American Idol 6‘s ratings were way down, and the show continues to prove to be less popular than its predecessors. At its halfway point, the tour of the top 10 finalists is far less popular than the tour last year and even the one in 2005. After 30 of 57 shows, “this year’s crop of 10 Idol finalists is falling short of last year’s concert performance,” USA TODAY reports.
The evidence: “Nearly half (14) of the shows were below 60% of capacity. (Lowest was 38.9% in Birmingham, Ala., hometown of 2006 winner Taylor Hicks and 2003 champ Ruben Studdard.) In 2006, the lowest-capacity figure in the first 30 shows was 89.3%.” In addition, “[n]o sellouts were reported for the first 30 shows, and only one topped the 93% of capacity mark,” according to the paper. During last year’s first half, “17 were sellouts and another 10 exceeded 93% of capacity.”
USA TODAY comapres last year’s tour numbers to this year’s and finds that the show has filled just 63.3 percent of its seats, compared to 96.1 percent overall last year; 200,047 people attended, compared to 645,782 for the full tour in 2006. Overall, the tour has earned $12.1 million at its halfway point this year, which is far less than half of the $35.2 million it earned last year.
Why is this happening? Variety music editor Don Waller told the paper that this is “not a compelling group of acts. There was no must-see live performer and not a lot of diversity.”
Another potential factor is greed, in the form of “rising ticket prices. Idol 2006 tour prices averaged $53.27; they rose 13% to an average of $60.45 for the current tour. In 2005, the average price was $44.47,” the paper reports.