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How to fix AMERICAN IDOL...

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How to fix AMERICAN IDOL...

Old 03-22-07, 08:33 AM
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How to fix AMERICAN IDOL...

I think we can all agree that this show has lost something. Last season was, by far, the best group they've ever had, but that was an abnormality -- really, both the talent level and the competition itself has gone downhill since Reuben and Clay.

But I come to praise American Idol, not to bury it. It's still the number one show in America. It still consistently entertains and infuriates. It's still got a lot going for it... but it could definitely use a few changes.

Here are two of my suggestions... fell free to add in your own.

Suggestion # 1 -- make the call-in vote be for the candidate you want to eliminate

American Idol fans are all atwitter about two topics -- Sanjaya, and the Howard Stern campaign to keep him in the competition out of spite. It seems like every year we bitch about some contest who sticks around far longer than their talent should allow... well, that's because American Idol is more a popularity contest than a singing competition. And that's because you can only vote for a contest, not against him.

Until now. Under my system, you vote for the one candidate each week that you believe should go home, not the one you want to stay. That gets rid of the people trying to rig the vote... and it also gets rid of these really atrocious singers. Win-win.

Suggestion # 2 -- bump up the age limits on both ends

Honestly, is it really fair to have a 16 year old going into a national competition against 28 and 29 year olds? Wouldn't you much rather hear how someone sounds after they've had a chance to learn how to sing? Aren't you tired of these showbiz parents living vicariously through their kids? How would it be a bad thing to make the minimum age to appear on American Idol -- which involves signing a contract, after all -- 18 years old?

And on the other end... how many great, great singers are out there who are just past the 29 year old cut off? I'm positive there are some dynamic performers who are 30, 32, 34... let's bump up the upper age limit to 35 so we can broaden our talent pool and get a more diverse range of singers.

(Honestly, I could be persuaded to bump the upper limit up to 64, just so we can let in Sherman Pore.)

What do you think? What else could be changed about American Idol to make it even better?


(And yes, I know that I may have just emasculated myself by admitting that I enjoy American Idol so much, but you know what? 31 million Americans can't be wrong.)
Old 03-22-07, 08:34 AM
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Cancel it?

Originally Posted by NCMojo
31 million Americans can't be wrong.
And yet you're griping about how they vote for the wrong people each week. Talk about a conundrum.

Last edited by rfduncan; 03-22-07 at 08:37 AM.
Old 03-22-07, 08:37 AM
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Heh, I don't disagree with a 17 - 35 age group, that said, they're trying to sell image, so maybe they're just afraid that 30 is unhip (though the current top contender is 29.)

I'm actually enjoying this season more than last year, in large part to the number of terrible singers who are making it forward. It's amusing to me. And it seems this may very well be the highest overall rated season of the show, which means they think they're doing something very right. That said I usually fast forward and watch entire eps in about 12 minutes, man do they drag this shit out.

That gets rid of the people trying to rig the vote... and it also gets rid of these really atrocious singers. Win-win.
I actually agree and disagree with that, on one hand.. it'd be interesting, on the other, it would seemingly support rigging more than the current system. The current system works because the people who don't stand out get filtered out early on, and then the truly terrible, with the few good ones reamaining at the end.

Last edited by RichC2; 03-22-07 at 08:40 AM.
Old 03-22-07, 08:44 AM
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The one way to fix it (but will never happen) is limiting the vote to one vote per phone number. Call in an 800 number, press a number for the idol you like, and that's it. I know it can be done (the limiting) but they will never do this because then they can't say they got 31 million votes or whatever number they say that week. How many voters make up the 31 million votes? Probably nowhere near the "votes" number.

The current voting is skewed tremendously toward the contestants who have fantacial fans who will sit there and vote for an hour for the same person.

I don't even bother to vote, but if it were one vote per number - I would do it in a heartbeat.

Just my 2 cents.

DH
Old 03-22-07, 09:05 AM
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Suggestion #2 I agree with.

Somebody pushes Suggestion #1 every year, and it's a terrible idea (no offense to you personally). It would create a horror show. Here's what would happen: instead of people voting for the worst singers they'd vote for whoever they perceive to be the biggest threat to who they support. In other words, you'd have fans of the mediocre and bad singers banding together to vote off the good singers. Which is exactly the opposite of what you're trying to achieve.
Old 03-22-07, 09:06 AM
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Bump it to 18 years old and you wouldnt have this year's potential Idol...Jordin.

She may actually win this thing and she is 17.
Old 03-22-07, 09:11 AM
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Replace Paula with David "I am crying" Hasselhoff, expand the age brackets, make the show 1/2 hour long instead of 2 freaking hours.... yah.
Old 03-22-07, 09:19 AM
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Voting for who you want to go home wouldn't work--definitely wouldn't work at all without switching to a 1-vote rule, but even still, it would sort of eliminate the goal of the show, which would be to have the winner be someone with a lot of fans, rather than someone who the least # of people dislike and want to vote off.
Problems:
-"Vote for the worst" would just become "vote for the best"--"The judges think that Melinda/Lakisha/Jordin/Chris Daughtry/whomever is really good--they want that person to win--let's vote them off!"
-People would make it fairly far in the competition based on being the most bland contestant. No one really liked Brandon Rogers, but I doubt anyone had any reason to dislike him strongly enough that they would have been calling in all night to send him home either.
Old 03-22-07, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by The Zizz
Voting for who you want to go home wouldn't work--definitely wouldn't work at all without switching to a 1-vote rule, but even still, it would sort of eliminate the goal of the show, which would be to have the winner be someone with a lot of fans, rather than someone who the least # of people dislike and want to vote off.
Good point. People don't go to the record store and buy an album from the artist who "sucks the least".
People would make it fairly far in the competition based on being the most bland contestant. No one really liked Brandon Rogers, but I doubt anyone had any reason to dislike him strongly enough that they would have been calling in all night to send him home either.
Yep. For evidence of this, look no further than the first season of Big Brother.
Old 03-22-07, 09:24 AM
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[quote]make the show 1/2 hour long instead of 2 freaking hours[/quote

