Home Celebrity Fallen “Idol”: Ratings Tank This Week, Beaten by CBS Comedy Block

UPDATE: It looks like Thursday’s “American Idol” ratings were even worse than Wednesday’s. The show fell from a 4.3 to an alarming 3.6. Sound the alarms! CBS’s comedy block beat “Idol” on Thursday. “Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” together took the 8-9pm time slot handily.

Earlier: What’s happening with “American Idol“? It’s still number 1 in its timeslots, and still a powerhouse, kind of. But on Wednesday night, “Idol” scored its lowest Wednesday rating since 2002 according to tvbythenumbers.com. Here’s what they said: On FOX, American Idol scored a 4.3, down three tenths from last week’s 4.6 adults 18-49 rating and the series’ lowest adults 18-49 rating for a Wednesday since July 10,2002.” Got that?

Last night, “Idol” winnowed 40 contestants of each gender down to 20 apiece. The women, as Nigel Lythgoe told me a couple of weeks ago, are better than the men. The guys do not look like adults and don’t have much stature so far. Maybe things will change as the show progresses.

Of the women, Melinda Ademi seemed the most impressive. And of course, Zoanette was outstanding– but she may be like Frenchie Davis, a bit of a novelty. But she’s arresting to say the least. Angela Miller was spot on, too. She sounds like a recording artist. Candace Glover sang “Girl on Fire,” and full-throated, on key.

The judges: Mariah Carey is a little too reverential. I wish the spicy Mariah would come out. But she seems averse to really critiquing the performers. Nikki Minaj even seemed subdued. Randy remains the voice of reason. But I think the breakout judge is Keith Urban. He’s funny, real, knows the words to songs the contestants are singing, and he mixes it up.

Will “Idol” bounce back in the ratings? Someone there–a  judge, a contestant– has to spark a fire.



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211 replies to this post
  1. Our new generation thinks that all you have to do in life its make it on idol, get real people, theres a whole lot to life you need to learn about, idol its just a show, only the real pros make it, some of you are just too wierd, like that one wearing a veil, give me a brake..get your butt in arts school and become a real singer or go to work in macdonalds for petes sake…no wonder the ratings are shot…..

  2. Middle America — flyover country — is tuning AI out and turning it off. They want to hear talented pop singers, not a freak-show parade of odd-balls, people of dubious gender, androgynous characters and talentless “performers.”

    Ms Minaj has destroyed what was left of American Idol by promoting the untalented parade of bizarre characters… and stealing slots from singers who can actually sing.

  3. It’s Nikki dragging the whole show down….a no talent wannabe diva with a voice that grates on one’s nerves….I still watch, but try to block her out….where is Steven Tyler when you need him!

  4. Idol has two very big problems. One, it disses it main audience that built the show. That is older people and families. For years the show has been trying to get a gay superstar as number one, regardless of talent, and each year someone else wins. When Adam Lambert did not go all the way, families and ‘religious people’ were to blame because their voting on talent was said to be not on talent but on bigotry. Families don’t like having agendas shoved down their throat based on the assumption that they are anti-gay, which is not true.

    Second, the commercials ARE NOT family friendly and the older watchers do see them as evil. The awful, non appropriate for children commercials for horror movies/tv plays over and over and over. And when not those it is crude clips of comedies that, again, are not for what most parents of the families watching (were watching) want their children exposed to.

    People feel assaulted sitting through two hours of Idol. There are not enough adult and teens that subscribe to and want to promote their agenda of everything Obama, yada, yada. It used to be an eight year old grew up watching Idol and wanted to be The Idol. Now, most respsonsible parents would not let their eight-year old grow up being lambasted with the debauchery content.

    The contestants chosen are not a sample of society. Only about .2 – 2% of the population is gay and yet look how many of the top forty guys are????? This has nothing to do with approval or disapproval of gays (I mean, really look how far Adam Lambert and Poppycock went). Speaking of Lambert, the beginning of Idol demise was when Lambert came back the next year and was again just plain crude in his performance — and would have been if had been with a woman.

    So, top-heavy agenda pushing based on the audience needs to be reprogrammed. Demographicss showed the mid-years of Idol was highly Republican/Family/Working people and it looks like and feels like it is one big political campaign for just the opposite of what the demographics is. People are not stupid. With these demographics, how is promoting Obama all the time gonna really help?

