American Idol, you damned fools. Last week, you were lambasted, raked over the coals, called horrible names by rational humans and all-around embarrassed when your performance show ran nearly ten minutes over time. Anyone who recorded American Idol on DVR missed out on Adam Lambert's rendition of “Mad World,” which may have been the best performance of the season. You royally screwed up. For the biggest, most popular TV show in the galaxy, this was pretty indefensible. So, what was your response? How were you going to right the wrongs of the past week? What fix would you make? Maybe shorten the video packages? Cut down the extended intro? Place an embargo on any Simon-Seacrest banter? Throw a muzzle on Paula? No, out of all the easy fixes you could have made (and there were a lot of them) you decided to bastardize your own show, steal away one of the integral aspects of American Idol and only let two judges comment per performance. Really? American Idol could not have gone a more asinine route last night.
Let's do a little math. The actual performances last only two minutes. We'll give three additional minutes for critiques from the four judges plus the aftermath of each performance. That's 35 minutes of total content. Add in the commercial breaks, which adds up to 18 minutes, and that's 53 minutes of content. There are seven or eight additional minutes to work with. If you speed up the intro, and get the first performance on stage within five minutes (you have the introduction of the Top 7, the short video package for the mentor, the introduction of the judges and the inane back and forth between Seacrest and whoever he decides to talk to). That leaves three more minutes at the end of the show to flash the numbers, show clips of each performance and wrap it all up.
How freaking difficult is that? Allotting three minutes for the post-performance content is extremely excessive and I still came up with a formula that works. And, yet, the Idol producers thought that the best solution was to completely change the format of the show. Not allowing the judges to give their thoughts on every performance is inherently unfair. Want some evidence? Here goes.
I'm going to discuss the Dial Idol results now. If you don't want to be spoiled, look away. My colleague Henrik brought up the possibility that the whole judge split was a conspiracy to inflate some contestants' vote totals and hurt others, the idea being that people who are critiqued by Simon would get more votes (either because a positive review from Simon will inspire voters, or because a scathing review from Simon will inspire sympathy votes, while no one really cares about what the other judges say). The Dial Idol numbers back this up. Dial Idol shows Kris Allen with the lowest number of votes, Matt Giraud next in line, followed by Allison and then Anoop.
The three contestants to be judged by Kara and Randy were Kris, Matt and Anoop. Dial Idol currently has Lil Rounds, who was easily the worst singer last night, as the second leading vote-getter. Is this a conspiracy?
I'm reminded of a quote from Napoleon: “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.” If the Idol producers hadn't shown themselves to be so incompetent this season, I'd like to ascribe last night's format switch to a conspiracy. But, I think we're better off agreeing that it's merely a result of stupidity.
Looking forward to tonight's show, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Judges' Save will be utilized. The only person who the judges shouldn't consider saving is Lil. If either Anoop or Matt receives the lowest number of votes, I think there's a chance that the judges will decline to use the save, but I'd put the chances at 50/50. If anyone else is on the precipice of elimination, they will undoubtedly be saved. Miley Cyrus will also make an appearance on tonight's results show, though her performance was pre-taped a couple weeks ago. If you're like me, reading that last sentence made you glaze over with overwhelming indifference.
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-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)