Saturday May 18, 2013
American Idol Season 12 crowned a winner this week.
But there's a good bet you didn't tune in. Okay, sure, 14 million of you did, but that's a drop of 7 million from last year.
Whatever the reason for those dismal ratings, it's a shame more people didn't watch this year's winner, Candice Glover--because she was worth the time.
How good was Glover this season?
- So good that Judge Keith Urban literally prostrated himself at her feet.
- So good she had diva Mariah Carey gushing, "You have an undeniable talent. It just surpasses what I could have ever even imagined I'd see here."
- So good critics called her "too good for American Idol."
- So good that Randy Jackson--the only judge who has sat through every performance of the past twelve years--applauded her for "one of the greatest performances in the history of 12 seasons of American Idol."
- So good that she'll make you a believer--one of these days.
But it's still a shame she didn't get to prove it to you on Idol.
Photo © Fox.
Friday May 17, 2013
Pop Quiz: Who's the newest American Idol?
Last night American Idol crowned Season 12's winner, but no one seemed to notice.
Ratings--already bottoming out this season--continued to break record for how low they could go. Only 14.3 million viewers tuned in to the finale to find out if Candice Glover or Kree Harrison won the million dollar recording contract.
It was the first time an Idol finale dipped below 20 million viewers and it's a 33 percent drop from last year, when 21.5 million watched Phillip Phillips' triumphant night.
I mean, we all know that Idol peaked years ago and it's far from its glory days. And we know that The Voice has been siphoning away viewers since it launched.
But what changed in 12 months that chased away 7 million Idol fans?
Have new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj driven away viewers?
Do American Idol fans hate women? Did they tune out when the last Season 12 contestant with a Y chromosome was eliminated before breaking into the top five? Is it a coincidence that this season--with it's record breaking low ratings was also the first time in Idol history where all the men were eliminated before a single top 10 girl was cut?
Are American Idol fans all white girls who want cute white boys as their idols? Or is it just a coincidence that Candice Glover is the first African American singer to win since Fantasia in Season Three? [Whoops! Make that Jordin Sparks in Season Six. African American men have had it worse: no win since Season Two's Rubin Studdard. See the whole list of Idol winners here.]
Is it a coincidence that Glover and Harrison are both a little pudgy? Or does America care less for female singers who have a little junk in the trunk?
Whatever the reason for the plunging ratings, it was hugely unfair to Candice Glover, who is arguably one of the most talented vocalists to emerge from American Idol in the past 12 years.
Now the only question remains, will the abysmal ratings make Idol producers reconsider their stance on the remaining three judges?
After Randy Jackson announced he's leaving the show, Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly insisted the other judges were all "welcome back."
What do you think? Should they replace the judge(s)? Is there anything Idol could do to get you back as a viewer?
Photo © Fox
Monday May 13, 2013
Finally, the moment has almost arrived.
That moment every American Idol fan has been waiting for all season: the final show-down between the top two singers and the moment one of them will be crowned the next American Idol.
Nearly all season long, we've known that it'll be a woman walking away with that title (for the first time since Jordin Sparks won Season Six!). Especially after the season made Idol history by having all the female finalists make it into the top five.
But, now that we've finally reached that moment, it is, for some, bittersweet.
That's because some fans, feel the two female contenders who will face off during the Idol Season 12 finale aren't the singers who were supposed to compete.
For them, Angie Miller, will always be the rightful runner-up, despite her stunning elimination last week.
But for others, those who call themselves "Kreepers" and have a fierce loyalty to an orphan name Kree Harrison, Miller's elimination is just one more in a long line of conquests who have to fall for their singer to conquer Idol and emerge victorious.
And others still couldn't care less if it's Miller or Harrison or one of the previously eliminated contestants--so long as they are going up against Candice Glover, those fans don't think any Season 12 contestant--girl or boy--can beat Glover's sheer talent.
Learn more about Kree Harrison and Candice Glover (and find out who will win) and whether Miller's final performances doomed her to elimination.
We'll soon see for ourselves which singer will become the next American Idol. And it's good to remember that--win or lose--most of the best singers from any season will continue to forge forward in their music careers. We haven't heard the last of Miller, Harrison or Glover.
Who do you think should win American Idol Season 12? Who will win? Why?
Photo of Season 12 Top 3 © Fox
Friday May 3, 2013
Do American Idol fans hate women?
Considering the Season 12 ratings dive, the question seems a valid one.
After all, the show's ratings have been in free-fall for the last few weeks. Only 11 million viewers tuned in to the singing competition Thursday night to find out who would make it into the top three. And Idol's ratings among adults 18-49 plunged 7 percent from last week, dropping to a dismal 2.5.
Entertainment Weekly put those numbers in perspective, reporting, "When Idol was first beat by CBS' Big Bang Theory last year it was big news. Thursday night, Idol was topped by Big Bang plus CBS' Two and a Half Men, ABC's Grey's Anatomy and ABC's Scandal, with CBS' Person of Interest right on its heels."
So, what does the rating dive have to do with Idol fans hating women?
Well, this unprecedented drop in viewers has accompanied a historical moment: for the first time in Idol history, the top five contestants are all women. That outcome guarantees that the next American Idol will be female, something that hasn't happened since Jordin Sparks captured the title in Season Six.
Back in the day, women singers like Fantasia, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson dominated the competition.
But, for the past five seasons every winner has been male. That preference for boys hasn't always been tied to actual singing skill; leading some critics (including me) to complain that tween girls are choosing Idol winners based on crush-ability instead of talent.
This year the gender-based talent disparity was so obvious that it seemed to tip the scales and all five of the male singers in the final ten were eliminated before a single female finalist was cut.
But just as it seemed time to celebrate, the Idol ratings tanked, suggesting that fans find the all-female finals unworthy of their TV viewing. Once a female winner was guaranteed, it seemed fans lost interest.
Or is the ratings free-fall a coincidence? What do you think? Why aren't you watching Idol?
Photo of Season 12 final four © Fox.