'American Idol': New night, music videos, no semifinals, one-hour results shows. Which changes will do us good?

Tuesday, your “journey” has come to an end — at least with regard to American Idol.

Yes indeed, in a move that may have rival networks reexamining their own 2011 programming rosters, Fox revealed yesterday that Idol is shifting to a Wednesday-Thursday schedule, abandoning the Tuesday-Wednesday timetable around which the Idoloonie nation has built its entire life its TV viewing calendar for the last nine seasons. The late Friday announcement capped a week of carefully leaked tidbits about the remodeling that the long-running ratings juggernaut will undergo when it returns to the airwaves in January; that’s when new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will join “barnacle” Randy Jackson on a ship that, for the first time, won’t have Simon Cowell hurling insults from the lido deck. And while it’s pure speculation to say whether these tweaks big and small will translate into smooth sailing or sinking fortunes for Idol‘s tenth season, when has that ever stopped me in the past? Let’s take a critical look at each one of the recently revealed changes for season 10:

The move to Thursdays: “[Thursday] is a tough nut to crack, and if you want to crack it, you have to make a big move there,” Mike Darnell, Fox’s reality chief, told Deadline Hollywood. And indeed, with Glee becoming a ratings force on Tuesdays this fall (sans Idol lead-in), it makes sense for the network to try to position its ratings powerhouses over three nights, rather than just two. Bottom line, though, is that a timeslot switch shouldn’t mean much to Idol addicts. Think of it this way: Would Adam Lambert’s “Mad World” have sounded any less glorious on a Wednesday? Would Chris Daughtry’s ouster have been any less devastating on a Thursday? At the end of the day, we Idoloonies can bring the crazy any night of the week, any week of the year. So go ahead Fox, and do your thing.

The return of the one-hour results shows?: A wise philosopher once said, “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” Which is pretty much the stance I copped back in May, when Fox announced that it planned to cut Idol‘s results-show telecasts from 60 minutes to a half-hour (a promise it made and broke back a couple years ago as well). Yesterday’s Fox press release took a virtual Swiffer to that dusty idea of a truncated results telecast by announcing that starting Jan. 20, Idol would air from 8 to 9 p.m. every Thursday. Still, while we can all grumble at the network for another season of filler-laden elimination nights starring Ke$ha, Miley Cyrus, and Ryan Seacrest’s redundant questions for contestants, who can really blame Fox for choosing a scenario in which it’ll get 18-20 million viewers rather than, say, 5 million, in its 8:30-9 slot? At the end of the day, this is why God created the DVR fast-forward function.

The death of the semifinal rounds: Say farewell to the fun-yet-frustrating weeks when we grow attached to kids like Alex Lambert, Katelyn Epperly, Mishavonna Henson, and Aloha Mischeaux, only to watch them fall short of Top 12 glory. Returning co-executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told the New York Post this week that “the middle rounds” — in which viewers used to whittle down a pack of either 24 or 36 contestants down to 12 finalists — “will disappear.”

Lythgoe spun some ridiculous fiction in an effort to justify the show wrestling back a great deal of control from the voting public. “When you’re showing viewers 34 people and asking the country to judge 34 people, you don’t know who’s talented — you only know the ones who’ve had a bit of their stories shown in the auditions,” he said. “It’s much easier to say, ‘Here are the Final 12, now here are their stories, and start figuring out who you like.'” Sounds reasonable enough, until you remember that Idol fans have proven themselves completely capable of ignoring producer pimping and overwrought backstories and voting for contestants based solely on a single spectacular live performance. (See Allison Iraheta, Jason Castro, and perhaps most importantly, former champs like Kelly Clarkson and Kris Allen.)

