accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Lowest ‘Idol’ spring finale ratings ever, texting teens influencing past three winners?

LEe Dewyze

- Not surprisingly, the ratings for this finale at 24.2 million was the lowest ever among spring shows. (The first season aired over the summer and drew 22.8 million.) The peak was season 5 with more than 36 million viewers for the finale.

- In the first couple of years, “Idol” was immersed in controversy over phones getting clogged with busy signals and efforts to “game” the system.

But the past few years, clearly, texting has taken over. I recently saw a study that showed teens generally prefer texting over dialing a number. And that is influencing the votes. It’s a fair supposition that teen girls are now skewing the votes, forcing out more female contestants and making it easier for folks like David Cook, Kris Allen and now Lee DeWyze to win the show. There’s a certain sameness to those three (though you can argue the merits of each individually.)

As this story noted, could Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson win over Bo Bice and Justin Guarini if texting were big back then? Perhaps not.

This is also why DialIdol.com, which measures busy signals, is not longer as useful to gauge winners as it used to be.

-Crystal broke up with her boyfriend Tuesday, she told Ryan Seacrest. Ouch.

“Big Tony…he went home. He wasn’t cool with the lifestyle,” explained Bowersox. “I didn’t break up with him…it was a mutual thing.”

I’m sure that isn’t surprising at all. The timing, though, was a bit nasty.

- Bret Michaels didn’t bother to tell his family or doctor about his “Idol” appearance last night. He sounded great but clearly, he is endangering his life. Last night on Cover It Live, we were all worrying he’d keel over live on stage. Fortunately, he did not.

-Departing music director Ricky Minor was peeved he was not acknowledged last night after the excessive haliography of Simon Cowell.  Can’t blame him. Minor is joining Jay Leno’s Tonight Show.

-And sorry not to mention this yesterday but Ellen DeGeneres has started a record label with that kid Greyson Chance, who was a YouTube sensation singing “Paparazzi” recently. She’s trying to bolster her music cred, eh?

The song has been seen 22 million plus times and is impressive. He’s got a bit of Justin Bieber in him–or maybe it’s just the hair.

43 comments Add your comment

Deirdre

May 27th, 2010
3:05 pm

The timing was rotten!!!!!

But who knew that Rosita was such a hopeless romantic….she already has a Crystal/Lee hook up going on in her head! ;-)

Also, someone was asking about bandleader Ricky Minor. He’s pizzed and who can blame him. This from TMZ:

TMZ has learned … one of the key players who made “American ldol” a success was so pissed last night after the show, he chewed out “A.I.” producers backstage.

Rickey Minor — who has been the bandleader for 6 seasons — is leaving A.I. to head up Jay Leno’s band on “The Tonight Show.”

Minor was fit to be tied after no one thanked him or wished him well — hell, they didn’t even acknowledge him during last night’s finale.

Our A.I. spies tell us … when the show was over Minor went off on producers, angrily telling them how insulted he was by their silent dis.

JTesla

May 27th, 2010
3:07 pm

Too bad for Crystal, but she’s the type that will keep her eye on the prize.

JTesla

May 27th, 2010
3:08 pm

Deirdre, I was curious about the slight to Ricky Minor. I think they showed him once… hamming it up for the camera. Pitiful, but at the same time, he ain’t no Simon.

Deirdre

May 27th, 2010
3:11 pm

Re texting…when this show first began back in 03? 02? texting was not as commonplace as it is today. There should definitely be some kind of limit on text voting if just to keep some girls in the competition a little longer.

ok, I know that contradicts what I said earlier about tweens not influencing the vote….but I DO believe that texting(whoever may be doing it) has changed the face of the outcome for the last few years.

Deirdre

May 27th, 2010
3:13 pm

JT…they usually say thanks to Ricky Minor and the band but they sure didn’t last night. One simple sentence could have at least given him some recognition.

Rickster

May 27th, 2010
3:15 pm

Thought this comment was rather appropriate:

By JON CARAMANICA
Published: May 27, 2010
On Wednesday night Lee DeWyze became the ninth winner of “American Idol,” capping its evolution from talent competition to makeover show.

and showed one of the main problems with Idol.

If I was Ricky Minor… I’d be REALLY ticked too.

Deirdre

May 27th, 2010
3:15 pm

And this from EOLINE about Simon’s replacement:

Very reliable Idol insiders tell us that, as of now, show producers plan on replacing the chesty Brit with…no one?!

Says one source: “They most likely will have ‘guest judges,’ and not a single new Simon.”

