After last week’s mess you may have noticed I didn’t rank the top seven. I was frustrated with this show once again. Usually it’s because of the judges or the contestants. This time it’s because of America stupidly voting Jessica and Elise into the bottom two. I decided to come up with a list for how American Idol can be fixed if it decides to come back for another season. Keep in mind, these are suggestions and not necessarily immediate fixes.
1. Limit The Number of Votes Per Voting Device
This is key and definitely the most important suggestion on the list. You can’t possibly believe more people voted for Phillip, Colton and Holly than Jessica. It’s just not true. Yes, they received more votes, but more people didn’t actually vote for them. If AI limited the number of votes per device, something like this would never happen. Let each device only allow for five to ten votes.
2. Ban Certain Songs
There’s no reason anyone should ever sing Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing ever again on American Idol. The song is brilliant, but for this show, it’s becoming throwaway. This can be said for a boatload of other songs we’ve heard over and over again on Idol. Thanks to Colton Dixon, however, we’ve had some of the best and most unique song choices since David Cook did Always Be My Baby and Billie Jean. If a song has been sung on Idol three or more times, it should be banned.
3. Let The Contestants Sing Original Songs
We’re at the point in American Idol where a majority of the contestants actually write their own music. Why not allow a week or so of original material? Granted, this might not be fair to the contestants who don’t write their own stuff. But if done the right way, the contestants will know weeks ahead of time when that specific week of original material is coming. The producers should set up those people with writers of their own to level the playing field. If nothing else, this would make for a very interesting week.
4. No More Beatles/Stevie Wonder nights
These artists songs are played to death on this show. I never want to hear a Beatles or Stevie Wonder song again on Idol.
5. More Interesting Theme Nights
They’ve been doing a fairly good job this season, but they dropped the ball during Whitney Houston week when they only made the girls actually sing Whitney. Huh? Remember in season six when everyone had to sing Mariah Carey, or season nine when they all had to sing Shania Twain? The contestants were forced to get a little out of their comfort zone and we had some of the best moments in their respective seasons. Forcing guys to only sing songs by men and girls to only sing songs by women is just idiotic.
6. Stop Casting Straight White Men With Guitars
Granted, this isn’t fair to the men with guitars. But we seriously can’t have yet another straight white guy win this show. These judges are so angry and were really rooting for a Jessica and whoever for top two. Newsflash, than don’t bring aboard people like Phillip and Colton, who you know are going to get all the votes.
7. Stop The “Greatest Hits” On Finale Night
We don’t want to see rehashed performances from the season. We want new material, always.
8. Keep Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson
A few years ago, I would have completely disagreed with this suggestion. But after 11 years, we need something to keep the show grounded in its roots. Getting rid of Seacrest and Randy would make Idol feel strange, neglected and irrelevant.
9. Let The Judges Choose From The Bottom Three, SYTYCD Style
I’m not completely sure how I feel about this one, as if this were the case we would have missed so many amazing performances from Haley Reinhart last year. However, this season would seriously benefit from something like this. Holly would have gone home already, and we would never lose anyone of great value like Jessica. Are the judges always correct? Not at all. But I honestly trust their decision over the viewing public. Or perhaps even allow the judges to rank the contestants, thus saving a certain number of people each week from elimination based on their rankings.
10. Only Show The Best Contestants During Auditions
Aren’t we over the ridiculous auditions of people coming in with absurd costumes and obviously just trying to get on camera? Only show the best contestants, the ones that actually make it to the next rounds. And while we’re at it…
11. Show All The Auditions Of The Top 24 Contestants
It’s really not fair that some contestants make it into the top 24 having never been mentioned or seen up until that point. If the producers know who makes the top 24, they should feel obligated to show those 24 contestants throughout auditions, Hollywood week and subsequent rounds before the live shows.
12. Lose The Age Limit
If we have learned anything from The Voice and The X Factor, it’s that it is really unnecessary to have an age limit on a singing competition show. This will open the door for literally thousands of more talented people to audition, thus making for a very talented and relevant show again. Could you imagine if all those contestants from The Voice and The X Factor were on American Idol? It would be undeniably buzzy again. And since they’re trying to eliminate much of the teenage girl vote, this would bring in more of an adult viewership.
13. Half Hour Results Show
The results show is like torture porn, which is why I stopped watching years ago. It literally would take about two minutes to reveal the bottom three, then choose one to go home in real time. So there’s absolutely no reason the results show should be jam packed with nonsense filler. Seacrest should reveal the bottom three, there should be one performance, then the lowest vote getter should be revealed. All in a 30 minute time frame.