American Idol‘s producers and directors dealt with their inability to produce a live TV show by effectively getting rid of half of the reason many people watch: the judges. Instead of having all four judges critique each performance, just two did–and the asshat producers still overran the scheduled 61 minutes by two full minutes.
Yes, they had one less contestant than last week, 50 percent fewer comments from judges, and one extra minute, and they still couldn’t do it. The message is clear: they don’t care about their millions of DVR viewers–or they’re just doing this on purpose to keep viewers around well into the 9 p.m. hour.
The change in format was explained by Simon Cowell, who went the obnoxious sexist route and blamed last week’s eight-minute overrun on “the girls talking too much.” He added, “I apologize to our viewers who want to watch whatever else follows this.” (Next week he’ll have to apologize to Fox for not promoting Fringe.) Anyway, he then introduced the stupid-ass solution that I first thought was a joke: “Tonight, we have to talk to two at a time. So, unfortunately, some contestants, I won’t be judging,” he said. Ryan Seacrest later explained, “We’re working in teams tonight so we make it in on time.”
Hmm. How about not taking seven minutes to get to the first performance and skipping the damn E! True Hollywood Story Light bio of Quentin “really has nothing to do with singing” Tarantino, you fucking idiots?
Meanwhile, Tarantino was actually a good mentor, in the sense that he gave good feedback and relatively interesting analysis for us. It wasn’t just empty praise like some of the mentors. Paula Abdul talked about Adam Lambert’s “special sauce” when praising Allison (“you possesses the same special sauce that he does”), and Simon Cowell worked hard to find a reason to criticize Adam to make sure that people don’t get tired of him. Speaking of Adam, his unambiguous sexual orientation prompts The New York Times to ask if questions about whether a gay contestant can win even matter in an era where gay marriage is legal in Iowa. In other words, it’s probably irrelevant to many people, or more than ever before.
Finally, after Simon Cowell’s criticism echoed that from weeks past, Lil Rounds fought back, which means she’s going home Wednesday night, if viewers do what they usually do and listen to Simon.