  5. I can not comment on present quality of the show. I quit watching it when the judges got too self-serving several years ago. There was very little substance to them. Randy was the only real judge and probably kept the show on the air.

  6. I stopped watching it. I could no longer stand Nicki. She has no business being a judge. I have never heard her music before so I checked it online. Her words are dreadful and she has no talent… a lady gaga want-to-be by the clownish dressing. She rolls her eyes, makes faces and we couldn’t take it anymore.

  7. what a great show the idol has been nicki is making the show into a down word speed. i really think with a judge like her i could care less what color her hair is and out fits/// mariahis very good she is quite but thats because because miss pinkey would like to make this show a big fight… randy hang in there.

  8. Nikki has single handed destroyed this show.
    She has become the focus, rather than the contestants!
    It’s a no-brainer. Make this show less about the judges
    And more about the talent.
    On the matter if talent, give the audience some
    Descent, qualified contestants, rather than perverted, strange
    And strung-out wanna-bees!

  9. Totally not feeling Nicki. Just don’t care for her ways and I don’t want to be forced to listen to her even though this is my favorite show it’s not worth sitting through her. Bring back Tyler and JLo!!!

  10. Enough with the idols, we need songwriters! When was the last time we had a Queen, Aerosmith, Billy Joel, Elton John, Beatles, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor. And I could go on forever. They were all around at the same time. Mmm? The music industry absolutely stinks! Today’s idols are to music what stick people are to fine art.

  11. I was skeptical going into this season,particularly about Nikki..but she is surprisingly good (surely better than, say, Paula). She’s real and sharp. Keith is the ever bubbly one, and Mariah is not bad. Talent is really good this year. The show is not the cheap laugh gong show that it was when Simon was still on it.
    Odd how some of the commenters here who say they haven’t watched in
    years are critiquing this year’s show!

  12. Paul- the flamboyant guy didnt make the too 20 so your judgement is irrelevant. They ARE putting talent thru. And secondly, dear writer of this article, MARIAH knew like all the songs during audition rounds that the contestants were singing.

  13. Absolutely can’t stand either one of the female judges. I used to watch this show all the time; now you couldn’t pay me to sit and look at it.

  14. Mariah doesn’t give constructiver criticism, Minaj thinks she’s God’s gift to the show, Randy is not really interested, and the only one who makes sense and is carrying the show is Keith.

    How did they think anyone would like those nutcases who just take away from those who are truly trying to succeed? Whoever picked them in the first place hurt the show.

    If I wanted to see bizarre behavior. I would watch one of those inane sitcoms instead.

  15. Love Keith Urban. Love Mariah Carey. Hate the judging. The worst singers are getting through. One girl didn’t even learn the lyrics of her song- she wrote them on her arm- and they put her through. What a joke. And the contestant that wrote a “song” right there on the stage- a hot mess- and they put her through. It’s either a singing competition or a politically correct freak show. It can’t be both. I’m out.

  16. I agree with the comments about Nicki. She is irritating and she obviously doesn’t know anything about singing. Ugh! You can tell by the other judges body language that they are just as irritated with her need to have the first and last word. I like Keith Urban. Mariah needs to speak up more but she probably doesn’t want to be interrupted by “hog the limelight” Nicki. I am sick of Randy but at least he can tell when people are on tune.

  17. This drop is more about the judges than the talent. They are petulant, spoiled, narcissistic brats! The outcome of the contest is usually apparent from the third episode, the best not guaranteed to win, the most outrageous is, but the performance by the gutter trash judges is what destroyed this show.

    The whole thing has become a freak show.

  18. I can’t stomach Nicki. Last couple years by far was best with Lopez and Tyler. Randy is a stable judge. Ratings speak. Producers should listen.

  19. I have watched Idol since the very beginning. I have gotten several people watching it. But, this year is is HORRIBLE!!!! Nici is a pathetic jude. The send people through that aren’t good they are terrible. I discovered two shows last year and I will only be watching these two shows I have started watching. When I think of Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Scotty,and many others It saddens me that this wonderful show is over. So far this year this show is absolutely boring. I will say that I enjoy Mariah and Keith Urban as new judges. I can’t believe how many judges that they have gone though in such a short time. Most of them deserve being there.