I’d have more respect for Lythgoe if he’d just explain that the producers have been frustrated by their inability to use manipulative editing, talk-show campaigning, and occasionally biased judging to carry their pre-ordained “chosen ones” all the way to victory, and that by eliminating the semifinals, they feel they’ll have a better chance to pre-determine the season 10 outcome. Nigel’s honesty (or lack thereof) aside, even if you haven’t been thrilled with the last few Idol winners, it’s hard not to vehemently oppose any move that reduces the public’s power. Idol voters have Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and David Cook on their roster; that beats most three-artist combinations you could pull off the latest edition of the Billboard Hot 100, no?

This won’t be just a singing competition anymore: Well, not that Idol has ever really been strictly about vocals, but Lythgoe told TV Guide this week that season 10 will require wannabes to compete “to make the best music video, to promote themselves, and to work with a band and dancers for an awards show-style performance.” Props to the producing team for these innovations, considering that all of the aforementioned skills can help make or break an Idol once he or she exits the protective cocoon of a reality TV competition and is asked to fly the sometimes unfriendly skies alongside fully formed butterflies like Beyoncé, Pink, and John Mayer.

The emergence of an anti-guitar invective: Lythgoe has repeatedly mentioned his intention to stop contestants from “hiding behind their guitars,” which seems like a direct dig at Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen, David Cook, and all the other contestants in the last three seasons who’ve strummed their way into the hearts of Idol watchers. I find Lythgoe’s stance here both troubling and wrong-minded. Rather than railing against the use of instruments by DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox as the reasons for a sleepy season 9, how about blaming the production itself for saddling last year’s contestants with extremely limited lists of sappy, saccharine ditties? Perpetuating the fiction that “singer-songwriter types” have killed the Idol machine is kind of like chaining a dog to a tree, setting the tree on fire, then complaining when it fails to go fetch the newspaper.

What do you think, Idol fans? Which of the announced changes to season 10 have you excited? Which have you crying ‘foul’? And what’s your excitement level to tune in to the new and (possibly) improved mothership? Sound off in the comments section, and for all my Idol news and views, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.

Read more:
Fox moves ‘American Idol’ to Wednesdays and Thursdays

Comments (431 total) Add your comment
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  • Jean

    Once they get to the round of 12, I guarantee I will not watch the Thursday broadcasts. I only watched the results on Wednesdays because nothing better was on.

    • TorontoTom

      I will give it a look when the Final 12 begins but not sure I even want to commit to that. I used to be a fan of almost Slezakian levels (I said ALMOST, okay?!) but I just don’t think I will bother. Hate Seacrest, not interested in the new judges, irritated by the terrible production values, bored of the same-old-same of the show. Should there be a Kelly or Adam or Carrie in the F12, then I’ll be drawn in. Otherwise, not looking good regardless of what night it’s on. (Glad Glee will be staying on Tuesdays though!)

    • Jake

      David Cooks concerts rock that guy can play the hell out of a guitar not to mention he is the most talented winner to come out of that show. So yeah, the only reason for me to watch this year is to check out Tyler and hope for a David Cook performance.

      • Laura

        Totally agree about Dav8id Cook. The man is AMAZING. with his guitar and without it. Definately the best American Idol. Love him.

      • KARENX6

        David Cook is the best talent to come out of Idol..leave the guitars alone…everyone that has played one has been superior to those that haven’t. Oh and Adam Lambert would have made a great Idol….NOT!!

      • Anna

        I totally agree. David Cook is definitely my favorite American Idol. He has an amazing voice and is great at guitar. Lee and David were “hiding behind their guitars?” I think not. Lee is also really great. I absolutely love David Cook, is is the best American Idol talent wise and also seems like a nice guy.

      • Maddie

        David Cook does rule! But come on he is NOT the best talent to come out of Idol. Adam Lambert is!!!

      • C

        they’re gunna ax the guitars… geez guys. DAVID COOK was and is the best idol to come out with/without his guitar and totally steal the show.
        i totally agree with Anna and Maddie, Adam Lambert can’t play a guitar. he’s more a performer than anything else.

