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The ratings for “American Idol” on Thursday was THE HIGHEST in FOUR YEARS for the FOX channel and makes all those naysayers who did the voodoo dance, proclaimed that “The End Is Night” and said the show was kaput without “Mr Nasty”. It made me think of the line from Mark Twain: “Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated”. The self-proclaimed “King” is Dead,  and “American Idol” has delivered a few knockout punches.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/05/arts/television/05arts-IDOLGIVESABO_BRF.html?src=twrhp

Forget about the contestants and their performances for a second: The basic fact is that the show is ten YEARS old and needed a face-lift. Simon Cowell had over-stayed his welcome by more than three years and his shtick had worn thin.

Are the three new judges “too nice”? Perhaps, but, also perhaps, people LIKE this. And as I have said, J-Lo, Tyler and “The Dawg” don’t come across as “judges”. They are more of a TEAM with Ryan Seacrest and never underestimate the role of this host. He is the glue that holds it all together. 

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Yes, “America votes” and, I believe, the dry wit and no-bullshit and take-no-prisoners approach of Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine as the show’s in-house mentor will be the most “judgmental”- and not in some horribly scripted manner and delivered in a British accent by someone with man titties.

Perhaps- just perhaps- the fact that the show no longer has Cowell is why the show has attracted some of the contestants that it has.

Sure, they are not all Grade A talent, but there are some very good ones in there. Shall I mention Paul McDonald again just to piss some people off? By the way, one hears he is a very nice guy to add to the talent.

With the backing of Universal Music, the music company will be able to make their music heard and create CAREERS for a few of the contestants unlike Sony Music which simply released records and prayed they would sell by themselves- and when they didn’t, dropped the acts .

As for winning over audiences, like saying, “I wanna be an indie and don’t care about being successful” when one knows all too well that there is a need at- some stage- to make some money and have a “bank” with which to play “the house”, a television show needs ratings to survive.

If not, like a lack of sales by an artist, a show is dropped and sponsors take their money and their various balls and bail.

In today’s television “marketplace” and vast wasteland where there is more choice than four years ago, AI winning “the ratings war” and doing better than FOUR YEARS ago is remarkable. It means bucking the trend, winning against all odds and retaining the ORIGINAL sponsors.

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Who IS the show’s audience today? Well, it would be all those who have “grown up” with “Idol” and, I believe, those who had OUTGROWN the show and who have returned PLUS a totally NEW audience.

Watch “American Idol” as a SHOW and with a strong cast of fun characters- Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Ryan Seacrest, and Jimmy Iovine- and the good, the bad and fugly who make up the contestants. It is not “Mad Men”.

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Sure, there is music there and there is new talent trying to find their feet- and their voices. But the END RESULT of all this really comes AFTER the show or Season has ended.

This is when Universal Music takes over the recording side of business and, perhaps, how, this year, the AI Tours, sponsors and the music company might just come together to again create something new.   

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  1. SasPepper says:

    Paul McDonald has tweeted: ā€œIā€™m pumped about this new song with producer Don Was! I hope you guys enjoy hearing it as much as I did tracking it!ā€
    Don Was! Really! Now this is exciting.

    I thought I would miss Simon Cowell but I don’t. He became bored and cynical the last couple years and the new judges and Nigel are bringing the fun back.

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