From the network's perspective, it was bad because ratings were down. However, it was great because I think this year had a fairly deep field. I liked that there wasn't truly anyone in the top six who was awful. Heck, even the top 10 wasn't all bad and there was nary a John Stevens, Sanjaya or Carmen Rasmussen to be found.
Even this year's whipping girl (KLC) was better than some of the top five singers from year's past.
As far as Fox is concerned, here are some of my random thoughts about the show:
- The themes killed this year's singers. I've ranted about these before but this year's themes were worse than usual. The reason is simple: too many songs were too old. In order for the show (and the winner) to be relevant, they must sing contemporary songs. By starting the themes in the rounds of 24, they ensured that no one did a song from the last 10 years until well into the season.
- The mentors didn't help. I'm sick of acts coming on the show just to shill for their latest CD, project or tour. I could care less about hearing what Mariah Carey has to say about the singers. I just want to hear them sing.
- Each year, the judges pick their faves, but this year, it was worse than usual. And Randy, who is often the most level-headed, was the worst suck-up of all. I think there was a backlash against The Arch from the show's seasoned fans who are all to familiar with the way 19E manipulates the votes and they responded with a massive beat-down of their Golden Boy.
- The results shows need to be shrunk back down to half an hour.
- Get rid of the mosh pit!!!
- Ratings weren't down because of the people on the show. They're down because fewer people are watching network TV (writer's strike) and because all the music on this season was for old people.
- Stop the viewer phone calls!
- The tour is either going to be a hoot or it will be gawd-awful. Between Brooke screwing up everyone's harmonies and Jason being too baked to take the show seriously, I see massive chemistry problems for this crew.
- Lindsay Lohan is about six months away from appearing in a Dirty Sanchez video. I know that's not Idol-related; I'm just sayin'.
- After this year's problems with Dadchuleta, I think we're finally going to see the minimum age raised to 18. That way teenagers who might otherwise crack under the pressure of the show (Leah Labelle, Jaclyn Crum, Camile Velasco) will be given another couple of years to mature and Fox won't have to let stage parents hang out backstage to harass the other singers and cost them money by inserting lyrics into the songs that aren't paid for.
- Partnering with iTunes is the smartest thing Idol has done in a long time. Not only is it another way to make money, it practically guarantees that the Idol's first album will be ready soon after the show ends, thus eliminating the deadly layoff from the victory coronation and actual sales.
- I still can't believe LaToya London didn't win season 3.
- We need more Hollywood shows and fewer (bad) auditions.
- I'm so happy so many people stopped by the blog this year and I hope everyone will be back next year.
- Jennifer writes the best Idol blog on the Interweb. There are some other folks out there who are close, but this is her world and we just blog in it.
- I'd seriously think about selling a good chunk of my Star Wars action figure collection if I could score tickets to the Idol finale next year.
- I promise not to go on vacation near the end of the season next year. Maybe.
- The 90 second limit is ridiculous. The kids should get at least 3 minutes each. If Fox still needs the same amount of filler/advertising/product placement, they should extend the singing shows (not the results shows).
- To me a great theme would be "duets" where the singers double up and sing together. It will force them to develop chemistry that will 1) make the group sings tolerable and 2) show who has the chops to work and play well with others. Who wouldn't love to hear Rueben and K-Lo sing "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" or Clay and Danny try "I'll Cover You" (from Rent)?
- We should all get together for an American Idol blogger's cruise. I'm thinking Crown Princess to the eastern Caribbean sailing on 11 January 2009 out of Ft. Lauderdale. I'll buy on steak and lobster night.
I think that's all I've got for now, but I'm sure I'll think of more as the long summer drags on.