Now that Season 9 is in the books for American Idol, we can start reminiscing about what a mediocre season it was! The opening night back in January had an increase in ratings, but people steadily began tuning out from then on, ending up with Idol's lowest ratings ever, including this week's finale. In case you're wondering how many people have tuned in over the years to watch the American Idol finale shows, here ya go! Plus a fun reminder of all the runner-ups. Before you look, how many can you remember??
2010 Lee DeWyze over Crystal Bowersox 24.2 mil viewers
2009 Kris Allen over Adam Lambert 28.8 mil
2008 David Cook over David Archuleta 31.7 mil
2007 Jordin Sparks over Blake Lewis 30.7 mil
2006 Taylor Hicks over Kathrine McPhee 36.4 mil
2005 Carrie Underwood over Bo Bice 30.3 mil
2004 Fantasia Barrino over Diana DeGarmo 28.8 mil
2003 Ruben Studdard over Clay Aiken 36.2 mil
2002 Kelly Clarkson over Justin Guarini 22.8 mil
I've been a big fan of American Idol since the very beginning. I was lucky enough to be sitting there in the Kodak Theater when Kelly Clarkson was crowned our original Idol back in 2002 (yes, I have an awesome job!). But I think the time has come to pull the plug on the entire thing. Really. The phrase "all good things must come to an end" would be relevant if Idol was still indeed a "good thing." As of this season though, I'm not sure that is the case anymore. Was Paula leaving the show to blame? Well, I do miss the Simon/Paula verbal sparring, and the general unpredictability of Paula's sobriety from night to night, but I don't believe that was much of a factor in this season's demise. It had much more to do with the mediocrity of this year's singers, plus their lack of interesting backgrounds, which I didn't realize were so important until there weren't any this season. Honestly, there were weeks that I simply didn't get around to watching this season because I just wasn't that interested. That would have never happened in seasons past. And now moving forward, the thought of Idol returning next year without Simon Cowell makes me even less interested in tuning in. I believe Simon, as the spice of the show, is irreplaceable. So I'm making the call right now. It's time for American Idol to cash in its chips and say goodbye. The ratings certainly indicate America's growing indifference to the show. Last night's finale drew less than 20 million viewers, whereas finals past used to be consistently around the 30 million number. I felt very little buzz talking with people on the Endlines and over the text leading up to the finale last night, quite different from the anticipation and excitement generated in years past. Of course FOX won't have any of this, as Idol is still its highest rated non-sports show, but the years of Idol being far and away America's favorite show appear to have ended. So why not end while you're still on top (barely)?