Entertainment behind the scenes
“American Idol” asks fans for a fix
As “American Idol” plods its way to the 2010 finale after a lackluster season and slipping ratings, the TV show’s dwindling band of fans are getting an unusual opportunity to weigh in on what’s wrong with the show, and how to fix it.
Official website www.americanidol.com has posted a detailed survey which asks fans why they are watching less often — and less enthusiastically — this year, and invites them to rate all the judges individually, as well as the entertainment value of “Idol” mentors and the show’s celebrity guest judges.
And perhaps most surprisingly, there is even a chance for fans to say how much (if at all) they miss Paula Abdul.
The survey is being conducted by an independent agency. But it suggests that “Idol” producers, or Fox, or both are thinking seriously about what hasn’t worked this year – and how they can tweak it next year.
The biggest question on the minds of many fans — the replacement of Simon Cowell — is not addressed in the online survey and Fox has already said there will be no announcement on that before the two-part season finale on May 24 and 25.
“Idol” has seen an 8 percent drop in viewers this season, and audiences have slipped below 20 million recently at a time when anticipation and fan fervor has generally risen going into the finale.
You don’t have to look far in the blogosphere to hear the biggest gripes from fans.
Paula appears to be widely missed, Ellen DeGeneres has generally failed to live up to expectations as a judge, and this year’s Top 12 were widely seen as the worst in “Idol” history.
Frank Sinatra-themed week didn’t chime with younger viewers (that episode got the lowest ratings for 8 years), and none of the finalists are seen as having the showmanship that last year made Adam Lambert (like him or not) one of the most-talked about contestants in the show’s nine season dominance of pop culture.
So stop griping and have your say.
(Or do you think “Idol” s time is already over?)
(Pictures courtesy of Fox, 19 Entertainment, Reuters)