JTesla

May 27th, 2010
3:19 pm

I’m still not sold on the ‘teen’ texting (but I can’t fault Rodney, because he’s Rodney). However, viewership is down with the younger viewers and I don’t think that the teens can power text the way college age tech savvy people can. Yes that demographic is fleeing Idol too, but I don’t believe that Idol has ever addressed the power-texting issue. Stop power texting and you give some control back to the middle to old age ladies that are willing to vote for skill.

Mike $

May 27th, 2010
3:26 pm

Well, as Rodney pointed out, the last 3 winners definately show that a certain demographic is now controlling the Idol voting without question. It goes to fit that it would be teen girls – as each of the 4 “cuties” got eliminated the remaining ones gained strength. Tim Urban gave enough votes to Aaron to keep him on the show longer than Siobhan. Aarons votes then strengthened Lee/Casey against Big Mike, and Casey’s votes combined with Lee’s underdog story cinched the victory for him.

A close look at the winners and their genre shows that the first 5 seasons were an eclectic mix of styles but almost always the performer considered the most talented, and since texting has become rampant the lighter current pop styles have taken over while the person designated the best singer/performer has basically been overlooked:

Seas 1 – Kelly, WF, rock/pop
Seas 2 – Ruben, BM, R&B
Seas 3 – Fantasia, BF, R&B
Seas 4 – Carrie, WF, Country
Seas 5 – Taylor, WM, Blues
Seas 6 – Jordin, BF, POP
Seas 7 – David, WM, Light Rock
Seas 8 – Kris, WM, Light Rock
Seas 9 – Lee, WM, Light Rock

Rickster

May 27th, 2010
3:28 pm

When I texted my vote, I got a message that said ‘This once only msg confirms your vote for (contestant’s name) was received. Vote as many times as U like B4 voting closes.’

If they can track your cell phone number, they should be able to limit voting from said number.

JD

May 27th, 2010
3:29 pm

A shame about Crystal and her boyfriend, but probably a matter of time with her increased celebrity and him trying to keep up. She needs to take care of her health and her son and take the celebrity ride she deserves.

Mike $

May 27th, 2010
3:30 pm

They can limit voting Rickster. America’s Got talent limits voting to 5 Calls per number, 5 texts per number, and 5 internet votes. the limit may be 10 not 5, but same smell.

Rodney Ho

May 27th, 2010
3:31 pm

As usual, wisdom from Mike S!

kelly&carriefan

May 27th, 2010
3:31 pm

The thing is they don’t necessarily need to drop texting completely. Make it available to anyone who wants to vote that way…across the board or limit the number of texting votes per number. Just do something to make it more consistent.

Interesting article on whether Kelly or Carrie would have won. My thing is, would Idol even still be around today had Guarini won? Yes, it might be my Kelly colored glasses speaking, but she’s had a very successful, fairly consistent run. Sure, she’s not as popular as she was in ‘05, but for a “pop” artist, she’s done very well in staying relevant. I honestly can’t see Guarini reaching those heights.

Ricky Minor has EVERY right to be pi$$ed. In over 2 hours, Ryan couldn’t give him a 15 second mention? Really? Come on.

As far as guest judges instead of a Simon replacement? Ummm. Unless they use that as the way to incorporate former Idols, I’m reeeeally not interested. At. All.

Mike $

May 27th, 2010
3:32 pm

it does suck that he apparently couldn’t handle her new fame, but I have to wonder if the pure Raw emotion on “Up to the Mountain” (Which I personally think will be released as a single after Lee’s “beautiful day”) was fueled by the break up.

JD

May 27th, 2010
3:34 pm

Good catch Mike. She was very emotional on that song.

kelly&carriefan

May 27th, 2010
3:34 pm

JT, not sure you saw my earlier reply. So here it is: One of my fave quotes: “A magician, like a prostitue, never reveals her tricks.” (I’ve seen old baby pictures of Carrie… ;) )

JD

May 27th, 2010
3:35 pm

I think they also limit voting on DWTS.

Mike $

May 27th, 2010
3:35 pm

Hmm reading the thing about guest judges — I think that could work this way — on the weeks they have mentor’s let the mentor be the guest judge. They have precedence for doing so, in the realier seasons, the mentor’s were quite often sitting in with the judges — Like season 2 when Neil Sedaka almost wet himself and basically said he wanted to have Clay Aiken’s baby. LOL

kelly&carriefan

May 27th, 2010
3:36 pm

Mike, sadly, it seems no amount of emotion changed anyone’s mind about voting for her. I’m thinking people had made up their minds about who they were voting for BEFORE the performances even aired.

