Simon Cowell says finalists are not “the right personalities,” the show is “too old-fashioned”

The week before American Idol 7 concludes, Simon Cowell is climbing on the criticism bandwagon, blaming lower ratings on the “old fashioned” show and finalists’ lack of personality.

“We haven’t got the right personalities at the moment. They are not letting go enough,” Simon told Scripps Howard. He added that they’re “very media-savvy. They say the right things. They don’t argue with me. It’s too safe at the moment.”

He also said that the show itself is “too old-fashioned at the moment,” and that themes need to be “more current,” insisting that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs, for example, were a dumb choice. “I didn’t really see the point. We’re not looking for a Broadway singer,” he said.

Tonight the final three future Broadway stars will each perform three songs: one of their choosing, one the producers chose for them, and one the judges selected. That means the judges can only really critique song choice one third of the time, unless they can find some way to blame their song choice on the contestants.

Who will make it to the finale? Since neither David Archuleta nor David Cook have ever been at risk of elimination, the obvious answer is that they’ll both easily make it through to next week’s finale. But last week, the final three were nearly tied, coming within a million votes of one another, and that means it’s not over yet.

David Archuleta could easily go home this week, just as Melinda Doolittle did last year, and he has far less personality than she does. Also, he’s technically competent but passionless, and now that Vote for the Worst is supporting him, he’ll probably go home, since their campaigns basically never succeed. However, his well-publicized daddy issues could earn him some sympathy votes, and those fans of now-eliminated Jason Castro who were just voting for a hot guy now only have Archuleta or the guy with the freaky baby head to choose from.

Syesha Mercado, who’s been in the bottom three five times, has improved recently, and that’s more important than her earlier weakness. Stellar performances from her and blah ones from David Archuleta could land her a spot in the final two. Still, they both seem like they’re trying to play catch-up to David Cook, who has become the judges’ favorite thanks mostly to his occasional originality, and along with this boring season, they’re all probably going to be forgotten as of next month.

Simon Cowell says it’s time to shake ‘Idol’ show up a bit [Scripps Howard]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.