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?)
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.
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.”
It's hard to believe that American Idol has been on the air for over 10 years. Around season eight, the American Idol judges started to change, which, in my opinion, changed the focus of the show. Sadly. It became more about the judges and less about the contestants.
Clay Aiken, the season two runner-up, recently shared his thoughts on the American Idol judges. When asked if he will return to the show to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his appearance on the show that gave him his big break, Clay said, "I don't know that I would commemorate it on the show. I don't know that they did it with Justin Guarini and all those folks."
Clay added, "But Idol back in those days was about the contestants. Kelly [Clarkson] and Justin and Tamyra [Gray] and Nikki McKibbin, they were all the stars of the show. And when I was on, Ruben [Studdard] and myself and Kimberley Locke were the stars of the show."
Definitely not shy about his opinion, Clay concluded, "Now Idol is about the judges. I don't even know if they remember there are contestants anymore."'
Lo and behold, it's already Hollywood Week (my favorite!) in American Idol time!
Considering the exhaustingly long search for judges and the drama that ensued once they were finally chosen, I'm shocked we didn't hear more about the American Idol auditions. I'm not complaining – just saying! Now that Ryan Seacrest and the American Idol judges aren't on the road, they're dishing about the mood at the judges' table thus far.
According to Randy, we can look forward to lot of "funny" this season. He says, "Nicki is mad funny, and Mariah is mad funny, and Keith is very quick-witted and funny." Randy adds that he wants to be Simon Cowell when he grows up, "We're all kind of silly, but I guess maybe I'm the harsh one. I'm the quickest to say no."