please explain how to fit 12 performances--with judging--in 22 minutes
Old 03-22-07, 09:25 AM
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They just need to be more careful of who they let through to the final 24 next year. Last season at least had a nice variety of styles, which is greatly lacking from this batch.

Other than that, I have no problems with Idol's current procedures.
Old 03-22-07, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Heffernan
I know it can be done (the limiting) but they will never do this because then they can't say they got 31 million votes or whatever number they say that week. How many voters make up the 31 million votes?
You mean they aren't all unique voters? But I thought more people voted for Idol than for the president!
Old 03-22-07, 09:54 AM
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I think this year is just a case of average talent and a few good singers... The one thing I would change is Randy Jackson. Sure Paula is a mess, but she is damn entertaining ala a car wreck. But Jackson is functionally retarded and I just dont understrand what he says most of the time.
Old 03-22-07, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Heffernan
The one way to fix it (but will never happen) is limiting the vote to one vote per phone number. Call in an 800 number, press a number for the idol you like, and that's it. I know it can be done (the limiting) but they will never do this because then they can't say they got 31 million votes or whatever number they say that week. How many voters make up the 31 million votes? Probably nowhere near the "votes" number.

The current voting is skewed tremendously toward the contestants who have fantacial fans who will sit there and vote for an hour for the same person.

I don't even bother to vote, but if it were one vote per number - I would do it in a heartbeat.

Just my 2 cents.

DH
I agree. I would only vote once or twice. I know my vote wont compete with those fanatics.
I think you should cap the vote. Dancing with the Stars allows you as many votes as contestants. This computerized voting and people who redial 100 times skews the popularity of the contestants. An average person might call in 10 votes for someone. A fanatic will call in 50-100. It's not indicitive of their real popularity.
Old 03-22-07, 10:19 AM
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why not go "dancing with the stars" route and let the judges have a say in the voting. or is it too late to do something like that now?

this is the first season of watching "american idol" for me, and i know the idea of the show is for the audience and viewers to vote. so maybe it defeats the purpose of the show to let the judges have a say-so.
Old 03-22-07, 10:25 AM
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I definitely think they should limit the amount of votes. Dancing w/ the Stars does this and it seems to be working for them. Now, I know that many have more than one phone .. but it could still work.
I honestly think the reason why they don't do this ... is because they want to be able to say we got 30 million votes, we got 60 million votes.
Who Cares!
The best was when Ryan said at one of the finales that they got more votes than in the last Presidental Election. What a stupid thing to say!

Another thing they should consider: Charge for each call. Allow 5 free and then charge $1.00 for each call after that. They would have to set it up so we wouldn't have to give our credit card info every week and work something out w/ the phone companies so all the money can go to charity.
Now, of course this could create a huge backlash from all the parents across the country when they get their cell phone bills.
Old 03-22-07, 10:43 AM
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I think that some judge interaction is necessary - they aren't really "judges" as it stands, they are just commentators after the top 24 is picked.

-DH
Old 03-22-07, 10:47 AM
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"So you think you can dance" has the judges pick the bottom 3, and then the voters vote for their favorite of the 3 after a repeat performance. That works to the top 4 and then the voters have their way at that point. It allows for the truly talented to rise to the top, but still gives voters control.
Old 03-22-07, 10:53 AM
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Last season was, by far, the best group they've ever had, but that was an abnormality -- really, both the talent level and the competition itself has gone downhill since Reuben and Clay.
I couldn't disagree more. I thought last year's talent was awful from top to bottom and probably the worst group they ever had. Both Melinda & Jordin from this year's group are at least twice as good as anyone from last season.
Old 03-22-07, 10:55 AM
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I say America votes to decide the bottom 2, and then let the bottom 2 duke it out in the AI Gauntlet!!!
Old 03-22-07, 11:07 AM
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Ratings are as high as ever. If it is not broken, don't fix it. Obviouslly people enjoy the craziness.
Old 03-22-07, 11:11 AM
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bottom line the judges need to ONLY let the talented people through to the final 24 -
Old 03-22-07, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by JayDerek
bottom line the judges need to ONLY let the talented people through to the final 24 -

This is worth repeating... It's obvious that Sanjaya should go. But, who put him through? The three of them did. Not once, not twice.. but a few times. The three of heard him sing much more than we did.. in the initial audition, and in Hollywood. So, Simon should keep his mouth shut about quitting if he wins this... HE was the one who put him through!
Old 03-22-07, 11:55 AM
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AI is getting great ratings ... somehow I don't see the producers thinking it needs fixing.
Old 03-22-07, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by JayDerek
bottom line the judges need to ONLY let the talented people through to the final 24 -
The problem is they can't always find 24 talented people.

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