the packaged stories, that you take away from the actual auditions.

  17. This is all speculation on my part, since I know almost nothing about it, but I’m wondering if they don’t show more of the good auditions because of song clearance issues? Do they have to pay the original artist to use their songs? I dunno…it’s the only good reason I can think of for why they don’t show more of the good auditions.

    I think they misunderstood the general public when we asked for more of the contestants and less of the judges. They obviously thought we meant the contestants’ backstories, not their actual singing!

    And yes, I agree, the bad auditions are getting quite old. To some degree, some of them are amusing, but most of them are just annoying, skeevy or painful to watch. I agree that it would be great if they would just take all the bad auditions and roll them all into one episode – then you could watch it if you wanted, or skip it if you hate those things.

  18. So far Idol has produced a pop princess, a mature R&B crooner, a “Jim Nabors”, a black Diva, a blond country farm girl, a Southern rocker, and season 5 isn’t worth mentioning, a black teen, a club kid, a soft rocker w/ a band (twice), the golden child, some folksy singers, a singer/songwriter, and a gay glam guy, a country star wannabe and an underaged female rocker. What’s left? What hasn’t America seen and heard?Truthfully, when I watch the auditions I have an immediate antipathy to so many of the kids because they are “just like” what we have seen before.

    This is a pretty dumb argument. So because there was a country singer in the past you can’t root for one now? Why even make new music then? Since we already have glam rockers from the past, should Adam just pack it up and leave us to listen to Bowie? Should Kris forget about his career because he is reminiscent of Jason Mraz?

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