Put away the Kibbles ‘n Bits, because the Dawg has officially left the building. Longtime judge/canine Randy Jackson announced last week he is leaving American Idol after 12 seasons of “Yo! Yo! Yo!” One can only pray the rest of the judges’ panel will shortly follow. The judging has been a major problem for this show ever since Simon Cowell packed up his scary collection of V-neck T-shirts three years ago. Sure, Idol tried to keep viewers interested by bringing in Jennifer Lopez to look gorgeous and Steven Tyler to hit on contestants roughly a third his age, but that never really worked. And the less said about this year’s panel the better.
But Idol has issues that extend far beyond the people sitting behind the red Coca-Cola cups. While it remains the only singing contest on TV that can still launch viable recording stars (as the recent success of the awkwardly named Phillip Phillips proves), the onetime television phenomenon has now become just another show, with recent episodes pulling in a paltry 11.3 million viewers. Fox should do the right thing and cancel Idol before it devolves further into irrelevance, but of course that scenario is about as likely as Mariah Carey offering any sort of useful critique whatsoever. So seeing as we’re stuck with each other, here are a few suggestions to pump some life back into the franchise. READ FULL STORY