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American Idol Ratings

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Are y'all ready for another round of American Idol musical chairs? 

American Idol's ratings are down a whopping 22% this season despite the addition of big name judges, country star Keith Urban, rapper Nicki Minaj, and pop diva Mariah Carey. The ratings-challenged series hit an all time low last week, attracting only 11 million viewers. In comparison, American Idol appealed to roughly 30 million viewers every week in its prime. Panic time!

Needless to say, Fox wants big changes, including all new judges. Again

One judge beat them to the punch. Randy Jackson, the lone original judge, announced yesterday that season twelve will be his last. "Yo! Yo! Yo!" Randy told E!. "To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season."

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Even with dismal ratings, American Idol (please go gently into that good-night…) still remains in the news.  This time, the long-running reality show is facing a potential lawsuit brought by nine former contestants who are claiming that the show and its producers are giant racists.  So, there's that.

I'm going to go out on a limb right now and say that I don't think the show or its practices exude any type of racism.  If I'm wrong Jennifer Hudson is having the best last laugh ever.  Factoring in the voters, the fans, and the singers, it would take a lot to skew the show in the direction of racism.  To me it sounds like a bunch of sour yet talented former contestants who didn't find the fame they'd hoped when getting the boot prior to the finale.  Just fade into obscurity like the rest of them…heck, Taylor Hicks won his season, and who even knows what he's up to these days!  (Apparently, he's headlining his own show in Vegas, but more on that after the jump :) I know, right?)

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American Idol's newest judging panel, Mariah Carey, Nicki MinajKeith Urban, and Randy Jackson, debuted last week to 17.9 million viewers.

Impressive numbers, for sure, but also a 19% drop compared to season 11. 

American Idol's ratings fell another 10% Wednesday night – with a total of 16 million viewers - despite Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj's feud being aired. If the footage of their showdown was leaked on purpose back in October (to create buzz) it certainly didn't pay off. 

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Season 12 of American Idol, featuring new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban, premiered Wednesday night. While the new judges, namely Mariah and Nicki, gave us bloggers a lot to blog about over the past few months, they failed to increase ratings for the show. 

An average of 17.9 million total viewers tuned in to the premiere. That's down 19% compared with last season and a new low for the reality show. The decline among viewers age 18 to 49 – the most sought-after group – was also 19%. In fact, American Idol's ratings have been going down, down, down since 2009. 

Mike Darnell, the president of Fox's alternative programming, remains optimistic about American Idol's future. "We beat everybody last night, and we're way ahead of The Voice [season three debuted to 12.3 million viewers]. It’s by far the biggest reality show, [and] I feel like there's a real shot at closing that deficit over the next few weeks.” 

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A number of critics have panned the new season of American Idol, but did the audience also tune out?

Well, it seems at least some of them did. According to an AP report, the ratings for AI are down this season from the previous year. While the premiere episode was one of the most watched television shows of the year, averaging a total of 26.2 million viewers, it was still down 13% from the nearly 30 million who watched last season’s opener.

The decline continued onto the second episode of the season, averaging 22.6 million viewers.

Season 10 officially made it’s debut Wednesday, January 19 with a two-hour opener which was mostly dedicated to showcasing the new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who joined the sole returning judge Randy Jackson.

And following two weeks of auditions, some are wondering if these new set of judges are simply not Simon Cowell too soft as a high number of contestants were reportedly let through to go to Hollywood.

“I’m beginning to see why the Hollywood Week group was so large this year (a reported 325),” Brian Mansfield of USA Today wrote. “This group of judges are a much softer touch than previous crews. They’re much more likely to put somebody through on the strength of their personalities. Simon would have shut 75 percent of those people down.”

Critic Emily Yahr of the Washington Post stated the “same dramatic music, same talk about making people’s dreams come true, same sob stories with predictable tickets to Hollywood. It’s comforting, or it’s a snoozefest — take your pick.” Interesting.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW SEASON OF AI? ARE THE JUDGES TOO SOFT? DO YOU MISS SIMON?

AARON KELLY

17-year-old Aaron Kelly saw his luck run out Wednesday night as he was the latest hopeful to be eliminated from American Idol.

Aaron’s rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon” failed to impress the home viewers after a tough Frank Sinatra-themed week for the five remaining Idols. “I’ve had a great time. I’ve had a blast,” said a shocked Aaron upon hearing the news of his elimination.

Rounding up with bottom two with Aaron was surprisingly Michael Lynche, despite receiving praise from the judges for his performance of “The Way You Look Tonight.” Actor and singer Jamie Foxx will be on the show next week to mentor the 4 remaining finalists.

In other Idol news, ratings continue to dip for the show, in what some are calling the worst season ever. The ratings have dropped a drastic 20% in just the last three weeks.

That is not the worst news however, as a new report shows Tuesday’s episode brought in the lowest ratings for the show since 2002. The Tuesday night show averaged 17.1 million viewers, compared to Dancing With The Stars which averaged 19.6 million viewers this week.

Some are wondering whether the departure of longtime host Paula Abdul and the pending exit of Simon Cowell, might be part of the reason for the ratings dip. What a lot of people seem to agree on however is that this season has a lackluster of contestants.

The reason I can’t bring myself to like Idol is simply because I feel the judges nitpick the contestants’ performances. And then we have the four judges giving very conflicting criticism to the contestants. I mean hello, are they all not watching the same performances? But that’s not all. The judges also seem to play favoritism, giving constant, sometimes undeserved, praises to their favorite contestants. Think Crystal Bowersox and Michael Lynche this season. It seems these two were made to be the frontrunners very early on the season. So the question is why waste my time watching for 12 weeks if Crystal and Michael will likely be in the final 2?

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TELL US – WHAT DO YOU THINK IS TO BLAME FOR AMERICAN IDOL’S LOW RATINGS?

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