      • Yeah

        It’s a SINGING competition,first and foremost. Just because you have a guitar in front of you,doesn’t mean your singing is going to shine. And isn’t that what the show is about?

        David Cook and Daughtry can do both well.

        Adam Lambert outshines on the vocals.

        @C You’re right. Adam Lambert IS a performer. No one on this list could do what he does. Charisma,timing,theatrics is not something that comes easily (if at all) to people. It’s innate and not something that you just pick up along the way….you either have it or you don’t (especially the charisma part). On the other hand,anyone could learn to play a guitar. Even Adam!

      • cesar

        I agree 100%. David Cook is the best idol. He is an intelligent performer. If it were not for the semifinals where he sang “Hello” and the Beatles song, he would not have made it to the Top 12. So curse your decision Nigel to eliminate the semifinals.

      • LISA

        Kris Allen is Rock Candy A true star I am glad America got it right now lets just hope that Lythgoe dose not try and force a Lamebert on us

      • C

        yea i know that @Yeah. anyone can learn… but it was the comment from @Maddie. he had nothing to do with the guitars and people like Cook and Allen using or not using them week after week.

      • Brianna

        The music video idea sounds like a lot of fun. It’s a extremely good idea because now we can see which contestants have TRUE STAR POWER and TRUE CREATIVITY!!

      • @ Yeah

        Cook probably had the greatest male rock voice to come out of Idol. I think he would have won with or without the guitar, but it was nice to see a musician show off his other skills. Adam is also one of the most amazing vocalists to come out of the show, but I think he’s more cabaret/pop. I don’t think Adam could cover some of the stuff that Cook handles with ease, and I don’t think Cook would feel comfortable with Adam’s stage persona.

      • best poster

        My favorite contestants are gonna make it to the top again biotches! I will manipulate on these blogs like always so that my favorites make it—-and your favorites will lose biotches! :)

      • Woo

        My favorite contestants are gonna go to the top again!!! I will blog about them like always. I won that goal last season, and I will win again….you other hating posters lost last season. :)

      • v

        Does anyone know if there will be changes for text voting? Has Nigel or any of the producers commented on their thoughts on text voting?

      • ok

        sounds better

      • bliss diva

        How long is each music video going to be? A whole song or what?

      • beep

        Hopefully there will be the best amazing song choices.

      • cookielove

        Amen, brother!

      • charlie

        Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but I doubt if a majority would vote David Cook as the best Idol winner. Kelly Clarkson has my vote, and I suspect many if not most would select her or Fantasia or Carrie.

    • brandy

      I’m not gonna lie. I’ll follow Idol wherever it goes. I’m nervous that others won’t do the same though. And I’m nervous that Nigel feels the need to change EVERYTHING. He will surely be eating his words about at least half of the things he is saying come May.

    • Rebecca

      Adam is a real talent, I agree. But, as a vocal coach, I must tell you that David has a much superior vocal instrument. He is a dramatic tenor whereas Adam is a leggero (light) tenor. AL can get very shrill at times; DC is never shrill. They’re both very talented but I’d much prefer a huge, resonant voice, and Dave knows how to interpret without overdoing it.

    • kellybelly

      I think some of the changes will be a disaster. The date change – no biggie.
      The Hour Results show — AWFUL! Filler crapfest buffet.
      No Semi-Final rounds? I’m mixed. On one hand I agree with Nigel – just give us the 12 and get on with it. That way we get spared the pain of loosing Lilly Scott and the like. But on the other hand..are we going to get more manipulation shoved down our throats?
      Not just a singing competition anymore? Well, finally they admit it. hee, hee. But having to do a music video — okay if they let them do it based on who they are as musicians. Will they have to write it, direct it and produce it themselves? That’d be cheesy. This could be good or bad depending on the parameters.
      But the part of working with a band and dancers….won’t work for every performer. As long as they’re flexible and tailor the band and dancers or not to the individual artists style. OR are all the people they pic ONLY going to be diva types?
      No more Guitars? What? This is the silliest thing I ever heard. Which gives further proof that they really don’t want a musician only a singer. Some of the best contestants were also musicians. But I know that Kelly, Carrie are singers only. So, I just think that they are limiting themselves on this one. Especially when Mr.Tyler is an awesome ax player.

