'American Idol' Hits 5-Year Ratings Low, Over-Reaction Abounds
American Idol will be fine.  Let's get that out of the way first.  At least for the next couple seasons, American Idol will continue to grace the shameless and oft Moment-of-Truthed airwaves of the FOX Network.  The shows is still the biggest one on television.  That being said, the ratings have been slipping on a consistent basis, and there is certainly reason for the American Idol producers to worry.  On Wednesday, American Idol received its lowest ratings in five years with “only” 22.1 million viewers, down 1.2 million from its previous five-year low, which was set last week.  It's a troubling trend, indeed, and speaks to the fans' disappointment with this season.

There have been a variety of theories as to why American Idol keeps sliding in the ratings.  A popular one is that America has grown tired of this group of judges, and the judges have grown tired of doing American Idol.  I'm inclined to believe that the judges have nothing to do with Idol's decreased ratings.  Viewers know what they're getting with the judges', and even with the cries of favoritism this year, I don't think it's enough to keep people from tuning in.

More likely, David Archuleta is to blame.  Not him, personally, but I think his fans have driven others away.  Let me explain.  It stands to reason that David Archuleta is the owner of a rabid fan base, a fan base that gathers together and speed dials Idol make sure Little David gets enough votes to stay on the show.  Knowing this, it's possible (likely, even) that Archuleta has less actual fans than the other singers on American Idol this year.  What this equates to is an unbalanced ratio of a singers' fans to their voting results.  Deserving singers like Carly Smithson and Michael Johns probably had near-Archuleta sized fan bases who were simply less-motivated to vote for them a hundred times in one night.  If that's the case, then it'd make sense that millions of viewers would tune out after their favorite singer was eliminated earlier than logic would dictate.

Anyway, just a theory.  Comment below with your thoughts on why American Idol is losing viewers at such a significant clip.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)