Even people at work who cheered for Lee and wanted him to win told me this morning that Crystal was better than Lee. (!!!)

JTesla

May 27th, 2010
3:42 pm

In my opinion teen texting would favor David A. over David C. and also Casey over Lee. I think there are other factors at play.

K&Cfan, baby pictures! I thought maybe you were going to comment about the interior design… you know curtain and rugs and stuff ;)

Negativo Thanking

May 27th, 2010
3:49 pm

David Cook is about as “light rock” as Chris Daughtry. Kris is definitely light rock. Lee will likely be pure pop-rock.

kelly&carriefan

May 27th, 2010
3:56 pm

JT, I would love to design that interior. Though, I’m not sure. Some prefer harwood floors.

Neg, Lee can be the next Scott Sapp or Chad Kroeger. ‘Cuase we are severly lacking in that area.

JTesla

May 27th, 2010
4:00 pm

One thing I notice looking at Mike’s Season list: the first four season winners were not “make the song your own” singers. The big names from Season 5, Taylor and Daughtry, wrote the book on taking a song and making it their own. Blake made it as far as he did following that, but lost to the pure singer, David C. finally sealed the deal for the “make it your own” team by beating a pure singer. In a battle of make it your own vs. make it your own known as Season 8 it went to the guy who didn’t annoy everyone. This season? Was Crystal an Adam who had more enemies to Lee’s coast to the finish Kris style win?

Yeah I’ve been washed down the creek, but I’m still trying to paddle up stream.

K&Cfan, hmmm ok I better not comment Rodney may have to red card me.

Rosita

May 27th, 2010
4:03 pm

Mike S. and JD: Crystal admitted that the breakup had to do with the emotion she put into her third song. I had to’ve read it here because I don’t read any other blogs.

Deirdre

May 27th, 2010
4:04 pm

k&cf…I’m pretty sure that, by the time the top 2 are singing their final 3 songs, it really doesn’t matter how it goes. People will vote for their favorites. I’d like to think that if Lee had had a perfect night, I would have considered voting for him but, I think I still would have voted for Crystal.

Whenever Simon made that declaration about who won the night I laughed because, by that point, no one cared. They were going to vote for their favorite(probably picked weeks before) anyway.

Deirdre

May 27th, 2010
4:08 pm

JT…Was Crystal and Adam? I think we’ve seen plenty of proof of that today with the comments about her looks, her lifestyle and her appropriateness as an “Idol”. Definitely had something to do with anti-Crystal as opposed to pro-Lee.

Deirdre

May 27th, 2010
4:09 pm

“an Adam” why does that ‘d’ keep appearing when I’m typing the word ‘an’?

Negativo

May 27th, 2010
4:15 pm

I think that Idol needs to use categories for judging like DWTS. Give a score for vocals, a score for arrangement, and a score for stage presence. At least this way we can wipe out all the “nice person, marketability and back story” bullshat to keep the judges in line. Their combined scores count for 25% of the vote total vote.

Regarding fan voting, they should eliminate text votes. Too many people don’t use AT&T, too many people don’t text, and the “block vote” phenomenon skews the totals so they aren’t representative of the contestant’s true popularity.

Thus sayeth the Neg.

JTesla

May 27th, 2010
4:30 pm

Negativo is onto something with the judging. What is pitchy… tell us how much that weighs against the performance. Work with us judges don’t just sit there flapping your jaw (Randy). Tuesday night I couldn’t tell from the judge’s responses if Lee was a train wreck or only had a little tiny issue with his singing.

Rosita

May 27th, 2010
4:38 pm

I also like the idea of some specific criteria and voting boundaries.
On “Chopped,” the chefs are judged on appearance, taste and creativity, and prepare three courses from a set group of ingredients (some of which are really odd). That makes it more interesting than if they simply prepared whatever they wanted and the judges voted their prejudices instead of criteria.