      Finally, what about making changes where it’s really needed — the VOTING process. Give us on line voting – 5 per person. And/or limit phone call voting to 10 per call or something. OR do they just like the controversy that their phone voting brings.

  • Vada

    What do I think? You are right, of course, as always. Idol is already so manipulative that it is killing the show, so they now they want to turn up the manipulation? Bad move, IMO.

    • Templar

      What’s killing the show is unlimited text voting by teens, tweens and cougars. Unless they limit the text voting, Idol is just a ” find the next semi-cute, semi-talented young guy” show. If they don’t change the voting the show will be crap, no matter what other changes they implement.

      • candacetx

        PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE raise the age from 16 to at least 18. None of the teen contestants have ever won (so, why are we still doing it?) — and those that did make it to the finals were slaughtered by an older, more seasoned contestant (c’mon! the two David’s — was that REALLY a contest?? Fantasia vs Diana D… seriously?)

      • Sara

        @candace: I totally agree. 16 year olds are not ready for real fame and a career; Jordin Sparks DID win but she’s done horribly. That Tattoo song is just about the worst, most cheesy crap I’ve ever heard.

      • candacetx

        @sara yikes… I completely forgot about Jordin (hello AI, take note).

        They put them thru and then waste weeks of our time telling them that their ‘voices need to mature’ or that they ‘don’t connect to the music’. When other talented performers – who are nearing the age limit – are passed over!!!

        (eye roll). Stop already, Enuff!

      • Preston

        I want to defend Jordin Sparks. I thought her second album sounded much better than her first. I could hear the growth in her singing, far more than her first and what she did on TV. She’s performing some shows on Broadway now and she loves doing it. I don’t think she cares about the record sales, just performing and singing for the love of it!

      • Musiqluvr

        Gotta defend Jordin Sparks too she wrote a lot of the second album and sounded pretty damn good on decent production. Really seems to have grown as an artist. But back to the main point that you are 100% right voting needs to be limited! That tween-text oversaturation is really tainting the best results.

      • cg

        @sara Jordin can’t help that her label sucks at promoting people unless you are Britney, Justin, or BSB. They really haven’t done a great job promoting her all though she has other hits like “No Air”, & “Battlefeild”. If she was on another label they probably would have promoted her better.

      • Vada

        You must be older. Top 40 radio caters to teens and tweens, not old ladies. A pop star must have the younger fans to compete in the real music world.

      • DebraD

        I definitely agree about the text-voting…I blamed the Tweens for a lot of things last season, especially during the semi-final rounds, when great musicians/vocalists went out early while others stayed on..and on…

      • charlie

        Right on… either nix the text voting or open more phone lines so callers don’t get busy signals 80-90 percent of the time while texters always get through [or so I assume].

      • kellybelly

        I agree — Change the Voting AND the minimum Age – should be 18 – 30 (or even higher). Cowell’s new show is sounding better and better.

  • Joanne

    Nothing’s gonna save Idol. Without Simon it’s dead on arrival. I’m looking forward to the X Factor.

    • Anna

      The biggest reason why they’re changing so much is because they KNOW Xfactor is coming. The band, the dancers, no semi-finals, those big changes are all because of the Xfactor. Because that’s what is/was different about it. I’ve watched Xfactor since the start and liked how they had dancers etc. Hate that American Idol is so desperate… I don’t think I’ll be watching anymore…

      • Preston

        I think they need to do the changes BEFORE X-Factor starts next fall and people will move on to seeing Simon Cowell on that show.

