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)?
The Daily Beast put out an article about the myths and realities of the American Idol audition process. Here are some interesting ones:
Myth: Every audition city is flooded by a mob.
Reality: The largest audition to date appears to have been in Philadelphia in 2007, where more than 20,000 people showed up. The smallest was last year in Puerto Rico, where bad weather and a local lack of familiarity with the show led to what was a fairly significant debacle, with only a few hundred people appearing. An average crowd runs somewhere in the 6,000 to 8,000 range, which needs to be whittled to a hundred or so that are filmed in front of the judges.
Myth: On television, viewers see the massive lines of tens of thousands of auditioners wrapped around the Rose Bowl or the Dallas Cowboys stadium, who appear to be heading in to see Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, and Randy Jackson.
Reality: These were shot last summer, in some cases a full two months before Idolâs star judges flew to those cities. There are, in fact, two huge lines in which the contestants must wait at these initial cullings. First, they line up to register for their first actual audition that will happen one or two days hence: These lines generally start well before dawn, with aspirants camped out across parking lots.
On the audition day itself, the singers return to stand in line again and await admission to the stadium. This is the lineâabuzz with excitementâthat we see on TV. It, too, starts well before dawn, with singers showing up the night before to camp out. (To demonstrate how illogical many Idol wannabes are, there is no reason whatsoever to show up early: The order in which they will audition is determined by the number on the ticket they received when they registered.)
Myth: Is there a freakish majority? Seeing the crowd on television, one gets the sense that two-thirds of the people who show up are wearing Uncle Sam costumes or pink chicken suits.
Reality: In fact, the visible crazies or desperate-for-attention types only make up a tiny handful of the congregation. Far more evident are those who are merely moderately talented.
Myth: At the end of each audition episode, the throng of contestants is generally shown singing a pop hit, symbolizing camaraderie in the Idol nation.
Reality: Upon registering, the singers are told to download lyrics from the showâs Web site and prepare. Once in their seats, a coach runs them through the song, attempting to bring the stragglers up to speed. (Season 8 semifinalist Jackie Tohn was one such straggler at her Meadowlands audition. She had neglected to download or rehearse Pat Benatarâs âHeartbreaker.â âI had no idea what anybody is doing,â Tohn recalled last week. âAnd all the other people sitting around me were all rude, saying âYou didnât read that it said on the site that youâre supposed to print out these songs and know the words?ââ)
Myth: The judges do the judging.
Reality: In fact, it is a brutal winnowing done first by scoutsâwho vary in background, celebutante DJ Samantha Ronson served this role in this seasonâs L.A. auditions, for instanceâthen by producers, who pull the best and worst from the masses in the stadiums. The contestants, who have been told to prepare two songs, are brought in four at a time to sing for the first time. They usually get through about eight bars before they are stopped. Occasionally, the scouts will ask for a bit of their second song. If the contestant makes it through, a rarity, they go on to the next round: the producers.
Myth: The judges do the judging, part two.
Reality: The producersâ round happens days, sometimes weeks, after the stadium event, often requiring those who traveled from far off to return to their audition city on their own dime. Here, the producers prod, searching for the hidden wellsprings of talent and telling those contestants who make it through which song to sing before the judges. Of course, some of these people are a) crazy b) awful singers c) both.
Myth: The joke auditionersâthe tone deaf, the weird-looking, the angryâhave absolutely no idea they may be moving forward to be filmed precisely because they suck.
Reality: Having gone through the scouts and the producers, and traveled three times to do so, when the contestants ultimately are to appear before the judges on camera, a producer announces to the assembled: âSome of you are here because you are really good. Some of you are here because you are really bad.â (Whether anyone who is terrible realizes that the disclaimer applies to him or her is another question.) Tohn remembers the scene in the waiting room, where jitters had everyone bouncing off the walls. âI found a lot of solace in talking to the lunatics who were more nervous than me,â she said. âMy mom gave Norman Gentle a half-hour talking to, saying âBe true to yourself.ââ
Bear Grylls, star of Discovery Channel's "Man vs. Wild," is known for doing crazy things while trying to survive in the world's wildest places.
In an upcoming episode from the shows new season, Bear has to gives himself and ENEMA to absorb water and avoid dehydration. Watch the video here.
(NOTE: CONTENT MAY BE DISTURBING FOR SOME PEOPLE)
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Perez Hilton reportedly got in a quarrel with KTLA an LA TV news station earlier this week.
Here is a video of a KTLA news anchor ripping into Perez Hilton:
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