  20. Sadly American has a become a nation which is more concerned with political correctness than merit and qualification. In every category having a black, asian and other minority groups at the job takes precedence over who is actually more qualified and as a result we all lose. We cannot continue choosing an airline pilot or a surgeon based on his skin color and when we do we all lose. I am a minority and I am disgusted by what is going on in the US and it starts from the White House down.

  21. I’ve watched all but maybe 2 seasons. The talent they are looking for in the contestants should have been applied to the judges. Nikki is a baffoon and whoever picked her as a judge should be fired for wrecking the show. The Voice runs circles around this show.

  22. The network can’t possibly be wondering why the ratings are low? Look at the 2 side shows they have for judges…They both look like circus escapees..Talk about low class and trashy…I’ve watch every Idol since it’s inception……but……NOT this one!!!

  23. First, Calm down guys, it was Vanentines day. Second, AI has an agenda this year to make sure a minority wins. Three minority judges, 80% minority top 40, and 20% G&L and tranny…That kind if thinking will hurt the show.. Everyone used to watch and care. Look who the winners were, Kelly, Carrie, David, Soul Patrol……. If AI cares about keeping core viewers instead if making a statement the ratings would sore again. They are tooo interested in making Obama and his clonies happy…

  24. To have seated Nikki Minaj as judge marked the end of the show’s entertainment value. I can’t tolerate her, visually or audibly. She assaults the senses.

    Minaj, being antipolar to Mariah, further morphs the otherwise classy, accomplished and entertaining Mariah Carey into some nun-like persona, negating her contribution to the show by sheer collateral damage.

  25. Nikki, in fact is the standout judge this year: Her comments are incisive, insightful and caring. It is obvious that she has outré taste, but that is allowable and even desirable’; she is able and willing to divorce her taste from her objective commentary. Mr Kidman is a refreshing addition with honest and musically correct comments. He seems adept and serious in his judgements. Randy and Mariah are window dressing in comparison with little of weight to add.

  26. The opinion stated in the above article that “Zoanette” was outstanding only goes to show how low this show has sunk. She was a freak show with no talent and got away with behavior that wouldn’t normally be tolerated. To think that she is still there while genuinely good singers that didn’t mess around were bumped off is a disgrace.

  27. Can’t stand Nikki Minaj!!! We have been idol fans since season 1, but we are seriously considering abandon the show all together! Don’t understand how they selected some candidates. Keith urban is a great addition to the show! He is knowledgable and is fun to watch!

  28. My granddaughter got me hooked on Idol; now she’s sixteen and no longer watches, but alas, I still do and after seeing this years group I may give it up-too many kinki contestants- what’s a Kez? Old fashioned I guess

  29. I TOTALLY agree with Paul! It’s NOT a talent show anymore, but a
    freak show, especially with WACKO Nicki Minaj and FAKE Moria Carey.
    Also that Randy could not be there… are you kidding??? I DO LOVE
    Keith, he’s so genuine and real and the ONLY really talented one on
    the panel. He can sing WITHOUT any gadgets to alter his voice like the
    women judges do. It used to be a great show and for them to allow
    talentless, annoying and FAKE Nicki and Diva Carey to take over…
    How STUPID the producers have become in their old age….

  30. Right. American Idol has jumped the shark this season. The judges seem more interested in pushing a bizzaro politically correct agenda than finding the best talent. What a shame.

  31. i think what is destroring the show is that there is no friendly feelings between the judges. the kids performing are ok.i will still follow the show as long as it is on. it does seem very set up and artificial. probably this its last year

  32. Nikki is the worst judge possible, no talent or sense of class.
    I stopped watching this “reality” show when Sanjaya was on. There were so many great singers sent home just because of the sympathy or comedy vote. It’s not a real talent show.

  33. I have to agree with most of you, I think AI time has passed. The formula of the personal tragedy of the performers, the predictable format, I DVR’d the episode and fast forwarded most of the episodes. I found Nciki to be a little more interesting that I expected and Keith seemed engaged, but Randy and Maria are so painful and useless that I thank god for the fast forward button. I may tune in again for the final few weeks but boring contestant, boring judges.. mediocre talent.. my life is a bit more valuable than investing in that.

  34. Have to agree with the PC agenda now being more important than talent, comments here. The blonde girl they got rid of last night sang perfectly, while that silly screaming nitwit pounding the drums gets a pass? Pathetic! It’s actually rather disgusting the way they are so distorting reality by promoting talentless oddities over truly gifted individuals who are now deemed too “normal” to fit into the shows ongoing genderbending assault on society.