      • MODERATOR

        Thank you for your comment Mr. Cowell, but could you please just get over yourself already!!!!!:);)

    • DebraD

      I am definitely looking forward to seeing Mr. Cowell on the X-factor, and certainly am aware of his popularity-did anyone else feel that Simon’s send-off got more attention than who won? However, I can’t wait for the new season to start..there was more to this show than Simon!

  • Lauren

    RIP American Idol…it’s been fun but you’ve run your course and these terrible changes are just going to drag the show down deeper. Lythgoe seems so out of touch. And keeping the hour long results shows? Ugggg, torture!

    • Erinn

      I think the music video is the worst of the terrible changes! I have been looking forward to the ‘new’ vibe of American Idol, but hearing that they are going to have to make music videos just turns me off to no end. If I wanted music videos, I would watch MTV…and I don’t!

      • AGM

        I don’t think I’ve seen a music video on MTV since maybe about 10 years ago.

      • Jaded1

        Obviously you don’t watch MTV because they NEVER play music videos….

      • RyRyNYC

        Well, Erinn, its a good thing you don’t watch MTV because MTV doesn’t play music videos anymore…

      • Erinn

        Huh, ok. Well then you can see how long ago it was that I watched!

      • etm

        ITA,Erin. The music video idea sounds horrible.

      • forrest

        yet more reasons why American Idol will tumble in the ratings – Lythgoe is just pushing it further off the cliff. It’ll have the initial sensational morbid curiosity ratings spike for the beginning of the season, but it’ll fall off quickly. bye bye idol.

      • ag

        MTV does play videos… they’re just on from like 3 am – 7 am. Not sure how I feel about the music video idea yet. they probably want to see how marketable the contestants would be if they won.

      • Preston

        They still show videos on MTV on irregular hours like late at night, but not the nonstop 24-hour pace they did in the ’80s and ’90s. I think the people heading the network were getting exhausted at the pattern and showed nonmusic programming instead. I wished they’d go back to a 24-hour format for maybe one day only to remember that former format. But show all the videos of today–they’d be all into Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Kesha, Beyonce, Kings of Leon, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Eminem and countless others with their videos!

  • Stacie

    I must be missing something, if they don’t have the Top 24 and jump right from hollywood rounds to Top 12, then won’t we be missing like 3 weeks. Does that mean more redundant auditions, or an extra hollywood week? I get they want to get rid of Top 24 but what will fill it’s place??

    I probably will watch Big Bang Theory at 830 and then head over to American Idol for the last 30 minutes, since that is the most important part of the show anyways. I don’t care about the group performance, the random Kesha or ex Miley Cyrus boyrfriend singing, or the so very awkward Ryan Seacrest questions. So it being on Thursdays is no big deal for me.

  • Stacey

    I am not sure it’s a dig at David Cook. He was the first to use the guitar really, and he proved to be able to do well outside of an instrument. IE: Billie Jean and numerous others perfomances. But it’s certainty a dig at especially Crystal last year who got critcized for staying behind the guitar and sometimes Lee. The move to Thursdays won’t be a problem. I may even like it for giving a good lead-in to Bones at 9 p.m. Eliminating the semi-finals is more troublesome because as you said it allows for more manipulation to give the producers more control than the public that is supposed to buying the material in the end. And voting for… We’ll see how it works. Same with other other challenges. I am intrigued so I’ll be tuning in… They are lucky that I have very little scheduled for television on Wednesday…so I’ll be there…

    • Vada

      David Cook and Kris Allen did a lot of performances without an instrument. Lee did NONE without an instrument.

      • P

        Completely agree. Lee used his instrument as a crutch last season, in my opinion.

      • Jaded

        Actually Lee sang Lips of an Angel without his guitar. And he hitched his pants up repeatedly in the process.

      • Karrah

        One of Lee’s best performances was “That’s Life” without his guitar. But I didn’t mind that he played it most of the time. I think it’s cool to know that these kids are capable of both playing and singing.

      • Maddie

        I think this last season of Idol they allowed too many guitars on there. Choose better Idol. Music video concept is stupid!

