Now that Season 9 is in the books for American Idol, we can start reminiscing about what a mediocre season it was!Â 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.Â In case you're wondering how many people have tuned in over the years to watch the American Idol finale shows, here ya go!Â Plus a fun reminder of all the runner-ups. Before you look, how many can you remember??
2010Â Lee DeWyze over Crystal BowersoxÂ Â Â Â Â 24.2 mil viewers
2009Â Kris Allen over Adam Lambert Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 28.8 mil
2008Â David Cook over David ArchuletaÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 31.7 mil
2007Â Jordin Sparks over Blake LewisÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 30.7 mil
2006Â Taylor Hicks over Kathrine McPheeÂ Â Â Â 36.4 mil
2005Â Carrie Underwood over Bo BiceÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 30.3 mil
2004Â Fantasia Barrino over Diana DeGarmo Â Â 28.8 mil
2003Â Ruben Studdard over Clay AikenÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 36.2 mil
2002Â Kelly Clarkson over Justin GuariniÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 22.8 mil
I've been a big fan of American Idol since the very beginning.Â 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 haveÂ an awesome job!).Â But I think theÂ time has come to pull the plug on the entire thing.Â Really.Â The phrase "all good things must come to an end" would be relevant if Idol was still indeed a "good thing."Â As of this season though, I'm not sureÂ that is the case anymore.Â Was Paula leaving the show to blame?Â Well, I do miss the Simon/Paula verbal sparring, and the general unpredictability of Paula'sÂ sobriety from night to night, but I don't believe that was much of aÂ factor in this season's demise.Â It had much more to do with the mediocrity ofÂ 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.Â Honestly, there were weeks that I simply didn't get around to watching this season because I justÂ wasn't that interested.Â That would have never happened inÂ seasons past.Â And now moving forward, the thoughtÂ ofÂ Idol returning next yearÂ without Simon CowellÂ makes me even less interested in tuning in.Â I believe Simon, as the spice of the show,Â is irreplaceable.Â So I'm making the call right now.Â It's time for American Idol to cash in its chips and say goodbye.Â The ratings certainly indicate America's growing indifference to the show.Â Last night's finale drew less than 20 million viewers, whereas finals past used to be consistently around the 30 million number.Â I felt very little buzzÂ talking with people on the Endlines and over the text leading up to the finale last night, quite different from the anticipation and excitement generatedÂ in years past.Â Â Of course FOX won'tÂ 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.Â SoÂ why not end while you're still on top (barely)?