  35. Stopped watching when Simon left. The female judges do not make it better. Just get some real people to judge, forget the stupid (all about me) drama that Nicki brings to the show. She’s so irritating. Since Simon left, I’ve tuned in here and there; this year, not at all. I don’t care. I’m only sorry Ryan Seacrest has to deal with all of them, but I guess he’s the one still raking in the $$$. American Idol, time to go away.

  36. Nicki Manaj’s voice is so nasally it resonates bridges across the world and shakes them like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge!!! She loves every contestant that is a freak and doesn’t care that they are tone deaf! She has as much fat between her ears as she has on her backside!

  37. No wonder, Simon was the only one with the guts to keep it real, everyone else was hiding in Simon’s shadow. Now that the idiots are in charge – epic FAIL

  38. Nikki the mistake is truly awful. She couldn’t be the first choice and had to be the only person who would take the job.
    She is a epically horrid to look at (as her clown whore look) She doesn’t have command of the English language.
    When she doesnt talk she looks disinterested and looks like she would rather be whoring outside.
    4 mediocre judges = disaster
    Beg Simon to come back.

  39. The GROUP COMPETITION (GC) is the biggest turn-off about American Idol! I cannot stomach watching one more of these abominations! They place extremely unfair and unreasonable demands on the contestants! Idol viewers across America should band together and agree to never watch another GC again! Our refusal to watch would force Idol to abandon this silly nonsense, and it would protect the contestants from being forced to attempt the impossible. What a shame that good contestants are sent home because their particular GC bombed through no fault of their own. Shame on the idiot(s) who came up with this stupid idea.

  40. Samie jo, thats why i cancelled directv. I
    Was sick and tired of paying good money for junk. Now i just
    Buy my showd on blue ray or rent at movie rentals

  41. This is the first year I have ignored this program. Nikki is a slug and is amenace to the show. Lost me this year and will be skeptical next year.

  42. Came here from Drudge just to see why something like this warranted the attention from Matt’s site.

    Puzzled after reading the article which didn’t seem to say anything.

    Maybe the public has finally become wise enough to realize that this show is just another piece of crap designed to market crappy performers signed by corrupt corporations lusting after more money.

    Never have watched the show. Never will.

  43. I have to agree with Paul, the judges are pathetic and the whole theme of the whole show has turned from a talent show to a freak show, I miss the days of Somon and Paula, There was a energy in the show that is lacking now, America loved this show because this show has shown that Hollywood, Nashville is not as good as what it makes its self out to be.

  44. It was great before the judges gradually became the show. Most want to watch the talent. The show’s creators had a great show but every change they made made the show worse. Now it is repulsive.

  45. They dont want a white boy with a guitar to win again. American idol is run by a pack of racists.
    They decided to pack the women’s side with talent,, and the boys side with rubes.
    Don’t put up with racism from anyone.

  46. No Simon, no Idol. The show was doomed as soon as he left. And really? Nicki Minaj? You gotta be kidding me! Who`s bright idea was that? She wouldn`t even get past round one as a contestant.

  47. Nikki is the best thing to happen to this show in the last six years. She brings original comments and think it is great she wanted to give people nicknames (easier for viewers to remember them). Keith is getting better as the pure lover of music and counters Nikki very well. Wish Randy & Mariah step up with banter and remember – a strong opinion you don’t agree with is more interesting than a bland opinion that is uninteresting!

  48. The show is stale. It is not going to be saved by changing the judges every year. The whole show needs to go or needs a drastic overhaul. Everything is too predictable. Bad singer auditions, Sob stories, Single parent wants a better future for their kid, One contestant was bullied in school another one lost someone to cancer or has cancer themselves…. Bla bla Blaaaa.
    Then when the show is down to the top 10 most of the singers are good but then once again the same formula begins. After they sing they are told they picked the wrong song, or they should have changed it up and when they change it up they are told they should have stuck to what they know. They are given advice one week and then do poorly the next week because they followed the advice. LOL. They keep saying Song choice, song choice, song choice but they seem to have the same songs over and over every year. Can’t they get any more songs in their song list????

  49. I enjoyed it more than past seasons. Remember the horrors that were Paula Abdul and Steven Tyler? The singing talent has definitely improved over the years, and Idol still produces stars.