      • Mary

        Agreed! And one of Kris’ best performances, “Once,” had no guitar playing.

      • Nene

        Kris sang on a piano twice. I love to see Cook-Lee-Kris and Crystal play.

        I actually like to see MUSICIANS…not “Performers”.

      • Nene

        “Once”?

        Oh you mean “Falling Slowly”.

      • candacetx

        if Lee wasnt hiding behind his guitar, it was a cadre of backup singers, or a bagpipe player, or whatever. the guy is the worst idol ever… truly sad :(

      • carly

        David Cook also at least still sells albums. Kris’s album didn’t sell much and Lee’s first album is doing even worse this week. It’s predicted to sell between 40 and 45 thousand which would make him the lowest selling winner in their history.

      • Preston

        Lee was really the only one who played his guitar. Only on the later performances (namely the top 2 or top 3) did they ask him to stop depending on it so much.

      • candacetx

        ummmm were we watching the SAME season?? Crystal (love her) played her guitar for nearly every song and so did Casey (love him more).

        American Idol is a singing competition. I stand my my original suggestion: don’t ban instruments, but limit the number of times they can be used (mandatorily)

      • DebraD

        I agree with Candace. I think we are limiting the variety of performers if we take away the instruments, but my tastes run more toward the singer/guitar players. And, I loved Crystal and was literally shocked when she lost!

    • Di

      It was the terrible song choices that made last season so tiresome. But the contestants were snoozers too. I don’t know why they were all sub-par. Crystal was the most talented and she wouldn’t be closer than 8 or 9 on a good season. Was it just a bad season, or has Idol seen the last of its glory days? I think Lythgoe’s job is to suck every dollar out of this dying enterprise, not to make it better or think long term. I think that explains all these decisions.

      • Preston

        I thought that most of that top 12 this past spring was bland. They sounded and looking completely nervous about performing on TV. Lee looked completely nervous and petrified. I doubt if most of that 12 will be in music. Lee released his album last week–I haven’t heard a SINGLE thing about the other 11 of when they’ll release their albums–hope they’re not lazy in the studio with all that idle time for 1 to 2 years, because the public will be moving on to other singers!

      • DebraD

        Well, I think part of the reason last season was a sleeper was that it followed a very exciting season of Kris vs. Adam. Also, I truly believe that many of last season’s best singers/performers were eliminated too soon(blamed the Tweenies for that one!)

  • Doug

    If they find talented and interesting performers, I’m in. American Idol as we know it is over, so it’s time to embrace something new. If Lythgoe and co. live up to the “spotlight off the judges” promise, then it could be the best season yet. It’s beginning to sound a bit more similar to Top Chef and Project Runway, which, imo, can only be a good thing.

    • Kix

      I’m with you, Doug. The problem last season was that most of the performers were not particularly interesting. Cool singers will make the show fly. Cowell phoned it in last season, so he won’t be missed.

    • DebraD

      Yes, those two shows are my favorite reality shows..Idol used to be..I can’t wait ’till it comes back, to brighten up the winter doldrums!

  • Margie

    I’m trying to figure out when the helll these contestants are going to have time to work with dancers, make videos, do promo etc. Previous contestants have complained about there not being enough time to rehearse with things like photo shoots, group numbers, day-long ford commercials to shoot, etc. Throw in madatory school for the 15-17 year olds and I predict disasters on our screens.

    One change I would like to see? The top 24 competing 4 per hour, singing 3 FULL songs each and the public having to vote off the bottom two each week. Singing a small set of full songs on stage is the best way to show whether they can handle the “real world” post-Idol.

    • Siggie

      They’re going to be so crunched for time, specially with lithgoe’s penchant for tweenie contestants. May as well have a classroom in the mansion. Oh yeah, they have to do all that, plus the new stuff, then go home to more cameras.

