American Idol’s desperation leads to a life or death cliffhanger, cut off by some DVRs

For weeks now, American Idol has been teasing a contestant’s fall from the stage. And during Wednesday night’s first Hollywood week episode, that continued, with Ryan Seacrest’s voice-over suggesting this could be life or death for the teenage auditioner. How spectacular! Let’s anxiously wait to see if a kid died or not! Injury equals ratings! Clap clap clap!

But in a double dose of failure, the episode ended with 16-year-old’s Symone Black fall—making it another cliffhanger. Yes, that’s how respectful the show is of viewers: not at all. They don’t give a shit about your time as long as you tune in, and that’s as insulting as it is predictable.

In perhaps some perfect irony, that took place just at or after 9 p.m. My DVR cut off during her performance. Others reported the same thing on Twitter and elsewhere. I’m not sure if that was another ratings-grabbing strategy or just an accident. The final moments are on YouTube, and show her stumbling before falling off the stage, where a crew member almost seems to catch her. Dramatic music accompanies shots of people gathering around her and other people looking horrified as executive producer Nigel Lythgoe calls for a medic.

After that aired, Nigel tweeted, “I know you’re all going crazy. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow. That’s why I’m a mean producer.” And, as I replied, why they’re losing viewers. He even joked, “It’s not a “cliffhanger.” She didn’t hang, she fell.”

Oh! How funny! A joke! Get it?! She fell off completely! Bravo, Nigel, and Bravo Fox! You know how to produce television and make jokes no one else! Yay!

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