    This year’s judges are good. Randy is always on point. Keith Urban seems to really enjoy the experience. He’s as much a fan as anyone watching on TV. Seems like a genuinely nice guy. Mariah is almost completely absent, although her presence may be felt in the selection process. Nikki is fine. I enjoy her shtick.

  50. I have to agree with a lot of the comments. Think Paul hit it “The judges also appear to be heavily influenced by political correctness and the producers desire to create a television freak show instead of a talent competition.” I thought the same thing.

    The only thing I do not agree with is that I like Nikki Minaj. I have never heard her sing hip hop is not my thing. She is honest with the contestants. She does not candy coat things. There are some very talented people hopefully they will be in the top 13

  51. Well, with talent and people like Nicki Minaj, its no wonder that ratings are poor… Sadly, the failed idea of Nicki Minaj and what she attempts to represnt is just so typical Hollywood and will be reincarnated in some other provactive skin-suit. Its too bad really… the imagination and perversions of 50 year old coke heads congratulating themselves will just be recycled by and failed TV programming will never end.

  52. If you don’t like the show and don’t watch it why comment??? My wife and I watch and are really enjoying the three new judges, particularly Keith Urban. There are some talented ladies this year and it should be enjoyable, but I agree that some of the contestants who seem to rely on personality should have been eliminated from the top forty.

  53. I agree totally with Paul. the transgender/transvestites can’t sing as well as my 14 year old lab, yet they surpass other with ten times the talent. I’ve seen enough…

  54. American Idol is no longer about the contestants it has become about the judges. shame used to watch it from day 1 not any longer. Family and friends like the Voice better!

  55. Keith rocks, as does NIkki. She be real (weird in a good way). Ms MC be like a sweet, loving (Gran) Mama, no critical input.

    (ps how does a viewer who quit one or three years ago know enough to judge the current panel? Jus’ wonderin.)

  56. I cannot stand Nikki, she gutter trash, her voice makes me want to puke, plus she’s got a stupid attitude. Either bring on some good judges or stop producing Idol.

    Bring back Simon.

  57. Easily predicted once the judging cast was announced. Is there a voice more annoying than Minaj’s? Not even Fran Drescher can compete with her. To the Idol producers…either fork up the real dough for your real star judges or let this think die a more dignified death.

  58. Simon new the ship was sinking and bailed before anyone could blame him.
    Steven Tyler and J-Lo helped stabilize the ship for two years, and were pretty good. But they too realized that the AI was on borrowed time and their careers couldn’t take the hit of possibly being the judge(s) that killed AI. All AI needs now is for Henry Winkler to come on the show dressed as “the Fonz” and “jump that shark”!
    X-Factor is so much better and will soon be crowned as the new American Idol!!!

  59. i thought the guys had much more interesting range of voices. nearly all of the girls have that same scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs, beauty contestant thing goin’ on.
    as for the judges, i’ll give nicki points for being heartfelt and supportive of the more unusual contestants (note to ‘paul’ above: there’s a quasi-cross-dressing guy on the men’s team and a wacky, probably lesbian, chick on the women’s team…but no transgenders. they are both a little much, but then the show could use a wider range of characters and vocal styles)…mariah is a non-presence…randy is the same, desperate-for-reassurance idiot he’s always been…keith is the only thoughtful, humorous guy who relies on his knowledge of music to fairly judge the contestants.

  60. My husband loves Idol but this year we have learned to record it for an hour so we can fast forward every time Nikki talks or rolls her eyes. She is too annoying. It is sad that ratings have gone down since there are some really talented singers this year.

  61. It’s easy to see why Idol’s numbers are sliding. Nicki Minaj destroys the show. Her petty, malformed, ignorant and arrogant utterances make me cringe. Her speaking voice reminds me of ice breaking on a frozen lake. Fingernails on a chalkboard resonate a more pleasant sound than her voice.

    The judges also appear to be heavily influenced by political correctness and the producers desire to create a television freak show instead of a talent competition.

    I could care less whether Idol feels the need to place a transvestite/transgendered male competing with the girls. But judge him on his singing ability not his flamboyance. He/She can barely carry on a tune and yet the idol judges unanimously move him forward in the competition despite his singing off key or flat.

    Moving a vocally challenged competitor forward is unfair to the singers who have the excellent voices and deserve to be there.

    American Idol is no longer a talent show.

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