    • maggie

      I heartily agree with Margie… more singing is essential to help the audience actually access the talent of the performers. However, I would be amenable to video and performance evaluation too, as it is part of the ‘package’ (Michael, sorry for the unintentional Kara quote).

    • DebraD

      Oh, yes..what about those group numbers? Any talk about eliminating those? And, I’m not opposed to the contestants making videos. I think that it will be a very good experience for them, and will highlight their strengths. The Ford videos were a small taste of that. If the producers truly want them to make videos, they will have to schedule the time..eliminate other things, like extra photo shoots, ect.

  • Krelian

    I am so sad to lose the semifinals, best moments of the competition IMO. Also, ITA Slezak, giving more control to the producers would mean no Kelly Clarkson or David Cook.

    • Siggie

      Agreed.

      • Love David Cook

        What? no David Cook, he is the only reason I watch.

  • Stella

    Since I can’t imagine DeWyze, Allen or Cook doing a music video with dancers I guess my 3 favorite winners would’ve been in huge trouble. Idol is blatantly stating they want a winner in the same vein as Bieber, Gaga, Kesha. So goodbye rock and roll. Very shortsighted and unfair.

    • Jenny

      I don’t like the idea of discouraging the use of instruments. Yes, last season it was a crutch for many but part of that was the fault of the judges. They were the ones on the whole singer-songwriter vibe last year. When it got to the point where we could vote, pretty much all we had were people playing instruments. Three of David Cook’s best performances were without guitars. Kris Allen also had some of his best performances without the guitar. I don’t have a problem if they have weeks where they say “no instruments” just don’t take them away completely or limit it to a number of times they can use so the contestants will really look to see if the instrument enhances the performance.

      I don’t mind so much the getting rid of the rounds to get to a top 12. Most times there is one person who gets through that makes you go HUH? But for the most part I think TPTB chosen ones get through because the others chosen to compete aren’t as strong as the chosen ones. I think really only season 8 did we have a lot of people go that shouldn’t have. Without these early voting rounds we might not have had Kris Allen, but overall the right people get through here.

      • candacetx

        I dont think they should ban the use of instruments.. but they should limit them. If the performer makes it to the top 10, they should be limited to every other performance with instrument with a total of no more than 3 performances. This way if they go all the way to the finals, we would have only seen them 3 times with instrument and all the others without. backup dancers…WTheck? How dorky would Kelly or Carrie David C have looked with dancers? Makes no sense. That has JLo’s fingerprints all over it. :(

      • Mike

        I totally agree with you. Kris Allen was in a sing off to make the top 36. There is no way the judges would have put him in the top 12. Kris Allen’s album has been a huge influence on me this year and I honestly dunno how I could have gotten through without it. I’m glad he made it to the top 36 and won the show

      • Ash

        Now we’ll only get people with “interesting” aka pimped back stories. BLEH.

        There’s no way the judges would have put Kris Allen in the top 12. His win is the only reason I’m convinced AI is not fixed – despite all the dogging on him and the pimping other contestants, he still found a way too win (much to the judges dismay.)

        How can “America get it right” if they’re not even making the decisions!? Boo.

      • DebraD

        I am torn about this. Of course I want us, the voting public, to have as much say as possible. But, after last season’s debacle, where about four really good contestants got voted off in lieu of others(forgive my foggy name-memory), I feel that something needs to be changed about the voting..is was mentioned in earlier comments. I really do like Kris Allen, but Adam Lambert seemed detained to win. When he didn’t, I was quite surprised..Kris managed to win, against the odds. I remember wondering who the heck he was when he showed up in the semi-finals!

    • Scott

      The outlook may not be all that grim. Why do I have a feeling David Cook would find a way to make a rockin’ music video that was creative. As for dancers at awards show… well Cook survived the group numbers LOL, I think he’d find a way to make it work. In general, though, I think you’re right.

      • Cato

        David Cook was willing to give anything a try. That’s what made him so cool. He never had that obnoxious Daughtry attitude that suggested he was above everything.

