Users Speak: How Do You Solve A Problem Like ‘American Idol?’

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest (FOX)

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest (FOX)

As ‘American Idol‘ continues to hemorrhage viewers and anger ‘Glee‘ fans with DVR-disrupting runover episodes, opinions have poured in offering up causes for the ratings dip and solutions for how to revive the aging reality juggernaut. Below, a round-up of our favorite user comments of the week:

Why are the rating falling? Let me count the ways: 1. The show is getting old, the entire concept is over-used. How many other “you get to vote for the talent” shows are now on TV? Way too many. 2. The talent level is way down. 3. The judges and host seem to believe they are the stars, not the contestants. And no, the loss of Paula is not a factor. Watching her was like watching a train wreck. Only in the context of her “replacement”, Kara, does she look good. Also, an even number of judges is never a good thing. 4. The voting system is bogus; it has nothing to do with talent or ability. Ballot stuffing does not produce a true winner. Why bother to watch (or vote) if your vote will be lost in a sea of fast-thumbed teenyboppers who have fallen in love with the cute heartthrobs. 5. The entire production has gotten out of hand. Too much junk that has nothing to do with the actual performers performing. Too many commercials, fillers, bad guest appearances, and host/judge interplay. They add nothing and detract from what the show is supposed to be about. 6. I also think that allowing the contestants to play instruments as well as sing has hurt the show; it helps to mask the inability to carry off a song with just their voice and presentation. — Gator

Is anyone but me totally fed up with “theme” nights? How in the world can the judges keep sounding like broken records by telling the contestants to “be yourself” when they continually have them sing songs that an American Idol would never record!! It just is not fair for ANYONE to go home based on a performance of the type of song that you would NEVER EVER hear on the radio from one of these performers! LET them be who they are and that includes singing the types of songs that they feel comfortable singing. Who cares if each week that means you have a few country songs, a few pop songs, or even reggae? At least we know exactly what type of performer that person is and can get a handle on what type of career they will have. — Barb


It is well past the time for a huge make-over with Idol. Once an iconish giant, Idol has become something sadly unrecognisable. A shell of it’s former self, it’s hard to believe that this show was once as woven into the fabric of our culture as pop music itself. Also, sponsors (Ford, At&T, etc.) must really be sweating at 25 – 30 % drops in viewers from last year. That’s huge . . . and that suggests two possible alternatives; Fox either pulls the plug all together, or they revamp the format of this sinking ship! With nothing more sacred than the almighty dollar, revamping the show is probably what will happen. Replacing Seacreast, who really looks bored and out of place at times, would be a good start. Utilizing Simon Cowell’s departure, they could turn over the entire judge pool, and bring in a rotation of fresh faces, like Jennifer Lopez, Jon Bonjovi, Raymond Usher, Carmen Electra, just to name a few. In any event, something needs to be done before this once vibrant and chic show is remembered for what it is today . . . . not what it once was. — David III

SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY. FOCUS on the CONTESTANTS! Give us some more back stories. Let’s see them interact, and I don’t mean a Ford commercial. We don’t feel we know the kids until the top 4. Simplify the judging panel (back to three and make them remarkable). Starting at the top 12, let the kids sing twice (shorter songs) so we can get a handle on their talent, not make a decision if they have one bad performance. Bring back former contestants and winners to do RESULTS NIGHT performances instead of these fools we’ve been fastforwarding through. BACK TO BASICS PRODUCERS!!!! AND LASTLY, in auditions, SHOW US MORE TALENT AND LESS DELIQUENTS! I feel better now. — MAC


The trouble with Idol in one word…RYAN. He and he alone is the reason for the downfall. He is not the star of the show, but seems to think he is. His constant banter with the singers and judges has become embarassing. He tries to inject himself into the judging. His questions with the singers have become cringe worthy. His challenges with the judges, especially Simon, irrelevant. He is the hardest working man in show business…it is time he left Idol and concentrated instead on his other ventures. — benla

Hold onto Randy. He knows the industry and he’s a musician. I also think that he’s quite personable and likeable. Both Kara and Ellen need to go. (The former talks too much and is annoying. The latter, although comedic, is not at all qualified to judge singers). Hire Paula back. Make sure that Simon’s replacement is highly knowledgeable regarding the music industry, a good communicator, and very charismatic. Good looks wouldn’t hurt, either. — Lauren

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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