Some thoughts about how I have no more thoughts to add about American Idol on the even of its finale. How excited are you to read that?
While American Idol used to be capable of unscripted surprise, the show itself offers very little of that any more. (For sure, the final season will attempt some, and perhaps succeed.) If anything, though, that’s the story of the what the show has become: it has failed to refresh itself and instead withered into stagnation, even despite the changes in its judging panel.
But here are four things I learned this week about the show that genuinely surprised me.
American Idol is finally making a change in its last season that, had it been made earlier, could conceivably have helped the show last longer: cutting the season by more than a month.
Fox Television chairs and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman talked with TV critics this morning at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. They talked about the network’s reality TV, including American Idol and Knock Knock Live. Inspired by this brief Twitter exchange with USA TODAY critic Robert Bianco, here are some things they… continue reading
American Idol has been cancelled and will air just one more season in the U.S., but that didn’t stop its parent company from threatening a Brooklyn charity event that uses the word “Idol” in its title. Yes, Brooklyn Senior Idol–which reports say raises money for the AARP and a high school band–received a cease and… continue reading
We have now reached a point in reality television where the original reality behemoth, Survivor, has reclaimed its title over the show that dominated all of television for years: American Idol. Yes, the 14th season finale of Idol, half of which aired opposite Survivor Worlds Apart, was easily beaten by the CBS series. Only 8.03… continue reading
Fox is cancelling American Idol after its 15th season, which will air next spring. Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr., will return for the final season’s judges, as will Ryan Seacrest as host, of course. The final season, Fox announced, will “pay tribute to the past 14 seasons of amazingly talented contestants and… continue reading
Survivor Worlds Apart lost 12 percent of its viewers 18 to 49 between this week and last, but the series still crushed American Idol–and basically all other shows on Wednesday night. In Wednesday ratings, Survivor‘s 2.2 and 9.35 million viewers easily beat Fox’s American Idol, which had a 1.4 rating and 7.63 million viewers. The CBS… continue reading
Hollywood Week is always my favorite part of American Idol, in part because it deviates the most from the singing-on-a-stage format and resembles non-competition reality TV shows. I always wanted to see more of their off-stage lives, but after flirting with mansion footage, the show stuck to its studio roots. Hollywood Week is the one incongruous part, and it’s… continue reading
Scott Borchetta, the record executive who discovered Taylor Swift, is American Idol‘s new mentor, replacing Randy Jackson, who quit. A Fox press release called the Big Machine Label Group president and CEO “one of the most successful forces in the music industry today.” He will start the job a lot earlier than previous mentors. Fox… continue reading
Joanne Borgella, an American Idol 7 season seven semi-finalist and the first winner of Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance died early Saturday from endometrial cancer. She was 32. She also appeared as a coach on MTV’s Made, was a cast member on season two of NUVOtv’s Curvy Girls, was a model with Wilhelmina Models, and had her own fashion line…. continue reading
American Idol finalist Michael Johns’ death in August wasn’t caused by a blood clot but was a result of his abuse of alcohol, according to his best friend, who claims Michael Johns’ wife covered up the real reason. However, she says he’s been harassing her. The two engaged in a legal dispute in which Torrey Gambill quotes texts… continue reading
Michael Johns, the singer who placed eighth on American Idol 7, has died at age 35. He is the first finalist from the show to die; five years ago, auditioner Alexis Cohen was killed in a hit-and-run. The Hollywood Reporter reported that “the cause of death is believed to be a blood clot in his ankle.”… continue reading
Fox Networks chair and CEO Peter Rice was very candid with TV critics about the American Idol, the broadcast network’s former crown jewel, and its strengths and weaknesses. He said the network is happy with the ratings (“it’s still a very strong show for us”) and its new creative direction (“we felt really good about the production”), but admitted it is… continue reading
American Idol 14 will have the same judges panel as the 13th season, as Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., and Keith Urban are all returning. Ryan Seacrest will also host once again. None of this is a big surprise, and indicates that the show will likely tread the same waters it did this past season…. continue reading