Some Thoughts on the Big Changes Ahead for American Idol

I have a few more thoughts on Ken Warwick’s Monday press conference regarding American Idol’s big schedule and format changes.

In the meantime, get ready, ’cause I’m hearing Simon Cowell will be speaking to reporters today, at 1 PM ET.

I took a look at the ratings for Season 5, Season 6 and Season 7, and it’s true that the numbers begin to sag around the Top 9. This is the producers reasoning for reverting back to the old semi-final format. They believe viewers stop watching because they’re bored with the contestants.

Have TPTB ever considered that maybe some folks tune out when their favorites are eliminated? Or that viewers might become bored with the song choices or the lame-ass mentors? It’ll be interesting to see how the new format affects the ratings this season.

If the ratings do rise, I’ll attribute part of the success to David Cook and David Archuleta, whose current chart successes are making AI seem like a viable star-maker once again.

Warwick says allowing the judges to handpick three of the Top 12 in a “wildcard” round will give good singers a better chance to advance.

Thank you Kirsten, who charted all the wildcard picks Season 1-3. Check it out. Some of the picks, like George Huff and Jennifer Hudson were great. Others, like Carmen Rasmusen and Leah Labelle? Uhm, not so great. History, is not on your side on that one, Ken.

Warwick also says, “If something goes horrendously awry, the judges could fix it on the wild card show.” May I translate? If the producer’s favorites aren’t advanced to the finals by the public, the judges can fit it.

I’m not looking forward to the extra “reality” the producers are promising to dish up. Turning American Idol into another lame reality show with manufactured conflict is not going to pull in the viewers, nor keep their attention. If I wanted to watch that kind of crap, I’d tune into The Bachelor, or watch Ryan Seacrest’s Mama’s Boys.

Advance talented kids with compelling personalities, showcase them properly–keep the focus on the kids and give them decent material to sing, for instance–and you’ll have a show.

Lastly, the latest Paula Abdul drama. Warwick says Paula’s job is not in jeopardy, the show needs her, and she ain’t going nowhere. I believe that. I also believe that the producers knew Paula Goodspeed as nothing more than a Paula superfan.

Paula Abdul doth protest too much, I believe, and if her current negotiations with management go her way–and all signs point to go–expect Paula to never mention Goodspeed again. In fact, look for her to backtrack a bit. Cynical, I know, but I bet I’m right.

One more thing. Idol Gives Back was canceled because the ratings sucked, and the special proved to be lousy Emmy bait (the show hasn’t won yet.). I know, really cynical…

What do you think?

About mj santilli 34830 Articles
Founder and editor of, 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!