    • Joanna

      lol at you for saying those guys are rock and roll. And they’re moving away from those type of winners because they have been pop culture busts. Who talks about David Cook or Kris Allen?

      • Preston

        I think they’re trying to get someone that doesn’t sounds like a current artist on the music charts and they don’t want a wannabe David Cook or a Chris Daughtry or Kris Allen to come off sounding like Chad Kroeger or Nickelback or John Mayer. They’re trying to avoid that rock singer type and going for a commercially driven pop artist.

    • Angela

      Agreed. American Idol should be about finding original talent, and that means they shouldn’t be restricting what type of contestants do well. Aside from the fact that recent contestants like Kris, David Cook, etc. are way more talented than the majority of artists who regularly reach the top of the charts, it shouldn’t all be about money and success; it should be about the music. Besides, the dearth of successful contestants isn’t a recent thing. I mean, Reuben Studdard and Fantasia can hardly be considered superstars.

      • candacetx

        but they could hardly be considered failures either.

  • briguyx

    I’m betting the real reason they don;t have a Top 24 anymore is because they can’t devote three nights to it and risk preempting “Glee.” Remember, it would be Girl’s Night. Guy’s Night and Results Night before…

  • Scott

    Michael you are my hero.

  • PJ

    I gave up on Idol last season and won’t be watching this year no matter how many changes they make. Anyway, Nigel has already said that he’s not impressed with this group of contestants. That’s not encouraging.

  • michaelsacal

    In all honesty, I miss Idolatry far more than I do Idol.

    Idolatry makes watching Idol fun.

    • Jules

      I agree!

    • grindy

      I agree. I’ll almost have to continue to watch Idol, just to see what Michael has to say. Love you, Michael!

      • forrest

        idolatry is the best – almost always better than the result show – really. I’ll watch Wednesday’s performance show, but Thursday is booked with other networks. Idolatry will fill me in on the rest.

    • Sofriggin’good

      what is idolatry? not being a smarta**. . .for reals, what is it?

      • tina

        Idolatry is Slezak’s video blog where he and one or two other EW bloggers would recap american idol at the end of each week. He’d also interview the top 10 or 12 I can’t remember. It is so freaking hilarious and it most of the time they’d say exactly what I was thinking. Not sure if I’ll what the new season. Nigel is having a bit of diarrhea of the mouth and seems to be implying that Simon was holding the show back and that he’ll come in and save the day. But I’ll be looking for Idolatry to keep me posted. You can search for it at the top of the page. The interview with Adam is the best.

      • mscisluv

        A web video that EW makes about Idol each week. It’s about a million percent better than Idol itself, dawg.

      • AAR

        It’s true. Last year I was out of the country and couldn’t watch American Idol, yet still watched Idolatry.

      • Ashtrash

        Oh, Idolatry is brilliant. It’s the only thing that kept me from putting my foot through the TV during season 8, when the judges relentlessly pimped Gokey and constantly undervalued Kris and Allison. It’s comedic gold.

    • Andrea

      Completely agree. The only reason I plan on sticking with Idol is so that I can fully appreciate Idolatry.

    • Mary

      Idolatry saved me from the boring season of Idol last year! Bring back Kradison!

      • Ashtrash

        How I miss Kradison. Best top three ever. (And yes, I know Allison came in 4th but I try and block out he-who-must-not-be-named whenever possible.)

    • Snsetblaze

      I may just watch Idoltry and not bother with Idol this year.

      • Shut Up

        Whatever Slezak, nobody cares what you think.

    • Di

      Yes! I agree. Maybe some pre-idol Idolatry?

    • D

      I hope Kristin’s back this season! And even Kristin with glasses!

  • Robert

    Love you Slezak! Once again I’m looking forward to your weekly analysis of Idol more than the show itself. Lythgoe certainly is making it clear they want a pop clone, wonder if he even cares about vocal ability?

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