KPH

May 27th, 2010
5:21 pm

To get the true pulse of the contestatnt that the voters want they must limit voting. The way they are multiple voting now you would think acorn is in charge of the voter registration. :-)

Deirdre

May 27th, 2010
5:45 pm

mj has a picture of the Idols who joined the Idol winners to say good-bye to Simon:

http://mjsbigblog.com/read-my-aol-television-recap.htm#comments

[...] post:  Lowest ‘Idol’ spring finale ratings ever, texting teens influencing past three winners? [...]

linny ,,,=^..^=,,,

May 27th, 2010
6:47 pm

on DWTS they have a fairly unique way of voting – you can vote X times each on phone, text, and website link. The X equals the number of contestants that week. At the beginning, 12, the next week 11, and so on. Not sure how they came up with that formula (thinking perhaps that each contestant gets 1 vote from each person each method, although the actual votes might not be allocated that way?) i dunno. SYTYCD limits numbers too, don’t they? guess i’ll be reminded tonight how that works. AGT has a set number of votes from any 1 source, ie 10 per landline, 10 per web link, 10 per text, or whatever. They encourage you to utilize ALL methods of voting, but the number of times any one person/number/email/ips/whatever criteria can vote is limited.

At least that kicks out the powervoting thing, whether by phone auto-redial or by power texting.

linny ,,,=^..^=,,,

May 27th, 2010
7:11 pm

everywhere i go, people are saying things like “how did that guy win” … no one will admit voting for Lee, everyone seems to think Crystal should have won — is that just here locally in middle-america-southern style in Georgia, or is it everywhere? if it’s everywhere….then my question is this;

WHO THE HECK VOTED SO MUCH FOR LEE?????

inquiring minds want to know….maybe, kinda, sorta.

Mercedes S.

May 27th, 2010
7:33 pm

First chance I have today to sit down by the computer… and last – in five mins we\re leaving for Savannah. Honored to be remembered on Rodney’s previous blog.Truthfully, without this blog I wouldn’t have lasted to the bitter end. I have enjoyed the electronic company of everybody here, even the misguided follks who didn’t appreciate the true Idol this year – Siobhan Magnus.

Look forward to reading rest of bloggers soon.

Highlander

May 27th, 2010
7:52 pm

“I’ve said it before, but I can’t stress enough that I would have probably checked out a while back had it not been for y’all.” – K&CF, last thread.

Thanks, K&CF, but don’t you think suicide over a TV show is a bit extreme? Rather than counting on us, perhaps you should seek some professional help. :-)

Hey, I’m just trying to help. And if you knew how hard it is to type with your elbows, you’d cut me some slack. (That’s all this wrap-around canvas jacket will allow me to do! …Dammit, …can’t reach that itch!!) :D

Kevin C

May 27th, 2010
8:28 pm

DI still gives SOME useful information though. If you believe its accuracy, DI tells you that Lee killed Crystal on the phone votes alone Tuesday night. And given how people have been assuming the texting went, yikes…maybe there’s a reason Ryan didn’t announce the margin.

JD

May 27th, 2010
9:25 pm

Both Lee and Crystal will be on Ellen’s show tomorrow (Friday)

Nutmeg with a Grain of Salt

May 28th, 2010
2:16 am

A very, very minor nit… Rodney–I think you meant hagiography (an idealizing biography) instead of haliography (the science of the sea). There are increased uses online of haliography to indicate that kind of sainting (probably because of the shared phoneme with “halo”), but both words have their origin in the Greek.

I always want to put an extra “i” in hagiography and tend to misspell it “haigiography,” which is wrong.

Sorry, I’m an academic with an M.Div. (ergo, reading New Testament Greek and knowing way too much about biographies of the saints). ;)

It’s probably a good thing this is an old blog…

JTesla

May 28th, 2010
11:27 am

Very informative Nutmeg, thanks.

Chuckles™

May 29th, 2010
1:23 pm

Back from LA. The after-show party felt more like a going away party than a see you next year one.

Yep, Ricky Minor was pi$$ed. One of the topics of conversation. That, and they had gotten some of the Idol alums there by promising spots in the finale show. Hahahahah. Works every time.

I liked Jo’s Popeater article about Taylor. Numbers are correct. He’s gonna be busy in the next couple of months getting back to being a human again.

And, as I mentioned earlier this year, the scramble to see who controls 19 begins. Fuller is trying to regain control of the franchise – and brought in a LOT of money to do so. We’ll see. Right now, it’s just about the amount. $600 mil looks a bit low, but it is a down economy, after all.

Anyone notice the MySpace announcement the day after the finale? Yep, the 1st baby steps into using social networks to expand the franchise. Expect voting thru there as well as nominating hopeful Idol contestants (Colbie Caillat and Jason DeRulo are two such examples).

Finally – conversations with ABC/Disney on hold. Too much public attention. Expect a swing back in Fox’s direction once the 19 deal stabilizes.