AMERICAN IDOL is pre-empted Tuesday night by the President. Fans might be upset but the show’s producers aren’t. This year more than any other they have made a concentrated effort to draggggggggg outttttttt the season as long as they can. After all, this is FOX’s one big cash cow. TIL DEATH can’t hold the fort the remaining seven months.
We’ve seen it repeatedly this season. It used to be we’d get two or three sob stories during the open auditions. This year was a virtual parade of Octomoms.
A fourth judge was added. And since Kara (pictured above) offers nothing in the way of fresh perspective or personality it can only be concluded that she’s there for padding. Now we have to wade through three inane critiques before we get to Simon and the only opinion that matters.
Hollywood week now lasts longer than the NBA playoffs. To be more accurate they should rename it “Hollywood Winter”.
Results shows used to be a half hour. How long does it take to say, “Sanjaya, go away.”? Now they’re an hour. More “Up With People” production numbers with the candidates massacring the Motown catalog, more career CPR performances by Neil Diamond, endless audience shots of friends and family members who look like the cast of DELIVERANCE, and increased Algonquin Table level badinage between Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson. Thank God there are those 37 minutes of commercials to break up this tedium.
A new rule this season allows the judges to save one castoff one time, thus cleverly adding yet another week of competition. By the way, how incredibly stupid do you have to be to not know they’re going to hold this card until the end of the season to prolong this faux suspense going for as long as possible? Right. Someone needs to explain it to Paula.
And then there is AMERICAN IDOL GIVES BACK, their big splashy charity show. (Can anything beat the season Simon Cowell visited a local food bank and said he was astounded that there are hungry people in Los Angeles?)
But AMERICAN IDOL is running out of ideas. The seams are showing. So, as a public service, I offer these three suggestions for stretching the show but not having it appear at all obvious. AI producers, are you listening?
Once you reach the top ten, pause for MENTOR IDOL. Take five 60s British Invasion stars at least as famous as Lulu, let them perform and each week the public votes off another. (“Gerry of Gerry and the Pacemakers, I’m sorry buddy, it’s the end of the line.”) In five weeks you’ll have the winner then go back to the real competition. The following week begin another round of MENTOR IDOL, this time with a country theme. By my calculations you could add another YEAR to the show with just this nifty convention alone!
Make one of the weeks “Complete Opera” week.
It’s a shame to waste AMERICAN IDOL GIVES BACK on only a couple of nights. It should air every night for a month – say the month that Fox has all the baseball playoffs. Kellie Pickler could sing during pitching changes. Tatiana del Toro could replace Tim McCarver in the booth (Or anyone could replace Tim McCarver in the booth). The World Series could be played at the Kodak Theater. It’s a win-win. More weeks for you, and since the World Series probably will stretch into Thanksgiving this year you’ll get all that November Sweeps action.
And finally, add one more judge – Tommy Lasorda. You’ll never have to do another production number or show a contestant’s hometown ever again.
Good luck with the rest of the season. Take my suggestions and that could be indefinitely.